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UNIVERSITY OF BUCHAREST
Faculty of Sociology and Social Work
Master of Business Administration Conf.univ.dr. Radu BALTASIU
Conf.univ.dr. Radu Baltasiu – autumn-winter 2006-2007 University of Bucharest
1. Introduction. Organizational Behavior and Global processes
What is Organizational Behavior?
―[T]he study and understanding of individual and group behaviour, and patterns of structure in order to help improve organisational performance and effectiveness.‖ (Mullins: 14) ―Behavioural science attempts to structure organisations in order to secure the optimum working environment. It is concerned with reconciling the needs of the organisation for the contribution of maximum productivity, with the needs of individuals and the realisation of their potential. Emphasis is on the application of relevant aspects of psychological and sociological theory and practice, and cultural influences, to problems of organisations and management in the work situation.‖ (Mullins: 19) Analyzing the definition. The keywords In order to better understand the definition of organizational behavior let‘s split it in keywords. These are the following: The individual – humans are the starting point of every organization The group – the company is group structured Understanding both Identifying the Structural patterns of organizations To improve Organizational effectiveness – this is the ultimate goal of organizational behavior; Reconciling The needs of individuals and organizations – in order to have organizational effectiveness. Further on, ―Organizational Behavior is the study and application of knowledge about how people, individuals, and groups act in organizations. It does this by taking a system approach. That is, it interprets people organization relationships in terms of the whole person, whole group, whole organization, and whole social system. Its purpose is to build better relationships by achieving human objectives, organizational objectives, and social objectives.‖ (Donald Clark: 1)
A multidisciplinary approach Organizational behavior deals with people‘s attitudes and needs (psychology), with organization‘s structure (sociology) and cultural patterns of organizing work (anthropology). That is, organizational behavior is a multidisciplinary approach, using theories, methods and perspectives from all these scientific fields.
Understanding the context of Organizational Behavior Globalization
Globalizarea este procesul prin care spaţiile social-culturale ale lumii se unifică sub o coordonare politico-economică. Această coordonare nu este neapărat una directă, prin decizii luate de un centru instituţional vizibil. Coordonarea are loc prin mecanisme „obiective‖, de sistem. Culturile locale se integrează într-un sistem mondial, sub umbrela unei culturi dominante. ―Markets which were previously separated and localized have become merged, and have been superseded by world-wide patterns of production and consumption coordinated by global institution and organizations. Social patterns and relationships which were only local in scale have become global in content.‖ (―Pieţele care iniţial erau separate unele de altele s-au unificat şi au devenit încorporate într-un mecanism global de producţie şi consum, mecanism coordonat de instituţii şi organizaţii globale. Tipurile sociale generale şi relaţiile care aveau iniţial o dimensionare locală au căpătat conţinuturi globale.‖ (David Clark, Urban World / Global City, Routledge, London and New York, 1996, p. XI)
Understanding the context of Organizational Behavior - The Cyberspace
We will briefly state some characteristics of the new context in which the modern enterprise operates. One of the most interesting reality is that of the cyberspace: ―A term coined by William Gibson, a science fiction writer, to refer to a nearfuture computer network where users mentally travel through matrices of data. The term is now usually used to describe the Internet and other computer networks.‖ ―.... some commentators have suggested that ICTs are facilitating the emergence of new forms of human interaction in what is becoming known as cyberspace: a computer-generated public domain which has no territorial boundaries or physical attributes and is in perpetual use.‖ (Loader, Cyberspace, p.229, respective p.1) Principalele caracteristici ale ciberspaţiului sunt: - Lumea gândită ca reţea informatică - Realitatea este generată informatic - Reţelele informatice în care se poate călători mental În consecinţă realitatea fizică are o importanţă redusă (nu există graniţe fizice iar atributele fizice sunt minimale ca importanţă)
Implications of globalization upon people and organizations 1
―The effective management of people takes place in the context of the wider environmental setting, including the changing patterns of organisations and attitudes to work. It is frequently documented that a global economy, increased business competitiveness, the move towards more customer-driven markets, advances in scientific knowledge, especially telecommunications and office automation, and downsizing of organisations have led to a period of constant change and the need for greater organisational flexibility. Jobs are becoming a series of short-term contracts and a large majority of workers believe a job for life no longer exists and are concerned about job security.‖ (Mullins: 8, emphassis added)
Implications of globalization upon people and organizations 2: Weakening loyalties
―… [A]lthough responsibility is accepted, it is often seen as an unwanted imposition and there is a feeling of helplessness among many people in their work environment.‖ ―Organisations are making increasing use of group or team approaches to work with an emphasis on co-operation, participation and empowerment.‖ ―The power and influence of private and public organisations, the rapid spread of new technology, and the impact of various socio-economic and political factors have given rise to the concept of corporate social responsibilities and business ethics. Increasing attention is being focused on the ethical behaviour which underlie the decisions and actions of managers and staff …‖ (Mullins: 8, emphasis added)
Implications of globalization upon people and organizations 3: Privatization of the social environment
Autonomizarea individului, care din punct de vedere al aplicabilităţii tehnologice este un succes, din punct de vedere social, a capabilităţilor de socializare poate fi o exagerare. Omul se înstrăinează de sine şi toate tipurile de vecinătăţi prin intermediul tehnologiilor comunicării la distanţă şi de creare a produselor prin intermediul computerului (care poate fi un PC sau orice alt mijloc de relaţionare electronicvirtuală inteligentă, care conţine micropocesoare, mijloace de comunicare la distanţă etc.). Această fragmentare a spaţiului social prin recluziunea accentuată a individului în spaţiul său de lucru este componentă a privatizării spaţiului social. O altă componentă importantă a privatizării spaţiului social este creşterea puterii administraţiei computerizate dincolo de posibilităţile uzuale de control public (Loader: 123). Una dintre cauze este reconfigurarea spaţiului administrativ dintr-unul ierarhizat într-o reţea de structuri de tip fagure, în care fiecare componentă posedă autonomie organizatorică şi de conducere. Structurile administrative, private sau publice se privatizează, în sensul că ies de sub tutela unui for central, căpătând un spaţiu autonom al intereselor şi autonomie decizională. Ele însele pot forma reţele cu interese autonome sau de sine stătătoare. Principala capabilitate a acestor structuri 3
este autoconconducerea (self-steering) care, la rândul ei implică capacitatea de autoorganizare (self-organizing capacity).
Implications of globalization upon people and organizations 4: Democracy or the Network of Interests Groups?
Democraţia clasică este înlocuită de reţele Globalizarea antrenează o reaşezare masivă a centrelor de coordonare socială. Administraţiile şi capacitatea administrativă se fragmentează, se autonomizează, se „privatizează‖. Actul de administrare este condiţionat de capacitatea de a dispune de resursele necesare integrării în circuitul ciberspaţiului. Aşezarea actului decizional pe reţeaua informatică permite, pentru prima oară în istorie, micşorarea până la eliminare a distanţei dintre decizia politicoadministrativă şi acţiune. Acţiunea politică şi chiar efectele sale sociale sunt la distanţă de un „enter‖ în raport cu decizia. Contextul acesta, care favorizează autonomiile locale, şi deci o mai bună guvernare a comunităţilor, suferă însă de pe urma unuia dintre cele mai interesante paradoxuri ale globalizării: unificarea spaţiului de comunicare în cadrul unui uriaş ciberspaţiu antrenează fragmentarea semnificaţiilor comunicării. Ne amintim că fenomenul devine posibil datorită erodării drastice a valorilor dominante unificatoare, prin „privatizarea‖ spaţiilor şi a simbolisticii colective, prin diminuarea puterii suveranităţilor naţionale etc. Guvernarea în spaţiul dominat de fluxul informatic devine mai mult decât oricând spaţiul de acţiune al grupurilor de interese. Sunt autori (Stoker, Molenkpf etc.) care sunt de acord cu faptul că era participării democratice a maselor a trecut, guvernarea reducându-se doar la jocul puterii, în acord cu logica unor interese dominante (în raport cu spaţiul cibernetic).
2. Fundamentele Paradigmatice (I - capitalismul)
Tipologia capitalismului (Weber)
Civilizaţia centrată pe capital cunoaşte două tipuri majore de raportare la profit: capitalismul modern (sau raţional) şi capitalismul politic (sau de pradă). Aspectul diferenţiator dintre cele două tipuri de capital este raţionalitatea. Ce este raţionalitatea? Raţionalitatea este capacitatea de a face distincţia dintre scopuri şi mijloace. În cazul capitalismului modern, ocupaţiile care prin excelenţă monitorizează aceste ―diferenţieri‖ sunt contabilitatea şi managementul întreprinderii. Capitalismul este centrat în diferite proporţii pe muncă, eficienţa capitalului, profit, resursa umană şi progres tehnologic. Capitalism modern Raţionalizarea muncii Dezvoltarea resursei umane Dezvoltarea tehnologică Diviziunea muncii între patronat, management, muncitori. De mersul întreprinderii se ocupă managementul în mod autonom (autonomia – condiţia profesionalismului) Profitul se obţine prin intermediul întreprinderii, prin mai buna situare a întreprinderii la bursă. Capitalism politic (de pradă) Este centrat pe câştigul personal direct şi imediat, prin orice mijloace. Întreprinderea este un mijloc ca oricare altul pentru atingerea acestui scop. Nu se respectivă diviziunea muncii, în întreprindere şi în mecanismul economic se poate interveni politic şi prin alte mijloace (corupţie). Întreprinderea poate fi lichidată uşor în raport cu interesele imediate de consum ale poprietarului. Remuneraţia este în acord cu poziţia
Întreprinderea este organizată raţional, pe baza ierarhiei competenţelor. Remuneraţia este în acord cu funcţia şi competenţa. Premisele dezvoltării capitalismului modern sunt: Mental special al elitelor (credinţa centrată pe muncă, valori necentrate pe consum individual) Piaţa internă dezvoltată Ocupaţiile capitaliste dezvoltă putere de cumpărare Puterea de cumpărare impune o creştere constantă a concurenţei În absenţa concurenţei de pe piaţa internă nu există stimulent pentru dezvoltare tehnologică şi respectul faţă de om, ca muncitor (managementul resurselor umane)
deţinută, nu în raport cu funcţionalitatea acesteia, cu competenţele asociate. Comportamentul elitelor este unul speculativ. Bursa are un rol marginal iar forţa de muncă este dispensabilă (ca şi întreprinderea) În consecinţă, întreprinderea nu dezvoltă şi nu implementează noi tehnologii decât ca excepţie. Piaţa internă este foarte slabă. Economia este subdezvoltată şi, de regulă orientată către export.
Tipologia capitalismului - Sistemul mondial modern (Wallerstein)
Sistemul mondial modern, sistem capitalist, a luat naştere în secolului al XVI-lea (I. Wallerstein). Sistemul mondial este format din centru şi, în raport cu acesta, , din semiperiferii şi periferii care interacţionează pe o scală a subordonării, într-un sistem de organizare raţională a muncii la scară globală. Raţionalitatea sistemului poate deveni iraţionalitate în special în periferia sistemului, ea este utilă în special în raport cu logica centrului sistemului. Sistemul mondial este acel mod de ordonare a lumii prin integrarea spaţiilor întrun singur mecanism de piaţă. Piaţa mondială funcţionează după principiul eficienţei capitalului în raport cu interesele centrului. Sistemul mondial modern este o consecinţă a unificării pieţelor şi a centralizării diviziunii muncii. Comunităţile şi societăţile naţionale orbitează unele în jurul altora în funcţie de locul pe care îl ocupă în ierarhia diviziunii internaţionale a muncii. Sistemul mondial modern, cristalizat odată cu marile modificări culturale din secolul al XVI-lea şi cu începutul industrialismului din secolul următor, este caracterizat printr-o diviziune unică a muncii şi o pluralitate de actori politici (statele naţionale).
Centrul sistemului posedă cele mai înalte tehnologii şi salarii, are forţa bancară dominantă, semiperiferia constă din societăţi decăzute din condiţia de centru sau candidate la poziţia dominantă, având o putere tehnologică şi o piaţă internă semnificativă, însă insuficient de dezvoltată pentru a hotărî asupra principalelor tendinţe politice şi economice, iar periferiile compun societăţile salahorizate, unde munca este constant subremunerată şi supraexploatată, unde activităţile de export, oricât de dezvoltate, nu produc dezvoltare şi unde activităţile sociale sunt puternic dependente de un sector exportator monocolor, dimpreună cu o viaţă politică agitată şi controlată de diverse grupuscule şi clici.
3. Fundamentele Paradigmatice (II – paradigmele comportamentului social)
Omul fiinţă socială – premisa altruistă: paradigma altruismului reciproc (Trivers)
Enunţul paradigmei: „Dacă A îl salvează pe B de la înec, iar probabilitatea ca B, care nu-i este rudă lui A, de a se îneca este de cel puţin 0,50 în timp ce probabilitatea ca A însuşi să se înece, încercând să-l salveze pe B, este de maximum 0,05, riscul salvatorului se înjumătăţeşte deoarece B va fi stimulat să-l salveze pe A într-o situaţie mai mult sau mai puţin similară.‖ (Trivers, apud Ungureanu, p.27) Omul este fiinţă socială. Ce înseamnă acest lucru? Ce relevanţă are în raport cu ―Comportamentul în Organizaţii‖? Altruismul este parte componentă primară-primordială a omului ca fiinţă socială. Este una dintre premisele de la care trebuie să pornească construcţia oricărei organizaţii. Ce este o organizaţie? Este un complex de relaţii dintre oameni, întemeiat pe baza diferitelor lor aptitudini. Deci, organizaţia este un proces, un schimb social permanent. Premisa schimbului social este altruismul De altfel, profesia are ca şi componentă altruismul.
Pe marginea componentei altruiste din profesie
Definiţia profesiei: „Profesia este o formă de ocupaţie cu un statut ridicat, întemeiată pe cunoaştere, caracterizată de (1) cunoaştere specializată şi abstractă, (2) autonomie [socială], (3) autoritate faţă de beneficiar şi grupările ocupaţionale subordonate, (4) un anumit grad de altruism.‖ (Hodson, Sullivan, The Social Organization of Work, second edition, Wadsworth, 1995, p.288) Aici ne interesează componenta altruismului – profesia este expresia modernă a vocaţiei – ocupaţia socială ca şi chemare interioară, care, la rândul ei, este expresia credinţei. Doza de altruism din profesie este legătura modernităţii cu credinţa în valorile majore ale umanităţii.
Aparenţă şi fundal; planurile de realitate în organizaţii: paradigma reziduurilor sociabilităţii (Pareto)
Enunţul paradigmei: ―«Clasa reziduurilor în raport cu sociabilitatea este constituită din reziduurile care se referă la viaţa socială şi cele care se referă la disciplină, fiindcă sentimentele corespunzătoare sunt întărite de viaţa în societate ... Societatea – p.33 este imposibilă fără oarecare disciplină şi, în consecinţă, între necesitatea sociabilităţii
şi cea a disciplinei există o strânsă legătură.» (Vilfredo Pareto) [V. Pareto, Traite de sociologie generale, vol. 1, Paris-Lausanne, Payot, 1917, p.589] Definind omul ca fiinţă socială, sociologul italian Vilfredo Pareto consideră că activitatea umană este motivată de instincte, sentimente, stări afective etc., dar toate aceste motive sunt «ascunse» de «actorii» umani cu scopul de a obţine sprijinul sau cooperarea celorlalţi. Cu alte cuvinte, «actorul» îşi prezintă adesea scopurile şi motivele acţiunii sale în aşa fel încât ceilalţi să le accepte şi să le sprijine. [a.n.] Pentru a le face «acceptate» socialmente el dă instinctelor, sentimentelor etc. o «formă pseudologică»», în sensul că nu poate fi verificată experimental, forma denumită de Pareto «derivaţie». Derivaţiile sunt extrem de diferite de la un individ la altul, de la o colectivitate sau societate la alta, ceea ce ar duce la un «haos» în relaţiile interumane dacă în varietatea extremă a derivaţiilor nu ar putea fi identificată o parte constantă, denumită reziduu. Trebuie, deci, să distingem între formele exterioare în care apare sociabilitatea, şi care sunt diferite de la un individ sau grup la altul, şi formele ei constante, care sunt concretizate în reziduurile sociabilităţii.‖ (Ungureanu: 31, 32) Câteva implicaţii majore: Realitatea nu este neapărat fenomenul vizibil. Adevărul nu este neapărat logic. Logica matematică, acurateţea argumentului nu sunt neapărat mai apropiate de adevăr decât alte tipuri de comportament. Realitatea aparentă, arată Pareto, este alogică (nu ilogică, adică lipsită de logică). Logica realităţii este logica socială, adică sociologie. Fenomenul social este compus din strat şi substrat. Partea de substrat, constantă şi sursa ―aparenţei‖ se numeşte reziduu. Partea de aparenţă, care poate avea coerenţă comportamentală fără a fi însă logică, se numeşte stratul derivaţiilor.
Reziduurile sociabilităţii şi implicaţii asupra organizaţiilor
Un nivel rezidual fundamental, pe care se bazează organizaţia umană (organizaţiile), este sentimentul de noi. Individul este ceea ce este în raport cu un sentiment de apartenenţă faţă de un grup, cu care individul se identifică. Este grupul numit noi. În măsura în care organizaţia reuşeşte să se constituie în acel noi din cadrul fiecărui membru, atunci ea va fi un tot social eficient. Două tipuri majore de comportament rezidual Pareto a aplicat studiul reziduurilor şi derivaţiilor în special la studiul elitelor. Managementul şi patronatul constituie tocmai elitele din cadrul unei organizaţii. Există două mari categorii reziduale (alături de altele) de comportament care pot explica evoluţia unei organizaţii:
Comportamentele axate pe persistenţa agregatelor (sentimentul de comuniune, de conservare a comunităţii primare) Comportamentele axate pe instinctul combinărilor sunt tentate să fie mai puţin loiale grupului din care fac parte şi, la o adică, chiar organizaţiei, fiind tentate să intre în jocuri de interese diverse. Elitele centrate pe persistenţa agregatelor tind să fie conservatoare (nu neapărat antiprogresiste), foarte atente la rolul tradiţiilor şi normelor consacrate. Acestea sunt adeptele respectului ca sursă a progresului. Elitele centrate pe instinctul combinărilor tind să acorde o importanţă mai mică protecţiei mediului lor de apartenenţă, implicit organizaţiei din care fac parte, considerând adesea că orice este tranzacţionabil.
Schimbul social şi eficienţa organizaţiilor: paradigma schimbului social (Blau)
Enunţul paradigmei: „«Principiile schimbului social pot fi rezumate astfel: un individ oferă altuia anumite servicii ca recompensă pentru activitatea acestuia; în acest fel, al doilea individ se simte obligat faţă de primul; pentru a se achita de această obligaţie, el trebuie să-i facă, la rândul său, primului individ anumite servicii care pot avea valoare de recompensă; dacă serviciile pe care şi le fac reciproc cei doi indivizi au o anumită valoare pentru fiecare dintre ei, fiecare va încerca să-i facă celuilalt cât mai multe servicii pentru a-l obliga să-şi mărească oferta de răspuns cu scopul de a se achita de obligaţii; pe măsură ce se primesc cât mai multe bunuri în cadrul acestui schimb nevoia celor doi indivizi de a schimba servicii începe să scadă» [Peter M. Blau, Exchange and power in social life, New York, Willey, 1964, p.89]‖ - Ungureanu – p.37 Schimbul social şi personalitatea Schimbul social este unul dintre mijloacele prin care personalitatea umană se dezvoltă. Ne dezvoltăm personalitatea prin interacţiune cu celălalt printr-un proces de valorizare reciprocă constantă. În momentul în care am atins un prag valoric, şi aspirăm la mai mult, căutam alt punct de referinţă pentru a iniţia schimbul social. Acest fapt are o mare importanţă în ceea ce priveşte logica instituţională a organizaţiei, în sensul că o persoană care „aspiră la mai mult‖ îşi va modifica periodic pretenţiile faţă de sine şi faţă de locul de muncă (ce îi oferă organizaţia). Când aceste pretenţii nu vor găsi răspuns, salariatul fie va părăsi compania, fie va munci cu mai puţină eficienţă („fără interes‖). Sinele este sine oglindă prin faptul că se realizează prin reflectarea sa în conştiinţa celorlalţi.
Schimbul social şi eficienţa organizaţiilor
Aşa cum reiese din enunţul paradigmei schimbului social, relaţia socială este ciclică, iar inserarea în organizaţii are o evoluţie spiralată – omul tinde să-şi
schimbe punctele de referinţă şi deci aşteptările.. Un bun management ar trebui să se aştepte la asemenea situaţii. Pentru a limita ―daunele‖ produse eficienţei relaţiilor sociale care menţin în funcţiune organizaţia, managementul trebuie să se gândească la timp la soluţii. Cele mai simple soluţii la ciclicitatea relaţiei sociale din organizaţii se referă la multiplicarea canalelor schimburilor sociale din interiorul organizaţiei, la multiplicarea oportunităţilor de autorealizare umană. Aceasta înseamnă: - creşterea în carieră - perfecţionare profesională - rotirea sarcinilor - creşterea – schimbarea responsabilităţilor şi recunoaşterea de acestor schimbări de către management şi colegi. Alte componente ale schimbului social Blau arată, mai departe, că omul are cel mai adesea o conduită cu raţionalitate imprecisă, dincolo de aparenţe (ceea ce Boudon numeşte raţionalitate limitată): ―oamenii nu urmăresc decât rareori un scop specific... preferinţele umane sunt, de regulă, inconsistente; informaţiile privind alternativele acţiunii nu au fost vreodată complete; alegerea alternativelor nu este liberă, ci este supusă presiunilor mediului social (vezi efectul normei sociale).‖ [Peter M. Blau, Exchange and power in social life, New York, Willey, 1964, p.95, apud Ungureanu, op.cit, p.39] Startul relaţiei sociale (Homans) Startul în orice relaţie socială este dat de încredere şi reciprocitate. Schimbul social este un proces în cursul căruia se schimbă valori, semnificaţii – acţiuni cu încărcătură materială şi afectivă pentru parteneri. Creşterea relaţiei este posibilă numai în condiţiile încrederii reciproce. Dacă creşterea relaţiei nu este posibilă, indivizii nu se vor separa pur şi simplu, ei intrând într-o ―orbită‖ socială de sancţionare. Astfel, cel puţin unul dintre actorii schimbului ar putea fi: - marginalizat - ―transferat‖ într-o condiţie de inferioritate în ierarhia grupului - schimbat cu alt partener de către iniţiatorul schimbului. Homans completează paradigma lui Blau arătând că, pe lângă activităţile obişnuite, schimbul social se compune din interacţiune şi afect. Prin interacţiune oamenii se stimulează reciproc, iar componenta afectivă se referă la vectorul emoţional cu care este investită orice activitate-interacţiune. O companie centrată pe eficienţa resursei umane va şti să combine interacţiunile specifice activităţilor uzuale cu substratul lor afectiv. Ceea ce determină adesea conduita este substratul ei emoţional.
4. Fundamentele Paradigmatice (III – paradigmele comportamentului social)
Diviziunea socială (funcţională) a muncii (Durkheim)
Enunţul paradigmei: „«Există o lege generală care arată că agregatele parţiale care fac parte dintr-unul mai vast pot să-şi distingă din ce în ce mai slab propria lor individualitate. Cu cât este mai extinsă diviziunea muncii, cu atât părţile societăţii sunt mai distincte. Diviziunea muncii este, deci, cu atât mai mare cu cât este mai mare numărul indivizilor care se află în contact suficient de puternic încât să reacţioneze unii faţă de ceilalţi. Dacă vom numi densitate dinamică sau morală apropierea sau contactul activ al indivizilor, putem spune că diviziunea muncii se extinde direct proporţional cu densitatea morală sau dinamică a societăţii.»‖ [E. Durkheim, De la division du travail social, Paris, PUF, 1967, p.163, 202, 238, apud. Ungureanu, p.42] Organizaţiile moderne sunt caracterizate de diviziunea funcţională a muncii. Aceasta caracterizează tipul de solidaritate numită organică, în opoziţie cu solidaritatea de tip tradiţional, numită şi mecanică. Solidaritatea organică se referă la faptul că intrăm în relaţii unii cu alţii prin intermediul profesiei, al competenţelor personale, şi mai puţin datorită afinităţilor personale. Desigur, elementele solidarităţii mecanice, cunoscute şi sub denumirea de relaţionări informale sunt importante, dar nu acestea dau prima caracteristică organizaţiilor moderne. Logica marilor companii nu este dată de elemente informale, întrucât organizaţia ar mai înceta să fie predictibilă (ar fi pe deplin subiectivă). Predictibilitatea este una dintre caracteristicile fundamentale ale capitalismului modern. Implicaţii ale paradigmei durkheimiene Calitatea relaţiilor din cadrul organizaţiei sunt dependente de nivelul de profesionalism din cadrul acesteia şi nu de loialităţile personale. Loialităţile personale pot introduce situaţii anomice, adică conduc la erodarea culturii generale a companiei. Baza schimbului social este transparentă astfel pentru fiecare, şi face posibilă cariera (cariera este obiect al schimbului social în cadrul organizaţiei), element important pentru creşterea organizaţiilor prin încurajarea profesionalizării continue.
Norma socială şi efectele ei (Muzafer Sherif)
Enunţul paradigmei: „«Baza psihologică a normelor sociale (stereotip, modă, convenţii, obiceiuri şi valori) constă în formarea unui cadru de referinţă comună ca produs al contactului
dintre indivizi. Din momentul în care s-a cristalizat şi a fost însuşit de indivizi, acest cadru devine factorul ce determină sau modifică reacţiile individului la situaţiile cu care el se va confrunta mai târziu, fie ele sociale sau nesociale.»‖ [Muzafer Sherif, The Psychology of Social Norms, New York, Harper & Brothers, 1936, p.97, apud Ungureanu, p.46] Conformitatea faţă de grup 1. Atunci când indivizii se află într-o situaţie instabilă şi nestructurată în sine, ei manifestă tendinţa de a stabili o normă sau un punct de referinţă în funcţie de care apreciază situaţia, iar aceasta este norma individuală a subiectului, cu funcţia de a-i servi acestuia ca punct de reper pentru toate experienţele lui ulterioare; 2. dacă un asemenea subiect este pus însă să acţioneze în cadrul unui grup, el va avea tendinţa de a-şi modifica norma individuală în aşa fel încât aceasta să fie convergentă normelor individuale ale celorlalţi, rezultând, astfel, norma de grup sau norma socială, care poate fi stabilită mult mai uşor dacă individul nu a avut posibilitatea să-şi verifice norma sa individuală; 3. dacă individul care şi-a modificat norma sa individuală, ca urmare a experienţei lui de/în grup, este pus în situaţia de a acţiona din nou în afara grupului, el nu va se va mai orienta după norma sa individuală, ci după norma socială a grupului din care a făcut parte.‖
Implicaţii ale efectului normei sociale Grupul de referinţă. Grupul de apartenenţă
Cunoaşterea ―efectelor‖ normei sociale are implicaţii majore în înţelegerea comportamentului individual. Comportamentul individual se modifică în cadrul grupurilor. Dacă grupul în care se află individul are funcţia de grup de apartenenţă sau de referinţă, atunci acţiunile individului vor fi determinate de norma grupului. Grupul de apartenenţă „desemnează reuniunile de indivizi care satisfac următoarele trei condiţii: 1. indivizii respectivi se află într-o interacţiune continuă; 2. ei înşişi se definesc ca membri ai grupului; 3. cei care nu participă la interacţiune îl definesc de asemenea ca membri ai grupului. «Grupul de referinţă reprezintă «punctele de comparaţie la care se referă – p.65 o proporţie suficient de importantă de indivizi care aparţin unei categorii sociale, cu scopul de a defini situaţia care caracterizează respectiva categorie socială.»‖ [R.K. Merton, Elements de théorie et de méthode sociologique, Paris, Plon, 1965, p.240, apud Ungureanu, p.64] Grupul şi conformitatea faţă de grup Determinarea comportamentului individual de norma de grup se numeşte conformitate. Conformitatea socială se referă la desfăşurarea acţiunii sociale în funcţie de norma socială, adică în raport cu grupul în care este integrat individul.
Conformitatea este diferită de complianţă, adică de îndeplinirea unor activităţi doar ca urmare a supunerii. Legea conformităţii sociale (Gouldner) „Supunerea faţă de majoritate este cu atât mai rapidă cu cât diferenţele dintre obiectele apreciate sunt mai puţin evidente şi este cu atât mai lentă cu cât individul «deviant» reuşeşte să-şi atragă de partea lui mai mulţi membri ai grupului‖. (Gouldner apud Ungureanu, op.cit, p.49)
Efectul normei sociale şi organizaţiile
Organizaţiile pot fi cu atât mai eficiente cu cât vor şti să impună membrilor lor starea de conformitate. Aceasta presupune ca organizaţia să aibă o normă socială (cultura organizaţională) percepută ca fiind legitimă. Adică corectă, Superioară în identificarea soluţiilor faţă de experienţele individuale anterioare. Conformitatea este diferită de atitudinile de forţă care generează, adesea, complianţă. Conformitatea nu exclude iniţiativa individuală, dar nu încurajează neapărat ―revoluţionarea‖ organizaţiei şi, nota bene, pentru a supravieţui, o organizaţie poate avea nevoie de mişcări ―revoluţionare‖. Conformitatea şi eficienţa organizaţiilor Eficienţa organizaţiilor nu este neapărat identică cu beneficiul pe termen mediu şi lung al organizaţiilor. Critica conformităţii de grup scoate în evidenţă că beneficiile pe termen scurt (adoptarea rapidă a deciziilor) pot intra în contradicţie cu obiectivele reale ale organizaţiei şi chiar cu normalitatea spaţiului social înconjurător. Conformitatea şi schimbul social în organizaţii Baza conformităţii viitoare faţă de norma de grup – cultura organizaţiei este disponibilitatea către schimbul social (Blau). Aceasta presupune o bună selecţie a resursei umane – pentru a avea un set de valori pe baza cărora se poate iniţia schimbul social. De asemenea, individul furnizează experienţă şi doreşte să înveţe, iar compania furnizează un cadru de afirmare individuală prin oportunităţile şi cerinţele pe care le are.
Gândirea de grup – o analiză pesimistă
Există o serie de teorii care privesc comportamentul grupal dintr-o perspectivă mai puţin „optimistă‖. Aşa de pildă, Janis consideră „gândirea în grup‖ sau „group think‖ drept o componentă negativă tipică a conformităţii sociale. În acest caz, principalele componente negative ar fi legate de:
1. gregarism (groupy) – anihilarea opiniei în momentul în care aceasta nu este „pe linie‖. 2. absurdul 1984 – reacţiile membrilor devin nerealiste, ca urmare a presiunilor exercitate de conformitatea de grup. Mai mult, capacitatea de gândire raţională (critică) se atenuează. 3. lichidarea „oponentului‖ (kill). În mod paradoxal, arată Janis, grupurile care gândesc „uşor‖ (soft), prin anihilarea capacităţii critice, sunt foarte agresive în apărarea punctului de vedere dominant. 4. supraefectul normei de grup – (norms). Fiecare persoană va căuta să nu „supere‖, să nu „deranjeze‖ ceea ce crede că este norma dominantă. 5. stres, în general – „avantajele luării deciziei de către grup sunt adesea pierdute datorită puternicelor presiuni psihologice care apar atunci când membrii conlucrează strâns, împart aceleaşi valori şi, mai presus de toate, au de gestionat o criză care este de natură să supună pe fiecare membru unui stres intens.‖ Aspectele prin care se manifestă vizibil „efectul gândirii de grup‖ (centrat pe anihilarea gândirii critice) sunt următoarele (Janis): 1. sentimentul invulnerabilităţii 2. ignorarea avertismentelor din realitate 3. sentimentul dreptăţii infailibile – nimeni nu are mai multă dreptate decât grupul respectiv 4. dominanţa stereotipurilor (prejudecăţilor) în gândirea „comună‖ 5. presiunea asupra celor care au dubii asupra grupului 6. autocenzura în sensul reţinerii indivizilor de a spune şi gândi altceva decât ceea ce se aşteaptă de la ei (în raport cu norma de grup) 7. iluzia unanimităţii – toţi au iluzia că toată lumea gândeşte la fel în grup 8. unii membrii devin „păzitori ai adevărurilor grupului‖, sancţionând primii pe „devianţi‖.
Teorii adiacente. Pragul de loialitate în organizaţii (Hirschman)
Intensitatea protestului IFL - Ieşire din organizaţie fără loialitate AI - Ameninţarea cu ieşirea IIS - Ieşirea în condiţiile intrării în condiţii severe ICL - Ieşirea în condiţii normale de loialitate
Momentul părăsirii organizaţiei şi intensitatea protestului în funcţie de loialitate şi de gradul de dificultate în intrarea în organizaţie – cf. Hirschman, Exit, Voice and Loyalty. Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations and States, Harvard University Press, 1970, p.87
Viaţa organizaţiei se desfăşoară în raport de protest-părăsire-loialitate. Funcţie de succesiunea sau combinarea acestora este şi succesul întreprinderii. ―Există două tipuri principale de reacţii de nemulţumire faţă de organizaţiile de care aparţinem sau cu care facem afaceri: fie de PROTEST în faţa insatisfacţiei, continuând să rămânem membrii sau respectiv clienţii organizaţiei nutrind speranţa îmbunătăţirii situaţiei, fie de PARASIRE a organizaţiei sau a relaţiei economice.‖ (idem, p.246) Declinul organizaţiilor depinde de cei mai loiali angajaţi Loialitatea este ingredientul psihologic care creşte costurile părăsirii şi induce, până la o anumită limită, canalizarea nemulţumirilor sub forma protestelor. Loialitatea produce calitate. Adesea producerea calităţii este mediată de ―proteste‖ – discuţii pe marginea proiectelor companiei. Părăsirea şi protestul marchează deficienţele şi posibilităţile de redresare ale organizaţiilor. In general, nemulţumirea exprimată ca protest este un mijloc mai bun de identificare a deficienţelor decât părăsirea organizaţiei de către membrii şi clienţi. Pe de altă parte, protestul presupune costuri suplimentare pentru cei nemulţumiţi, prin resursele consumate de fiecare dată în exprimarea nemulţumirilor. Tipologia salariaţilor. “Producătorul” şi “Consumatorul” În cazul părăsirii, individul nemulţumit refuză să-şi mai asume ceva, el pur şi simplu pleacă. Mai mult, în cazul membrilor/clienţilor loiali, aceştia vor continua 16
să protesteze faţă de situaţia respectivă chiar şi după ce au fost nevoiţi să părăsească organizaţia. Apare astfel noţiunea de ―individ - producător al calităţii‖, pe care Hirschman o opune „individului – consumator‖ cu care operează economia politică uzuală. Din această perspectivă avem două categorii de salariaţi: - Salariaţi producători de structură organizaţională (prin loialitate şi calitatea relaţionării sociale favorizează creşterea organizaţiei) - Salariaţi ―consumatori‖ – care vin la serviciu pentru a avea o slujbă, placizii.
Additional texts on conformity: Groupthink
Excerpts form Irving L. Janis, ―Groupthink‖, Psychology Today, November 1971, pp.271-79 Groupthink: The Problems of Conformity Many organizations know that they face problems in managing conf But agreement consensus, and conformity can create problems too. In the following pages, Irv Janis identifies the phenomenon of ‘groupthink’ and points to some of the factors that sustain it in practice. ―How could we have been o stupid‖ President John K Kennedy asked after he and a close group of advisors had blundered into the Bay of Pigs invasion. For the last two years I have been studying that question. as It applies not only to the Bay of Pigs decision-makers but also to those who led the United States Into auth other major fiascos as the failure to be pre pared for the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Korean War stalemate and the escalation of the Vietnam War. Stupidity certainly is not the explanation. The men who participated in making the Bay of Pigs decision, for instance, comprised one of the greatest arrays of intellectual talent in the history of American Government—Dean Rusk, Robert McNamara, Douglas Dillon Robert Kennedy, McGeorge Bundy, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Allen Dulles and others. It also seemed to me that explanations were incomplete if they concentrated only on disturbances in the behavior of each individual within a decision-making body temporary, emotional state of elation, fear, or anger that reduce a man‘s mental efficiency, for example or chronic blind spots arising from a man social prejudices or idiosyncratic biases. I preferred to broaden the picture by looking at the fiascos from the standpoint of group dynamics as It has been explored over the put three decades, first by the great social psychologist Kurt Lewin and later In many experimental situations by myself and other behavioral scientists. My conclusion after pair‘ big over hundreds of relevant documents— historical reports about formal group meetings and informal conversations among the members—is that the groups that committed the fiascos were victims of what I call ‗groupthink.‘ ―Groupy.‖ In each case study, I was surprised to discover the extent to which each group displayed the typical phenomena of social conformity that are regularly encountered in studies of
group dynamics among ordinary citizens. For example, some of the phenomena appear to be completely in line with findings from social-psychological experiments showing that powerful social pressures are brought to bear by the members of a cohesive group whenever a dissident begins to voice his objections to a group consensus. Other phenomena are reminiscent of the shared illusions observed in encounter groups and friendship cliques when the members simultaneously reach a peak of ‗groupy‖ feelings. Above all, there are numerous indications pointing to the development of group norms that bolster morale at the expense of critical thinking. One of the most common norms appears to be that of remaining loyal to the group by sticking with the policies to which the group has already committed itself, even when those policies are obviously working out badly and have unintended consequences that disturb the conscience of each member. This is one of the key characteristics of groupthink. 1984. I use the term groupthink as a quick and easy way to refer to the mode of thinking that persons engage in when concurrence-seeking becomes so dominant in a cohesive in- group that it tends to override realistic appraisal of alternative courses of action. Group- think is a term of the same order as the words in the newspeak vocabulary George Orwell used in his dismaying world of 1984. In that context, groupthink takes on an invidious connotation. Exactly such a connotation is intended, since the term refers to a deterioration in mental efficiency, reality testing and moral judgments as a result of group pressures. The symptoms of groupthink arise when the members of decision-making groups become motivated to avoid being too harsh in their judgments of their leaders‘ or their colleagues‘ ideas. They adopt a soft line of criticism, even in their own thinking. At their meetings, all the members are amiable and seek complete concurrence on every important issue, with no bickering or conflict to spoil the cozy, ―we feeling‖ atmosphere. Kill. Paradoxically, soft-headed groups are often hard-hearted when it comes to dealing with outgroups or enemies. They find it relatively easy to resort to dehumanizing solutions—they will readily authorize bombing attacks that kill large numbers of civilians in the name of the noble cause of persuading an unfriendly government to negotiate at the peace table. They are unlikely to pursue the more difficult and controversial issues that arise when alternatives to a harsh military solution come up for discussion. Nor are they inclined to raise ethical issues that carry the implication that this fine group of ours, with its humanitarianism and its high-minded principles, might be capable of adopting a course of action that is inhumane and immoral. Norms. There is evidence from a number of social-psychological studies that as the members of a group feel more accepted by the others, which is a central feature of increased group cohesiveness, they display less overt conformity to group norms. Thus we would expect that the more cohesive a group becomes, the less the members will feel constrained to censor what they say out of fear of being socially punished for antagonizing the leader or any of their fellow members. In contrast, the groupthink type of conformity tends to increase as group cohesiveness increases. Groupthink involves nondeliberate suppression of critical thoughts as a result of internalization of the group‘s norms, which is quite different from deliberate suppression on the basis of external threats of social punishment The more cohesive the group, the greater the inner compulsion on the part of each member to avoid creating disunity, which inclines him to believe in the soundness of whatever proposals are promoted by the leader or by a majority of the group‘s members.
In a cohesive group, the danger is not so much that each individual will fail to reveal his objections to what the others propose but that he will think the proposal is a good one, without attempting to carry out a careful, critical scrutiny of the pros and cons of the alternatives. When groupthink becomes dominant there also is considerable suppression of deviant thoughts, but it takes the form of each person‘s deciding that his misgivings are not relevant and should be set aside, that the benefit of the doubt regarding any lingering uncertainties should be given to the group consensus. Stress. I do not mean to imply that all cohesive groups necessarily suffer from groupthink. All ingroups may have a mild tendency toward groupthink, displaying one or another of the symptoms from time to time, but it need not be so dominant as to influence the quality of the group‘s final decision. Neither do I mean to imply that there is anything necessarily inefficient or harmful about group decisions in general. On the contrary, a group whose members have properly defined roles, with traditions concerning the procedures to follow in pursuing a critical inquiry, probably is capable of making better decisions than any individual group member working alone. The problem is that the advantages of having decisions made by groups are often lost because of powerful psychological pressures that arise when the members work closely together, share the same set of values and, above all, face a crisis situation that puts every one under intense stress. [Emphasis added] The main principle of groupthink, which I offer In the spirit of Parkinson‘s Law, is this: The more amiability and esprit de corps there is among the members of a policy-making ingroup, the greater the danger that independent critical thinking will be replaced by groupthink, which is likely to result in irrational and dehumanizing actions directed against outgroups. Symptoms. In my studies of high-level governmental decision-makers, both civilian and military, I have found eight main symptoms of group think. 1. Invulnerability. Most or all of the members of the ingroup share an illusion of invulnerability that provides for them some degree of reassurance about obvious dangers and leads them to become over-optimistic and willing to take extraordinary risks. It also causes them to fail to respond to clear warnings of danger. The Kennedy ingroup, which uncritically accepted the Central Intelligence Agency‘s disastrous Bay of Pigs plan, operated on the false assumption that they could keep secret the fact that the United States was responsible for the invasion of Cuba. Even after news of the plan began to leak out, their belief remained unshaken. They failed even to consider the danger that awaited them: a worldwide revulsion against the U.S. A similar attitude appeared among the members of President Lyndon B. Johnson‘s ingroup, the ‗Tuesday Cabinet.‖ which kept escalating the Vietnam War despite repeated setbacks and failures. ―There was a belief?‘ Bill Moyers commented after he resigned, ―that if we indicated a willingness to use our power, they [the North Vietnamese] would get the message and back away from an allout confrontation . . . There was a confidence—it was never bragged about, it was just there—that when the chips were really down, the other people would fold‖... 2. Rationale. As we see, victims of groupthink ignore warnings; they also collectively construct rationalizations in order to discount warnings and other forms of negative feedback that, taken seriously, might lead the group members to reconsider their assumptions each time they recommit themselves to past decisions. Why did the Johnson ingroup avoid reconsidering its escalation policy when time and again the expectations on which they based their decisions turned out to be wrong? James C Thomson, Jr., a Harvard historian who spent five years as an observing 19
participant in both the State Department and the White House, tells us that the policymakers avoided critical discussion of their prior decisions and continually invented new rationalizations so that they could sincerely recommit themselves to defeating the North Vietnamese… 3. Morality. Victims of groupthink believe unquestioningly in the inherent morality of their ingroup: this belief inclines the members to ignore the ethical or moral consequences of their decisions. … 4. Stereotypes. Victims of groupthink hold stereotyped views of the leaders of enemy groups: they are so evil that genuine attempts at negotiating differences with them are unwarranted, or they are too weak or too stupid to deal effectively with whatever attempts the ingroup makes to defeat their purposes, no matter how risky the attempts are. 5. Pressure. Victims of groupthink apply direct pressure to any individual who momentarily expresses doubts about any of the group‘s shared illusions or who questions the validity of the arguments supporting a policy alter native favored by the majority This gambit reinforces the concurrence-seeking norm that loyal members are expected to maintain. …. 6. Self-censorship. Victims of groupthink avoid deviating from what appears to be group consensus; they keep silent about their misgivings and even minimize to themselves the importance of their doubts. … 7. Unanimity. Victims of groupthink share an illusion of unanimity within the group concerning almost all judgments expressed by members who speak in favor of the majority view. This symptom results partly from the preceding one, whose effects are augmented by the false assumption that any individual who remains silent during any part of the discussion is in full accord with what the others are saying. … 8. Mindguards. Victims of groupthink some times appoint themselves as mindguards to protect the leader and fellow members from adverse information that might break the complacency they shared about the effectiveness and morality of past decisions. At a large birthday party for his wife, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, who had been constantly informed about the Cuban invasion plan, took Schlesinger aside and asked him why he was opposed. Kennedy listened coldly and said, ―You may be right or you may be wrong, but the President has made his mind up. Don‘t push it any further. Now is the time for everyone to help him all they can.‖ … Products. When a group of executives frequently displays most or all of these interrelated symptoms, a detailed study of their de liberations is likely to reveal a number of immediate consequences. These consequences are, in effect, products of poor decision-making practices because they lead to inadequate solutions to the problems under discussion. First, the group limits its discussions to a few alternative courses of action (often only two) without an initial survey of all the alternatives that might be worthy of consideration. Second, the group fails to reexamine the course of action initially preferred by the majority after they learn of risks and drawbacks they had not considered originally. Third, the members spend little or no time discussing whether there are nonobvious gains they may have overlooked or ways of reducing the seemingly prohibitive costs that made rejected alternatives appear undesirable to them. Fourth, members make little or no attempt to obtain information from experts within their own organizations who might be able to supply more precise estimates of potential losses and gains.
Fifth, members show positive interest in facts and opinions that support their preferred policy; they tend to ignore facts and opinions that do not. Sixth, members spend little time deliberating about how the chosen policy might be hindered by bureaucratic inertia, sabotaged by political opponents, or temporarily derailed by common accidents. Consequently, they fail to work out contingency plans to cope with foreseeable set backs that could endanger the overall success of their chosen course. Support. The search for an explanation of why groupthink occurs has led me through a quagmire of complicated theoretical issues in the murky area of human motivation. My belief, based on recent social psychological research, is that we can best understand the various symptoms of groupthink as a mutual effort among the group members to maintain self-esteem and emotional equanimity by providing social support to each other, especially at times when they share responsibility for making vital decisions … Pride. Shared illusions of invulnerability, for example, can reduce anxiety about taking risks. Rationalizations help members believe that the risks are really not so bad after all. The assumption of inherent morality helps the members to avoid feelings of shame or guilt. Negative stereotypes function as stress-reducing devices to enhance a sense of moral righteousness as well as pride in a lofty mission. The mutual enhancement of self-esteem and morale may have functional value in enabling the members to maintain their capacity to take action, but it has maladaptive consequences insofar as concurrence-seeking tendencies interfere with critical, rational capacities and lead to serious errors of judgment.
5. Raţionalitatea în organizaţii
Organizaţia modernă. O primă definiţie
Organizaţia ca întreprindere este structura socială în care indivizii produc şi gestionează, într-o activitate continuă, utilităţi. Ca structură socială, organizaţia este un complex de relaţii care acoperă următoarea gamă de relaţii: social-politice – raporturile dintre întreprindere şi contextul general sunt definitorii pentru direcţia generală de evoluţie economică (politici economice, cultură politică şi economică la nivelul clasei politice, al antreprenorilor şi al populaţiei); macroeconomice – privind relaţiile ce se stabilesc între diferite întreprinderi în cadrul economiei naţionale, chestiune exprimată sintetic prin noţiunea de competitivitate naţională; microeconomice – la nivelul întreprinderii ca actor individual, în ceea ce priveşte optimizarea relaţiilor dintre diferitele compartimente de producţie şi în raport cu cererea, chestiuni dezbătute prin triada părăsire-protestloialitate; psihosociologice – privind fundamentul motivaţional al relaţiilor de muncă, problematică acoperită de psihosociologia organizaţiilor morale – nu în ultimul rând întreprinderea este locul unde individul se relaţionează cu aproapele său, constituind infrastructurii solidarităţii sociale pentru restul societăţii.
Organizaţia este o grupare cu scopuri formale. Organizaţia este un sistem structurat de acţiune economică continuă, în raport cu scopuri stabilite formal (scris şi impersonal). Dincolo de aceste aspecte generale, întreprinderea „este o categorie tehnică ce se referă la continuitatea interdependenţelor dintre anumite tipuri de servicii, între ele însele şi cu mijloacele de producţie. Opusul conceptului [de întreprindere] îl reprezintă fie acţiunea intermitentă, fie acţiunea care este în sine discontinuă (cum este cazul unei gospodării domestice)”» (Weber, vol.I, p.116). Acţiunea economică este autonomă şi este orientată spre raţionalizarea capitalului. (Weber, Weber, vol.I, p. 63). În cadrul acesteia indivizii sunt structuraţi într-o ordine formală (birocratică), în jurul unei culturi corporative specifice organizaţiei în cauză (care se constituie în maxime – cod comportamental). Organizaţia ca interacţiune socială Organizaţia este un proces constant de interacţiune socială într-un cadru formal (şi el definit ca urmare a unor prime interacţiuni sociale şi care poate fi modificat ca urmare a interacţiunilor sociale). Acţiunea socială se află la ―originea‖ organizaţiei sociale.
Acţiunea socială se referă la actul social conştientizat de fiecare dintre partenerii sociali. Fiecare organizaţie este, din acest punct de vedere, o reţea mai mult sau mai puţin ordonată (stratificată/ierarhizată) de înţelesuri subiective. Acţiunea socială poate fi orientată: 1. raţional instrumental, pe calcul 2. raţional după valoare 3. raţional după tradiţie la limită raţional atunci când este afectiv-emoţional. Vom observa însă că afectivitatea dublează mai întotdeauna decizia raţională, adesea o anticipează şi este prima componentă în reacţia umană.
Raţionalitatea în organizaţii
Raţionalitatea este capacitatea de a distinge dintre scopuri şi mijloace şi capacitatea de a scala scopurile şi mijloacele unele în raport faţă de altele. Raţionalitatea care pune accent pe calculabilitate, adică pe cântărirea constantă a scopurilor în raport cu mijloacele se numeşte raţionalitate instrumentală şi stă la baza oricărei organizaţii de tip capitalist modern. Raţionalitate formală şi raţionalitate substanţială - ―Substantive rationality involves the choice of means to ends guided by some broader set of human values.‖ (Ritzer, 179) ―In formal rationality, the best means to an end is chosen on the basis of universally agreed-upon rules, regulations, and laws.‖ (Ritzer, 181)
The ‗substantive rationality‘ … is the degree to which the provisioning of given groups of persons … with goods is shaped by economically oriented social action under some criterion (past, present, or potential) of ultimate values …, regardless of the nature of these ends.‖ ―A system of economic activity will be called ‗formally‘ rational according to the degree in which the provision of needs, which is essential to every rational economy, is capable of being expressed in numerical, calculable terms, and is so expressed.‖ (Weber, I, 85) Din studiile recente reiese că profesia este erodată de creşterea dincolo de un anumit prag al rolului raţionalităţii formale în detrimentul raţionalităţii substanţiale. ―Sediul‖ raţionalităţii substanţiale este corpul profesional. ―Sediul‖ raţionalităţii formale este marea corporaţie. Raţionalitatea substanţială defineşte acţiunea socială în termenii eticii (competenţei) profesionale. Raţionalitatea formală defineşte acţiunea în termenii eficienţei capitalului.
Trăsăturile birocraţiei moderne (Max Weber)
Trăsăturile birocraţiei constituie aspectul formal al organizaţiilor, faţă de cel informal – al inter-subiectivităţilor dinăuntrul structurii acestora. Iată mai jos caracteristicile formale clasice ale organizaţiilor, aşa cum au fost ele postulate de Max Weber (cf. Weber, vol.I, p. 220): 1. Angajaţii sunt liberi ca persoane şi se supun autorităţii numai în legătură cu obligaţiile lor de serviciu, care au un caracter impersonal. 2. Funcţiile sunt foarte clar ierarhizate. 3. Fiecare funcţie are o sferă de competenţă precis şi legal delimitată. 4. Selecţia angajaţilor se face conform cu abilităţile acestora; aceştia sunt numiţi în funcţii, şi nu aleşi. 5. Remuneraţia muncii prestate se face prin salariu, conform cu poziţia în ierarhie şi cu responsabilităţile aferente. 6. Slujba în cadrul organizaţiei este unica sursă de venit sau, cel puţin, deţine cea mai importantă pondere în veniturile personale. 7. Angajaţii au deschisă posibilitatea unei cariere în cadrul organizaţiei. Promovarea în ierarhia acesteia depinde de aprecierea superiorilor. 8. Membrii organizaţiei sunt supuşi unei discipline şi unui control stricte cu privire la conduita lor în raport cu poziţia (funcţia) ce o deţin. Administraţia birocratică modernă, caracterizată mai sus, posedă elemente deosebit de utile necesităţilor de raţionalizare ale capitalismului modern: precizie în execuţie, disciplină, rezistenţă, stabilitate – toate decurgând în special din caracterul formal, riguros structurat, loialitatea cultivată şi recompensată prin salariu etc.; aceste calităţi sunt extrem de importante în special în raport cu nevoia de predicţie şi planificare a acţiunilor de către agentul capitalului modern.
6. Raţionalitatea şi Organizaţiile moderne (I). Eficienţa socială şi Eficienţa capitalului
Raţionalitatea formală şi Raţionalitatea substanţială
Comportamentul în organizaţii şi structura organizaţiilor ―stau‖ pe două tipuri mari de raţionalitate: raţionalitatea formală şi raţionalitatea substanţială, adică pe sisteme de organizare universaliste şi, respectiv, pe raţionalitatea culturilor locale. Logica capitalului se întâlneşte în orice organizaţie cu sociologica popoarelor, grupurilor locale, adică cu raţionalitatea substanţială. Raţionalitatea formală (Ritzer). Definiţie Raţionalitatea formală se referă la logica sistemelor capitaliste raţionale. Raţionalitatea formală este prin excelenţă birocratică. ―In formal rationality, the best means to an end is chosen on the basis of universally agreed-upon rules, regulations, and laws.‖ (Ritzer: 2001, 181) Mecanismul prin care se produc aceste alegeri constante se numeşte birocraţie. ―The term ‗formal rationality of economic action‘ will be used to designate the extent of quantitative calculation or accounting which is technically possible and which is actually applied.‖ (Weber: 1978, I, 85) ―A system of economic activity will be called ‗formally‘ rational according to the degree in which the provision of needs, which is essential to every rational economy, is capable of being expressed in numerical, calculable terms, and is so expressed.‖ (ibidem). Raţionalitatea formală este caracterizată prin: Alegerea celor mai bune mijloace în raport cu scopurile organizaţiei. Este orientată către un scop. Se întemeiază pe reguli universaliste (considerate universale de către capitalul raţional şi impuse ca normă de organizare peste tot unde capitalul are interese). Aceste reguli cuprind atât norme interne de structurare a organizaţiei cât şi aparatul legislativ al statelor unde activează. Centrul structural al organizaţiei este aparatul birocratic, centrat pe salariu, ierarhie, carieră, competenţă, loialitate. Mecanismul birocratic este ―sediul‖ raţionalităţii formale, aici se produc calculele cantitative şi tot de aici porneşte aplicarea lor pentru eficienţa capitalului. Limbajul raţionalităţii formale este numeric. Rezultă că realitatea astfel raţionalizată este inevitabil limitată şi că logica capitalismului nu coincide întotdeauna cu logica societăţii (care este mai mult decât numerică). Raţionalitatea substanţială Raţionalitatea substanţială este componenta subiectivă a organizaţiei. Ea se asociază cu raţionalitatea formală sau poate intra în coliziune cu aceasta. Raţionalitatea substanţială este determinată cultural.
Organizaţia de succes este aceea în care raţionalitatea formală este potenţată de raţionalitatea substanţială. ―Substantive rationality involves the choice of means to ends guided by some broader set of human values.‖ (Ritzer: 2001, 178) ―The ‗substantive rationality‘ … is the degree to which the provisioning of given groups of persons … with goods is shaped by economically oriented social action under some criterion (past, present, or potential) of ultimate values …, regardless of the nature of these ends.‖ ―It conveys only one element common to all ‗substantive‘ analysis: namely that they do not restrict themselves to note the purely formal and (relatively) unambiguous fact that action is based on «goal oriented» rational calculation with the technically most adequate available methods, but apply certain criteria of ultimate ends, whether they be ethical, political, utilitarian, hedonistic …‖ (Weber: 1978, I, 85, emphasis added.) Oamenii aleg între mijloace în raport cu un scop şi pe alte criterii decât cele ale raţionalităţii formale, universale, orientată către scop prin calcul. Aceste criterii se numesc valori şi direcţionează viaţa dincolo de interesele capitalului. Adesea aceste valori sunt ultime, adică au valoare religioasă.
Problemele raţionalizării formale. McDonaldizarea societăţii
Andy Warhol Campbel’s soup
George Ritzer şi alţi autori consideră că extinderea raţionalităţii formale dincolo de cadrele organizaţiei conduc la alienarea societăţii şi a organizaţiei însăşi.
În acelaşi timp, această deraţionalizare este un proces natural ce ţine de expansiunea organizaţiei aflată în dezvoltare. Procesul are loc începând cu anii 60 ai secolului XX si continuă şi astăzi. Definiţia McDonaldizării ―… [The] process I call McDonaldization, that is, the process by which the principles of the fast-food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of American society as well as of the rest of the world.‖ (Ritzer: 2001, 198) (MacDonaldizarea este procesul prin care principiile restaurantului de tip fastfood ajung să domine sectoarele societăţii americane ca şi lumea în ansamblu.) Principalele trăsături ale hiperraţionalizării de tip McDonald’s sunt următoarele: Centrarea obsesivă a organizaţiei pe eficienţă. Calculabilitatea dusă la extrem, până acolo unde calitatea este înlocuită de cantitate după principiul ―low time, low cost‖. Predictibilitate ca uniformizare – prin anularea caracteristicilor locale. Instituirea controlului cvasitotal asupra omului – client sau forţă de muncă de către procesele tehnologice. Hiperraţionalizarea – Eficienţa Eficienţa se referă la cea mai bună metodă de a ajunge de la un punct la altul. Exagerarea criteriului eficienţă în raport cu capitalul – prin hiperraţionalizare conduce la reducerea motivaţiilor şi aptitudinilor muncitorilor şi a consumatorilor la o paletă restrânsă de scopuri organizaţionale. Aşa de pildă, criteriul de eficienţă de tip McDonalds se referă la identificarea ―celor mai bune mijloace de a transforma un client din starea de flămând în starea de sătul‖ (Ritzer, 198) Hiperraţionalizarea – Calculabilitatea Calculabilitatea este centrată în sistemele hiperraţionale pe: ―Quantity has become equivalent to quality; a lot of something, or the quick delivery of it, means it must be good.‖ (Ritzer, 199) La nivelul clientului cantitatea ca şi calitate înseamnă ―alinierea‖ şi construirea ambientului încât acesta ―să facă cât mai repede loc altui client‖, chiar dacă această încurajare este subtilă, desfăşurându-se într-un cadru plăcut şi strălucitor. La nivelul forţei de muncă, cantitatea ca şi calitate conduce la politici salariale joase, la subremunerare şi la angajarea unor persoane cu abilităţi minimale. Hiperraţionalizarea – Predictibilitatea Predictibilitatea comportamentului organizaţiei indiferent de localizarea serviciilor sale asigură clientela de servicii similare. În ceea ce priveşte forţa de muncă, aceasta funcţionează după criterii foarte clare, comportamentul acesteia fiind adesea restrâns la manifestări prescriptive. Muncitorul este redus la o serie de acte pe care trebuie să le realizeze. Scopul este
eficienţa: ―This scripted behavior helps create highly predictable interactions between workers and customers.‖ (Ritzer: 200) Comportamentul lucrătorului este prin excelenţă rutinizat, inclusiv la nivelul inovaţiei: ―«McDonald‘s pioneered the routinization of interactive service work and remains an exemplar of extreme standardization. Innovation is not discouraged … at least among managers and franchisees. Ironically, though, ‗the object is to look for new, innovative ways to create and experience that is exactly the same no matter what McDonald‘s you walk into, no matter where it is in the world‘.»‖ [Robin Leidner, Fast food, fast talk: service work and the routinization of everyday life. Berkeley, University of California Press, 1993, p.82] – apud Ritzer: 200. Hiperraţionalizarea – Controlul Hiperraţionalizarea este răspunzătoare de introducerea tehnologiilor care controlează omul. Motivul pentru care s-au introdus astfel de tehnologii este eficienţa în condiţiile unei producţii orientate către cantitate. Omul face greşeli. În condiţiile unei producţii masive nu este loc pentru greşeală, care ar da peste cap lanţul productiv într-un punct sau altul şi deci timing-ul producţiei: ―The people who eat in fast-food restaurants are controlled, albeit (usually) subtly. Lines, limited menus, few options, and uncomfortable seats all lead diners to do what management wishes them to do: eat quickly and leave. Further, the drive-through … window leads diners to leave before they eat. The people who work in McDonaldized organizations are also controlled to a high degree, usually more blatantly and directly than customers. They are trained to do a limited number of things in precisely the way they are told to do them. The technologies used and the way the organization is set up reinforce this control. McDonald‘s also controls employees by threatening to use, and ultimately using, nonhuman technology to replace human workers.‖ (Ritzer: 200-201) Implicaţiile sociale ale hiperraţionalizării (ale McDonaldizării organizaţiilor şi societăţilor: Jameson) Exagerarea aspectului material al vieţii sociale. Superficializarea relaţiei sociale. Relaţia socială pierde componentele înţelesurilor reale datorită eficientizării exagerate (exagerării raţionalităţii formale). Lucrurile devin kitch. Inclusiv produsele. Lumea nu mai mănâncă pui la McDonalds, ci McNugget (calitatea se transformă în cantitate). Atrofierea componentei afectiv-emoţionale din relaţia socială. Aceasta se produce prin fragmentarea relaţionărilor în aşa fel încât omul nu mai vede sensul lucrurilor şi devine detaşat de ele. Datorită detaşării apare un straniu sentiment de mulţumire. Deşi grăbită şi îngrămădită la coadă, lumea e mulţumită la McDonalds. Fenomenul este numit ―free floating effect‖- o stranie satisfacţie în nemulţumire privind propria lor condiţie, pe care unii clienţi o resimt.
Sistemele hiperraţionalizate sunt sisteme ascunse şi sentimentul de frustrare nu poate fi direcţionat către o ţintă anume. Pierderea înţelesurilor şi sensurilor generale asupra lucrurilor este o altă consecinţă a hiperraţionalizării. Atât la nivelul lucrătorilor cât şi la nivelul clienţilor, realitatea se transformă în pastişe. „Not being able to know the past has led to the «random cannibalization of all styles of the past» and the creation of what postmodernists call pastiches. ... [People] must be satisfied with creating pastiches, or hodgepodges of ideas, sometimes contradictory and confused, about the past. Further, there is no clear sense of historical development, of time passing, in the postmodern world. … This inability to distinguish between past, present, and future shows up at the individual level in a kind of schizophrenia. For the postmodern individual, events are fragmented and discontinuous.‖ (apud Ritzer: 212) Sistemele hiperraţionale tind să fie mai puţin productive cât mai ales reproductive, centrate pe reproducerea unor obiecte de succes (după ce au avut grijă să creeze nişa acelui succes). Ceea ce antrenează uniformizarea gusturilor şi a aspiraţiilor – în esenţă despiritualizează. (Jameson apud Ritzer: 212).
7. Raţionalitatea şi Organizaţiile moderne (II) Profesionalizare şi Deprofesionalizare
Profesia şi Raţionalitatea
Ne amintim că : „Profesia este o formă de ocupaţie cu un statut ridicat, întemeiată pe cunoaştere, caracterizată de (1) cunoaştere specializată şi abstractă, (2) autonomie [socială], (3) autoritate faţă de beneficiar şi grupările ocupaţionale subordonate, (4) un anumit grad de altruism.‖ (Randy Hodson, Teresa Sullivan, The Social Organization of Work, Wadsworth, 1995, p.288) Introducem acum o nouă definiţie a profesiei, din perspectiva puterii sociale ataşate acesteia: “[Profession is] an occupation that has had the power to have undergone a developmental process enabling it to acquire, or convince significant others (for example, clients, the law) that it has acquired a constellation of characteristics we have come to accept as denoting a profession.” (Ritzer: 2001, 185) Profesia ca putere socială constă în: - puterea organizaţiei ca organizaţie profesională; - din punct de vedere strict profesional în abilităţile ocupaţionale specifice şi în percepţia acestor abilităţi la nivelul public (influenţa lor socială). În acest context, întreprinderea economică are două componente: - aspectul profesional - aspectul preocupării pentru eficienţa capitalului, şi două tipuri de raţionalităţi concomitente: raţionalitatea substanţială – al cărei vector este organizaţia profesională, care are ca preocupare valoarea profesională raţionalitatea formală – al cărei vector este structura birocratică preocupată (care monitorizează) realizarea ţintei de eficienţă (profit). Lipsa de suprapunere între cele două componente generează deprofesionalizare. Cu alte cuvinte, în întreprinderea poate acţiona eficient în condiţiile pieţei deprofesionalizându-şi personalul. Acest proces nu se va putea opri, teoretic, decât atunci când întreprinderea va întâlni pe piaţă un competitor care pune accent pe eficienţa capitalului mizând pe profesionalismul angajaţilor şi pe rolul social al profesiei.
Raţionalitatea formală: ţintele de profit
Raţionalitatea substanţială: valorile profesiei Componenta profesională
Componenta de eficienţă a capitalului
Întrepătrunderea dintre raţionalitatea formală (imperativul de eficienţă al capitalului) şi raţionalitatea profesională (imperativele profesionale) în cadrul întreprinderii moderne.
Rolul social al întreprinderii Sunt aici două aspecte, şi anume: 1. Maniera în care întreprinderea interacţionează cu mediul din care extrage resurse (naturale sau de altă natură); 2. Modul în care întreprinderea se integrează în reţeaua socială. Conduita specializată prin care întreprinderea se relaţionează cu spaţiul social, este profesia.
În esenţă, prin deprofesionalizare înţelegem pierderea recunoaşterii şi influenţei sociale, în planul întreprinderii şi mai apoi în planul social, urmată de pierderea abilităţilor asociate cu ocupaţia respectivă. Deprofesionalizarea se produce prin: - scăderea autonomiei profesionale - mutarea autorităţii dinspre profesie înspre aparatul birocratic - raţionalizarea birocratică - creşterea dependenţei profesiei de tehnologii tot mai scumpe şi mai sofisticate Factorul cost în cadrul noilor tehnologii este unul dintre cei mai importanţi. Cu costul tehnologiilor este mai mare cu atât se restrânge puterea de a le cumpăra la marile organizaţii care acţionează după logica formală a birocraţiilor.
Câteva exemplificări din domeniul medical Accentul pus de marile structuri organizaţionale pe eficienţa financiară au antrenat un proces de scădere a „puterii sociale‖ a corpului medical, şi deci de deprofesionalizare a acestuia: ―The third-party payer‘s formally rational emphasis on money comes into conflict with the physician‘s substantive rational altruistic interest (at least, ideal typically) in the patient.‖ (Ritzer: 188) ―In addition to being a threat to professionalization in itself, advancing technology is linked to many of the other forces serving to deprofessionalize medicine. The paradigmatic physician on his/her own in private practice is not able to afford to own most of the advanced technologies that are sweeping the filed. It is the capitalist enterprises and the large bureaucracies that are able to afford these technologies. In this way, the dependence on technology is linked to the bureaucratization and capitalization of medicine.‖ (idem)
8. Fundamental concepts (I): Personality, Motivation, Attitudes.
Personality represents a stable set of characteristics and tendencies that determine commonalities and differences in the behavior of people. (Gibson et all, p.492) The main psychological components of personality are motivation and attitude. We will discuss this topic right away. Personality is at the core of the individual and the social life itself. A more subtle and complex definition of personality involves the ―I‖ [eul] and the ―me‖ [minele]. In this respect, personality is the whole reaction of the Self towards the reflection of the others in the individual‘s conscience: ―The «me» represents a definite organization of the community there in our own attitudes, and calling for a response, but the response that takes place is something that just happens [the «I» - nota Radu B.]. … The «I» both calls out the «me» and responds to it. Taken together they constitute a personality as it appears in social experience. The self is essentially a social process going on with these two distinguishable phases. If it did not have these two phases there could not be conscious responsibility, and there would be nothing novel in experience.‖ (George Herbert Mead, 178) The I is the reaction as self-perceived experience of the individual towards an act against another person. That is, the I is an accomplished social action towards another in two stages: reflecting the other inside the consciousness and acting toward the other. The me is that part of the others, the individual is aware of and willing to assume. The self is the organization of individual‘s attitudes toward the social context. (cf. G. Mead: 91, 175) From this point of view, personality is the product of a continuous social interaction. Organizations and work are the major players in which personality is continuously forged. That is, people and organizations share together the responsibility towards the very identity of the individual. Personality is integrated within social life in two ways: in the framework of the traditional ties with the surrounding social life, i.e. inside primary groups (family, friends etc.), and secondly, in the framework of the professional ties, including the years of apprentice and mastering of the personal skills at school and with training facilities (including work). We may say that personality belongs to a
social context with two components: the community of in-group (i.e. the group which defines ―we‖ or ―us‖) and the working community. We must emphasize that the working community can fulfill, at least partially, and the organizational techniques are aiming to achieve this as a goal, the need of the individual to define himself inside an in-group. Personality and the direction of our lives. Three axioms of our behavior ―All human behaviour has a cause, which itself is the consequence of the combined effects of heredity and environment. At the root of human behaviour are needs, or wants or motives. Need is the term usually employed … Human behaviour is goal-seeking; people try to achieve objectives or goals which, when reached, will satisfy their needs. For example, food will satisfy the hunger need.‖ (Graham, p.62)
Motivation is also at the core of the human component of the Organizational behavior. It triggers, initiates and directs our behavior. We know that people are making products. In order to making products, people get organized. Organizing means leading, and leading means motivating people. Making a product requires a functional division of labor, that is, followers of at least a job description if not an idea. Both the simpler job description and the more complicated designing of ideas requires motivation to follow rules, old or new ones. Motivation and Meaning Motivation is not possible without meaning. Meaning is the framework of motivation. Humans do not congregate and do not make things together without a meaning. Meaning has two main functions: it integrates people one another in the broader network of social exchange, i.e. communication, emotional and symbolic and material exchanges – keeping together means social exchange; secondly it assures the logical appearance of the human behavior toward our own consciousness – humans are logical beings, even if that logic is not consistent with the Aristotelian logic or the math logic – people are always trying to explain for themselves and for the others the reason of their acts. Motivation makes sense of our lives. Definitions of Motivation ―Motivation is the concept we use when we describe the forces acting on or within an individual to initiate and direct behavior‖. (Gibson et all., p.126) ―An employee‘s motivation to work consists of all the drives, forces and influences – conscious or unconscious – that cause the employee to want to achieve certain aims.‖ (Graham, p.60)
Motivating People. Job satisfaction In order to be productive, the organization must motivate people. Motivation is directly related to job satisfaction. If there is job satisfaction, the individual will be motivated to work further. Job satisfaction is a mental state in which the individual perceives himself as being represented by the work he is doing. At its finest level, job satisfaction provides a spiritual pleasure even during moments of physical and psychological hardship. Job satisfaction depends on the individual‘s needs and expectations – the level of expectations: material, spiritual etc., on the nature of the job – if there is room for a particular need to be fulfilled doing that particular set of tasks, and job satisfaction depends on the broader social context of the organization – if organization emphasize or not people‘s development, the pattern and level of the social exchange within the team work and other compartments of the organization. Further on, job satisfaction is need conditioned. People will seek satisfaction according to their needs: ―From the employee‘s point of view, work brings many kinds of rewards: money, friendship, status and achievement among others. In some circumstances working harder may increase these rewards, in others it may reduce them. Status and achievement, which might be expected to favour higher productivity, are needs which have little appeal to some employees, or are needs which they do not expect to satisfy at work. It is quite possible for employees to work hard in jobs they dislike because they fear dismissal, are attracted by a high level of pay, or simply find hard work the best way of making the time go quickly.‖ (Graham: 74) Despite this fragility of predicting the proper needs of the labour force inside the organization without a proper entrance questionnaire and other human resources techniques, the easiest part to motivate people is to keep the door open towards career fulfilment – remember the Weber‘s principles of modern bureaucratic organizations. Career means not only more money, but a new level of knowledge and the social recognition of this knowledge, general needs for most of the people. Besides these general, yet very important aspects of motivating people, there are also specific needs the management should be aware of. What psychological type is our worker? How he responds to stress? How he or she relates to others? What is his general social condition – what about his family? Etc. These and other questions addresses more direct to the short and medium term needs of the employees. Job satisfaction, moral involvement and productivity Job satisfaction is a consistent predictor of productivity. In order to achieve a proper relationship between job satisfaction and productivity, especially for highly crafted jobs, the worker must feel himself morally involved in the task. Work
action must be related somehow to an ideal of life. A third ingredient for job satisfaction of higher skilled workers is loyalty towards their profession and, secondly, toward work (Graham: 74). Job satisfaction is a prescription of the substantive rationality. Substantive rationality is at the core of the people with professional awareness. Broad classification for motivation to work Mullins distinguish three basic motivational categories: ―economic rewards‖, ―intrinsic satisfaction‖, and ―social relationships‖ related to work. These motivational categories are also job satisfaction determinants. Economic rewards are related to material recognition for work, i.e. salary, pension rights and other financial and material rewards. Intrinsic satisfaction is a key component against alienation of people towards work. People are to be satisfied with the work in itself in order to be motivated. Intrinsic satisfaction is related to the self. Social relationships are the relational component of motivation. The workplace must be at least a liveable place if not a loveable one in order to make work possible. Besides, work provides visibility for those outside the workplace, that is, social status. We know that work is a complex scheme of producing utilities via social exchange, i.e. social relationships. (Mullins, p.407)
Alienation is a basic sociological concept developed by Karl Marx, in the XIXth century in his major work Capital, vol I, first published in 1887. Alienation means estrangement and separation from work, including the worker himself and the society at large – in the worst cases. The phenomenon is the result of work becoming a commodity with the further consequence that the human worker is becoming a simple commodity, too. ―One consequence of the peculiar nature of labour-power as a commodity is, that its use-value does not, on the conclusion of the contract between the buyer and seller, immediately pass into the hands of the former. Its value, like that of every other commodity, is already fixed before it goes into circulation, since a definite quantity of social labour has been spent upon it; but its use-value consists in the subsequent exercise of its force. The alienation of labour-power and its actual appropriation by the buyer, its employment as a use-value, are separated by an interval of time.‖ (Marx, Capital, vol I, Par II, Chapter Six) Alienation has associated the psychological state of unhappiness. Alienation is the worker‘s sentiment of the loss of control over/from: a) the product of its own work – the individual lost the signification of its own work since this is easily appropriated by ―the capital‖; b) the production process – the worker has no control over production including their own working operations; c) other people and society at large – all the people are now marketable goods not humans, each of them becoming simple economic values;
d) himself, from worker‘s human nature – ―The worker‘s labor has become a commodity, and the worker has no opportunity to develop personal potential as a human being; the worker cannot self-actualize‖. (Ramona Ford: 84) Alienation can have serious implications over the economic organization and society. Until now, the modern enterprise kept under control the phenomena using modern management techniques. The modern worker has access to his own production because his or her work is largely recognized by a good salary, relatively high social esteem and other benefits.
Frustration is the psychological state of a person if his or her motivational driving force ―is blocked before reaching a desired goal‖ (Mullins, p.408). Frustration can be economic, intrinsic satisfaction or social relationships related. Frustration is the feeling of injustice. The three general categories of motivation described above are also the three layers of work dignity and social justice. The economic reward assures the material background for further development of the individual and for the society. Intrinsic satisfaction assures the link between work and personal values and social relationship is the moral component of work (the work place as a community). Frustration has a positive side when the individual try to solve the problem, working around the obstacle, even finding an alternate goal. The alternative is not always a solution since it may triggers an altered psychological state called deprivation – the individual is deprived of the satisfaction he or she would have gained if attained the original goal. Frustration has a clear negative side when triggers strong emotional states such as aggression, regression, resignation or fixation. Regression is the reversing of the original behaviour in childish behaviour. Resignation means giving up the original goal, even values, which may lead to an important depletion of personality. Fixation is useless persistence to pursue towards a dead end, it involves some blockage of behaviour, a serious impasse of personality with further bad developments, including aggression etc. Frustration at Work Frustration may occur if: 1. people has no right to choose the pace and methods of work; 2. the work is perceived as being meaningless; 3. inattentive or perception of lack of interest for the individual‘s problem at the level of the management; 4. bad communication, lack of understanding regarding some management decisions which affect the individual worker. (cf. Graham: 66).
―When employees are frustrated at work they may react negatively, their behaviour taking the following forms: Lateness, absence or eventually leaving the company Poor-quality work Unwillingness to take responsibility Quarrels with colleagues, disputes with management Accidents, damage to equipment and products.‖ Reducing frustration ― … the possibility of frustration at work can be reduce in the following ways: (a) Designing jobs to give them greater meaning. (b) Improving selection and training; a person will be more satisfied in jobs for which they are suitable and for which they have been trained. (c) Recognising effort and merit, thus providing satisfaction of higher needs. (d) Improving communications, consultation and disputes procedures so that potential causes of frustration may be identified and removed as far as possible.‖ (Graham: 66-67)
Attitudes and Skills
Definition and components. Attitudes are mental states of readiness for need arousal. That is, attitudes relates to needs, fulfillment of needs, representing needs. Attitudes are also learned predispositions to respond to the variations of the social context. These responses are object oriented. Objects of individual‘s attention are defined through culture, that is, they are also learned. (cf. Feldman: 120) Attitudes are ―silos‖ of launching our behavior. They are predispositions, that is, already oriented sensibilities to catch significations and to respond to those perceived as significant actions. Attitudes are made of values, beliefs, psychological state of acting. Attitude is not merely a psychological state, since values and beliefs are derived from the large culture surpassing the individual, even its present time. More than that, values can be of a special sort, i.e. religious. Values are mental orienting points for behavior. They are defining the desirable for the individual and for the society. Beliefs are the most appreciated values and they are also the acting values. They are close related to ideals, the highest of the values. Attitudes and Motivation Motivation sparks within the special context of readiness. This readiness is called attitude. Most of us have two or three major readiness, for instance some of us are
more leading oriented, others are more supportive or problem solving oriented. Attitude is the ―way we take the thing‖ at first glance, is ―our way‖. In order to have people motivated to do something, you need to encourage them toward the right attitude. The organization cannot spark the motivation (the drive) towards innovation if it has, for instance, a dictatorial management, or a bad salary scheme. In order to assume a certain problem, people must be ready to do that. Functions of Attitudes As we already know, the main function of attitude is to be ready of acting. This readiness is culturally determined. Our readiness to act can direct towards four areas: a. knowledge – (some) people are eager to find out new things. More generally, this level of attitude provides us the drive to understand and interpret the world. b. social expressivity. Attitudes ―enable individuals to indicate to others the values that they hold‖. c. instrumental social exchange d. defense of the ego (Katz apud Mullins: 325). Attitudes and Ethics The right attitude means the right people and the right management. That is, in order that an organization to be innervated by the right attitudes, it must have the right context – that is the right management and good rules and the proper workforce. You can never build an BMW with the textile overexploited work force from an underdeveloped Asian country. Not only people there are undereducated, but misery brings the bad attitudes defined in the culture of poverty complex: material misery brings psychological misery. You have to imagine of BMW not only in terms of having it, but mostly in terms of building it, that is in terms of ethics of work. Ethics means attitude and motivation able to sustain an organized system of higher values towards work, which relate work, the self with social life, even with human destiny. Attitudes are the visible part of an organization, alongside with the material part of it (how imposing is the building, how the nice is the interior, its cleanliness, the technological level etc.). People relate one another, and relate with work via attitudes. Attitudes and Skill There are entry attitudes which are to be detected by the human resources management department to be in line with the formal rationality of the company, and there are post-entry attitudes, that is, secondary attitudes, which show up after
the enrolment with the company. Depending on the skills of the human resources department, the entry attitudes can be the same with the main and most powerful attitude of the people, or just a ―showtime‖ elicited during the employment interview. A well established organization will elicit post-entry attitudes as developments of the already existing ones (better leading skills, better care for others, etc.). The main outcome of attitude is skill. A skillful employee has the right attitude toward its workplace, perhaps even towards its social context and has a good motivation. Skills are abilities to do certain things. Regarding the modern organization, skill means the ability to achieve the task the organization has assigned to the individual. Individuals have already certain level of skill at the entry of the organization, but maintaining and developing it is a matter of motivation and attitude on both sides: the worker and the organization (leadership, mostly the direct supervisors, and the co-workers).
Additional Texts on Personality, Attitudes and Motivation
Culture of Poverty
The text below is from Oscar Lewis, The Culture of Poverty, ―Scientific American‖ (1986), in Richard T. LeGates, Frederic Stout (eds.), The City Reader, Routledge, New York, 1997, p.219-220. Oscar Lewis is a well known urban anthropologist, with very serious field studies in Central America. Reading Lewis‘ text we may realize the main human traits which are not suitable for a modern organization. The drama of people entangled within the net of poverty is that it modifies almost irreparably their minds and souls. In Romania we have some important areas covered by this culture of poverty. There arise serious problems for the business which are willing to establish in those areas. Culture of poverty means, first of all, low attitude towards organized work, because people do not trust any organizational structure outside their slums. And low attitude is intricately related with low hope of a better life.
―The culture of poverty is not just a matter of deprivation or disorganization, a term signifying the absence of something. It is a culture in the traditional anthropological sense in that it provides human beings with a design for living, with a ready-made set of solutions for human problems, and so serves a significant adaptive functions. … It is both an adaptation and reaction of the poor to their marginal position in a class-stratified, highly individuated, capitalistic society.
It represents an effort to cope with feelings of hopelessness and despair that arise from the realization by the members of the marginal communities in these societies of the improbability of their achieving success in terms of the prevailing values and goals. Many of the traits of the culture of poverty can be viewed as local, spontaneous attempts to meet needs not served in the case of the poor by the institutions and agencies of the larger society because the poor are not eligible for such service, cannot afford it or are ignorant and suspicious. Once the culture of poverty has come into existence it tends to perpetuate itself. By the time slum children are 6 or 7 they have usually absorbed the basic attitudes and values of their subculture. 1. The disengagement, 2. the [arrangement and emphasis added] nonintegration of the poor with respect to the major institutions of society is a crucial element in the culture of poverty. It reflects the combined effect of a variety of factors including 3. poverty, to begin with, but also 4. segregation and 5. discrimination, 6. fear, 7. suspicion and 8. apathy and 9. development of alternative institutions and procedures in the slum community. The people do not belong to labor unions or political parties and make little use of banks, hospitals, department stores or museums. 10. Such involvement as there is in the institutions of the larger society – in the jails, the army and the public welfare system / does little to suppress the traits of the culture of poverty. 11. A relief system that barely keeps people alive perpetuates rather than eliminates poverty and the pervading sense of hopelessness. 12. People in a culture of poverty produce little wealth and receive little in return 13. Chronic unemployment and underemployment, 14. low wagers, 15. lack of property, 16. lack of savings, 17. absence of food reserves in the home and 18. chronic shortage of cash imprison the family and the individual in a vicious circle. Thus for lack of cash the slum householder makes frequent purchase of small quantities of food at higher prices. 19. The slum economy turns inward; it shows a high incidence of pawning of personal goods, borrowing at usurious rates of interest, 20. informal credit arrangements among neighbors, 21. use of second hand clothing and furniture. 22. There is awareness of middle-class values. People talk about them and even claim some of them as their own. 23. On the whole, however, they do not live by them. [emphasis added] They will declare that marriage by law, by the church or by both is the ideal form of marriage, but few will marry. For men who have no steady jobs, no property and no prospect of wealth to pass on to their children, 24. who live in the present without expectations of the future, who want to avoid the expense and legal difficulties involved in marriage and divorce, a free union or consensual marriage and divorce, 25. a free union or consensual marriage makes good sense. 26. The women, for their part, will turn down offers of marriage from men who are likely to be 27. immature, punishing and generally unreliable. [emphasis added] …
Comment [R1]: Credit uzurar, camătă, amanet etc.
28. By not giving the fathers of their children legal status as husbands, the women have a stronger claim on the children. 29. They also maintain exclusive rights to their property. 30. Along with disengagement from the larger society, there is a hostility to the basic institutions of what are regarded as the dominant classes. There is hatred of the police, mistrust of government and of those in high positions and a cynicism that extends to the church. 31. The culture of poverty thus holds a certain potential for protest and for entrainment in political movements aimed against the existing order. 32. With its poor housing and overcrowding, the community of the culture of poverty is high in gregariousness, 33. but it has a minimum of organization beyond the nuclear and extended family. … Most primitive peoples have achieved a higher degree of socio-cultural organization than contemporary urban slum dwellers. … 34. The family in the culture of poverty does not cherish childhood as a specially prolonged and protected stage in the life cycle. 35. Initiation into sex come early. 36. With the instability of consensual marriage the family tends to be mother-centered and tied more closely to the mother‘s extended family. 37. The female head of the house is given to authoritarian rule. 38. In spite of much verbal emphasis on family solidarity, sibling rivalry for the limited supply of goods and maternal affection is intense. 39. There is little privacy. 40. The individual who grows up in this culture has a strong feeling of fatalism, 41. helplessness, 42. dependence and inferiority. … Other traits include 43. a high incidence of weak ego structure, 44. orality and confusion of sexual identification, all reflecting 45. maternal deprivation; 46. a strong present-time orientation 47. with relatively little disposition to defer gratification and plan for the future, 48. and a high tolerance of psychological pathology of all kinds. 49. There is widespread belief in male superiority 50. and among the men a strong preoccupation with machismo, their masculinity. 51. Provincial and local in outlook, 52. with little sense of history, 53. these people know only their own neighborhood and their own way of life. 54. Usually they do not have the knowledge, the vision or the ideology to see the similarities between their troubles and those of their counterparts elsewhere in the world. 55. They are not class-conscious, although 56. they are sensitive indeed to symbols of status.‖
9. Fundamental concepts (II): Morale
Introduction to the theoretical background
Organizations are social units. At the core of social bond is morale. Some organizations are even considering that ―morale is one of the most precious elements in a business‖ (RBC: 1). Morale is a rare ingredient in the contemporary scientific discourse. It is taken for granted by most of the psycho-sociological approaches, or ignored altogether, including organizational behavior. Sociology too, does not bother too much with it. Morale is at the core of society says Emile Durkheim, one of the founders of sociology as modern science. ―Morale is whatever provides solidarity‖, says Durkheim. Weber, another giant of classical sociology places religious ethics and exemplarity as sources of morality. Religion and tradition are the main sources of solidarity and the main carriers of solidarity are the elites, shows Weber. Vilfredo Pareto, the great classic of Italian sociology, distinguishes between utility as individual pleasure and utility for the community. The point of maximum utility or happiness an individual can achieve for him is when his happiness starts harming another‘s happiness. The consequence is that, at the general level of society, morality is happiness inside the community, that is, utilities achieved for that community (Pareto: II, 1332, 1334, 1339, 1341). A contemporary sociologist and economist, Albert Hirschman (in Essays in Trespassing, 1984) points out that morality is a very important ingredient of social, economic and political life. Leadership behaves morally when encourages the development of forward and backward economic linkages, i.e. the development of civilization for most of the people. Further on, Hirschman says that moral behaviour is conditioned by the presence or absence of the complex of superiority against their people, coupled with a complex of inferiority towards the West. What is morale? Morale is, briefly stated, ―prosocial behaviour‖ (Feldman: 252) From an organizational point of view, morale is two sided: the first side relates to achieving the goals and the way the job is done; the other side refers to job satisfaction. Morale means ―getting together harmoniously in solving problems‖ and ―the degree to which employee ‗wants‘ are satisfied.‖ (RBC: 3)
Levels of morale behaviour
Morale is organized on multiple layers of social involvement. According to Lawrence Kohlberg, there are three levels of morale. Level 1 – “Preconventional morality” 43
At this level, people are driven by day-to-day interests. Rules are followed only for one‘s own benefit. The main characteristics of behavior are obedience and fear of punishment, together with naïve and hedonistic values. Level 2 – “Conventional morality” Here people perceive themselves as members of society. There is interest on respecting and being respected. People are recognizing authority social good. Good is defined by the social interest not only by the personal interest. Level 3 – “Postconventional morality” Morale means more than integrating in society and pursuing harmoniously various interests. Morale means progress of human race. People at this level are following rules for they are agreed upon and if not good they can be changed. More than that, some people are considering that law must respect some ethical principles in order to be legitimate. (Apud Feldman: 251)
Morale and Organizations. Responsibility
It is very easy to see the link between the levels of morale and behaviour in organizations. One cannot attribute certain jobs to people on level 1 morale or on level 3 either. The key term of this equation is responsibility. At the lowest level the individual barely assumes himself and at the last people have too many expectations (the so-called overqualified worker). On the other hand, responsibility means also professionalism. At a first glance, we would say that most of the personnel must follow the rules and improve them if necessary. It is the task of leadership to harmonize business with the general human goals. On the other hand, more people become thinking of life, of their jobs, of themselves in terms of ethics and harmony. New technologies involve new responsibilities, broader knowledge horizons and new skills. That is, the development of technology is based on morale, on people’s skills and aspirations, expectations and capacity to assume new responsibilities. The development of the modern capitalist enterprise is intricately related to this process. As long as the efficiency of capital is related to the development of new and sophisticated technologies the modern enterprise will be somehow intimately related to the need of self development of people, that is, with morale. There are side effects of this kind of development, based on the increased role of technology. The more the need to increase the organization’s competitiveness on a technological basis, the lesser will be the number of people to be involved in this process. This is one of the reasons of increasing the poverty gap even in powerful societies like the United States, and one of the reasons of increasing tensions across the Globe.
Figure 2. The spiraling relationship between the working people, organization and contextual components of morale - technology, salaries, self-respect, access to market, professionalization
Building the morale
The organizational levels for building the morale inside the organization are the management, the supervising level and the workers. Building the morale is one of the first tasks of the top management. (RBC: 1) The bricks for building the morale are: 1. goals to be shared i. organizational goals: the business firm is not a democratic or debating society, it is a structure designed to bring out profit using human capital. ii. worker‘s needs: it is imperative to deploy a good research on worker‘s needs prior to assign specific tasks 2. common emotionality 3. all people to be seen as developing beings not as inanimate things 4. bidirectional communication: up-down and down-up on the hierarchy information must flow in a functional way. People to be kept informed on all matters concerning them: ―It is a childish, but often damaging, characteristic of people in every supervisory rank to hold back information so as to feed their ego with the thought «I know something you don‘t know» … Once upon a time management‘ maxim was: «Don‘t tell employees anything unless you have to.» Enlightened management of
today says: «Don‘t hold anything back unless there‘s a good reason.»‖(RBC: 4) 5. co-operation to be practiced at every level i. the organization is a team, a network of teams 6. free thinking to be encouraged on: i. getting things done ii. job satisfaction iii. personal security 7. perhaps the first is the personality of the management. 8. top management to deal with people taking care of: i. fairness, ii. listen to people iii. foreseeing the interests of the workers 9. team spirit. Work must be arranged around the concept of team spirit (working together for a common goal) 10. top management to take care of the spirit of the rules besides the letter of the rules 11. supervisors to arrange working conditions in order that i. people use at the highest levels their abilities ii. people to perceive themselves as efficient workers 12. supervisors should not limit their abilities to administer rules 13. supervisors should communicate with the lower levels using i. fairness ii. consistent messages iii. personal involvement We must emphasize that in modern capitalist organizations, in the most industrialized countries, the money are not among the first elements of building the morale. Salary is important mostly as a social reward, a social recognition of the personal involvement and skills. J.A.C. Brown is considering the idea of money as the cornerstone of morale ―so foolish that anyone who seriously holds this opinion is thereby rendered incapable of understanding either industry or the industrial worker.‖ (apud. RBC: 3)
The benefits of morale
Initiative, enterprise and efficiency, are among the most important benefits of the organisational morale. Higher morale makes worker more self confident and better able to assume responsibilities. A worker with high morale will be loyal to the company, and dedicated to its job. An organization with high morale will have a lower turnover rate of employees, less absenteeism, good observation of internal rules, no or little abuse of privileges, less conflicts and strong concern for quality. (cf. RBC: 1) An organization with low morale will ―enjoy‖ lot of breaking points in the pace of production due to internal frictions or bad communication between different
compartments. Low quality and disobedience are common indexes for low morale. Management does not have an open communication with the workers and often uses propaganda and half-truths in dealing with the lower levels.
10. Unsuitable attitudes toward work
There are several situations where people can collide with formal rationality of organizations, with the capital efficiency and rationalizing of work.
The social context and the people: Merton’s adaptation theory
One of the notorious theories of bad work integration is Merton‘s theory on social adaptation. Merton states in his book on Social Theory and Social Structure that people are getting involved in the social world in five possible ways (apud Freda Adler: 112113). The way people understand to adapt to social demands is crucial for the enterprise which is part of the social world. These five ways are: 1. conformity 2. innovation 3. ritualism 4. retreatism 5. rebellion On the overall, the Merton‘s theory is a kind of ―negative‖ theory. Its starting point is that society is put at strain because of the endless tension between social and material expectations of people and the ever reduced means to achieve personal goals as personal fulfillment, material stability etc. People have those five ways in dealing with the social strain or social pressure, between their own aspirations and needs and the availability of social means to achieve them: 1. Conformity. People accept the large social goals and perceive employment in a good company as the way to get to the generally appreciated goals. The higher the status of the job, the higher the payment, the better the situation will be. 2. Innovation. Innovation is not necessarily a ―good case‖ here. Innovative individuals are trying to ―sneak‖ between rules in order to achieve the general goals of welfare and status. ―Sneakers‖ do not have the legitimate means to achieve the desired goals, that is, they do not have the required education, motivation or skill, the only thing they share with common people are the goals to achieve a better social position. 3. Ritualism. Ritualism means ―spiritually dead people‖. Workers and managers embroiled in a ritualistic life have no goals to achieve other than fulfilling as such their daily duties. ―Many workers have been catching a bus every day for 20 years or more. They have long forgotten why, except that their jobs are
where their paychecks come from. Their great relief is 2 – week vacation in the summer.‖ (Freda Adler: 113). Ritualistic people are following the rules without thinking of them. 4. Retreatism. Unlike ritualistic people, retreated people are not able to use institutionalized means, that is, they are not able live in organizations. They knew about the legitimate goals the society has but they have given up pursuing them. They are retreating into alcoholism, drugs and other unreal worlds. It is easy to see that an individual suffering of retreatism is of little use for the modern enterprise, no matter how skilled she or he is or was before his retreat. 5. Rebellion. These people are potential offenders of the law. They are rejecting both the goals and the means to achieve socially accepted goals. Countercultures such as punk or hippy and any other ―cultures‖ against the establishment are characterized by this type of individual. This social type is completely opposed to the goals of a modern enterprise, since the capitalist organization is at the core of the civilized establishment.
The social context and the people: Veblen’s pecuniary emulation
Thorstein Veblen explains social order in more advanced societies as not based on higher ideals and goals but on displaying of wealth. People are never satisfied, they are almost all the time frustrated. The main goal of the individual is to have. Sociality becomes negative (cf. I. Ungureanu: 60). It is not a bonding drive but a force to put people under constant pressure. Possessing distorts the personality which becomes centered on exterior things. At the core of social relationship is the money. Money is honor. Money means possession. The person which has more possessions will be honored. Being based on marketable goods, honor is a very fluid state. The social drive is then reduced to envy. Everybody is envious on anybody. The level were this envy manifests in full power is between neighbors. Neighborhood degrades itself from a congregating force into a boiling social recipient. Everybody is keeping an eye on everybody – mostly on neighbors. Inside the enterprise, teamwork becomes a false stage for hidden goals. And we know that ―hidden‖ inside an organization is the first step towards a weak morale. Competition becomes a personal and constant showdown of acquired status things. In the end, the formal rationality of the modern enterprise is brought to pieces. There is no drive towards work efficiency and personality development. This conclusion can be absurd. Certainly, Veblen‘s theory is not enough to explain the civilized society. The theory has a certain value for explaining those social areas with diminished sociality. Organizations should avoid placing themselves on such grounds.
―The possession of goods, whether acquired aggressively by one's own exertion or passively by transmission through inheritance from others, becomes a conventional basis of reputability. The possession of wealth, which was at the outset valued simply as an evidence of efficiency, becomes, in popular apprehension, itself a meritorious act. Wealth is now itself intrinsically honourable and confers honour on its possessor. … So soon as the possession of property becomes the basis of popular esteem, therefore, it becomes also a requisite to the complacency which we call selfrespect. In any community where goods are held in severalty it is necessary, in order to his own peace of mind, that an individual should possess as large a portion of goods as others with whom he is accustomed to class himself; and it is extremely gratifying to possess something more than others. But as fast as a person makes new acquisitions, and becomes accustomed to the resulting new standard of wealth, the new standard forthwith ceases to afford appreciably greater satisfaction than the earlier standard did. The tendency in any case is constantly to make the present pecuniary standard the point of departure for a fresh increase of wealth; and this in turn gives rise to a new standard of sufficiency and a new pecuniary classification of one's self as compared with one's neighbours. So far as concerns the present question, the end sought by accumulation is to rank high in comparison with the rest of the community in point of pecuniary strength. So long as the comparison is distinctly unfavourable to himself, the normal, average individual will live in chronic dissatisfaction with his present lot; and when he has reached what may be called the normal pecuniary standard of the community, or of his class in the community, this chronic dissatisfaction will give place to a restless straining to place a wider and everwidening pecuniary interval between himself and this average standard. The invidious comparison can never become so favourable to the individual making it that he would not gladly rate himself still higher relatively to his competitors in the struggle for pecuniary reputability.‖ (Thorstein Veblen, The Theory Of The Leisure Class, 1899, Globus Publishing, New York, Berlin 2005, chapter 2, ―Pecuniary Emulation‖)
The theories of Merton and Veblen show us that modern society has constant challengers in itself regarding work efficiency. Work must rely on conformity and inventiveness but these two can be misbehaviors an enterprise should know how to handle and sometimes avoid. On the other hand, Veblen‘s theory assures us that something happened with motivation for work: it is not being better but having more and displaying better that motivates most of today‘s people, shows Veblen. We know that implementing new technologies and some hard tasks requires superior motivation, other than displaying. Of course not all enterprises are facing the challenging of being the forerunners of technology and rationalization of work. But what manager will be satisfied with workers motivated mostly by showing up their belongings and acquisitions?
Human Management considerations on the “unfitted” worker
There are theories which state that humans are mostly limited beings which are acting to precise stimuli. ―The structural contingency theories … find human resources theorists are relying too heavily on one best way of organizing and are unrealistic in their assumption of the ability of most people to rise to a content theory of motivation, that is, to the need for self-actualization.‖ (Ramona Ford: 91). For instance, according to the operant conditioning theory of Skinner, people are only a kind ―reacting beings‖, that is passive and ―waiting for instructions‖, even if this being likes fair play and equity. In order to have a good organized work, Skinner shows that ―managers must first know what rewards their workers seek and how intensely they desire the rewards. Second, managers must clearly spell out what constitutes good performance in each case and what reward must be expected for this achievement. Third, workers must be encouraged to believe that they can actually achieve high performance (the criteria for performance must be realistic). Fourth, the actual reward must be high enough to be worth the effort and must be delivered promptly if high performances is to be reinforced. … [And] above all, employees must have the perception of fairness, or equity, in their situation.‖ (apud Ramona Ford: 97) Another well known theoretician of the diminished sociality within modern organizations is J.C. Brown. His hypothesis on the bad nature of humans is made on the following assumptions: 1. the individual is not able to follow other goals but personal interests; 2. in order that an enterprise to put at work the individual it must assign him tasks closer to his personal interests; 3. the only means an organization has to increase the labor efficiency is to intensify the personal competition among individuals; 4. in the organization each individual is replaceable. Personal interests bring to bear the informal structures in organizations, i.e. structures with certain goals and leaders others than those officially recognized. One of the major implications of these assumptions is that organizations must be flexible enough to tolerate and put at work the informal structures which always arise behind the formal rational structures. (Ungureanu: 97) Ramona Ford, citing from Douglas McGregor‘s theory, considers that structural contingencies theories and others belong to the so-called task centered XTheories. There are also the Y Theories, which assume ―that people are not naturally passive or inherently opposed to the goals of organizations, but that their work experiences may have made them that way.‖ (Ramona Ford: 89). Most of the human resources management and behavior in organizations theories are belonging to the Y theories.
The classification of human management approaches in X and Y theories belongs to Douglas McGregor, in his book, "The Human Side of Enterprise" published in 1960. ―There are similarities between theory X and task-centered on the one hand, and theory Y and people-centered management on the other …. Most employees would no doubt welcome the opportunity to have more control over their work and to put into practice their own ideas. There is undoubtedly a large fund of valuable expertise, experience and originality among employees that is often untapped by management. Unfortunately some jobs are so closely limited, defined and integrated into a complex production process that opportunities to satisfy the higher needs at work are completely absent. … Moreover, there are many employees who do not expect to take responsibility at work and avoid it if they can.‖ (Graham: 34)
The Organisational context and the disadvantages of bureaucracies
Modern enterprise is a well developed bureaucratic structure. The disadvantages of bureaucracy have major impacts over the workers‘ attitudes towards work. These side effects are related to: 1. overcentralizing decision 2. rigidities of communications and decisions 3. ―goals displacement‖ 4. direct side effects on personality of workers The first three adverse effects have indirect implications upon workers‘ attitudes towards work. Overcentralizing and rigid structures are blocking vital communication between management, supervisors and lower-level workers. Goal displacement An interesting side-effect is ―goal displacement‖, when the organization behaves with no precise goal. The management loses the sight of the original goals and workers are acting on prezenteist goals. As a direct outcome, the organization loses efficiency. Leadership is reduced to ―filling up forms‖, that is, to bureaucratic duties. Following the rules becomes a conventional task, the spirit of the rules is dead. Goal displacement is the result of some ―natural‖ process of decaying or misfit of the organization to its context but can also be induced by some pressure groups who want to take over the control of the company. We think this is the case with some important organizations privatized in Romania in the last 15 years. The company starts to lose control over its objectives, behaves inadequately regarding the business environment, starts making debts and when a certain critical point is attained, it is privatized for a dime. Bureaucratization and its effects on the personality of workers
Among dominant effects of bureaucratization, especially of large organizations on working morale are diminished commitment and lack of individual responsibility. Employees, managers and workers are developing a kind of ―exploitative orientation‖ towards the large company – which sometimes means also stealing everything at hand from the company (Ramona Ford: 329). Another major implication is called ritualism. Ritualism refers to both well positioned people and lower positioned workers in the organization. It affects personal implication, morale; it falsifies goals and put extra emphasis on conformity. Ritualism related to people with little perceived career opportunities: individuals will be discouraged to assume tasks, they are becoming fatalists and ready to value only extrinsic rewards (something related to the culture of poverty). Ritualism and low personal power generates paradoxical behaviors like authoritarian attitudes, envy, even sabotage of the other‘s career opportunities. Upwardly mobile workers tend to reduce their behavior to what is expected to be seen in order to achieve their next gradation. These individuals are developing chameleonic behaviors; they are behaving according to the ever changing context in order to please the superiors and other perceived important people and to get by. ―By this self-preservation mechanism some people are lose the innerdirectedness of a basic set of ideas and values socialized into us at an early age, which would make us try to shape our roles to us, rather than vice versa.‖ (Ramona Ford: 332)
11. Job and Career
Definitions and general considerations
Generally, a job is a set of task oriented activities and practices attached to a formal position inside an organization, whose main goal is to provide specific utilities for the organization and life support for the worker. The social action attached to a job is work, that is, the activity of providing utilities peacefully through the functional division of tasks. Career represents a succession of jobs in an ascending order of status and responsibilities. Career is the formal acknowledgement of an individual‘s skills and personality developments. Career has a material, a socio-psychological and thirdly, a moral part. The material component is the salary and the other material benefits to the worker. The socio-psychological component represents the higher status and social appraisal and is closely related with the moral aspect of the job. The moral component is the public acknowledgement of the individual‘s efforts and personal qualities. All of these traits are very important to job satisfaction.
Advantages of career tracks
There are several advantages for organizations and for individuals of following a career. We already know that career is a crucial part of bureaucracy which, in its turn, is at the core of the modern organization. Career is salary based and it follows the skill and personality development of the worker. Career is also the basis for organizational hierarchy which, in turn, is the key point in getting things done. Graham pointed out several advantages for both the individual and the firm: Advantages to the company: (a) ―Individuals might be motivated to work hard in order to further their careers. (b) Employees have definite career targets at which to aim. (c) Workers‘ loyalties to their occupations and / or employing organisations might be enhanced. (d) Employees‘ competence will increase systematically over time. (e) Management succession schemes can be drafted more easily. (f) Career planning can be directly related to the firm‘s performance appraisal and management and management by objectives systems.‖ Advantages to individuals: (a) ―Feelings of security resulting from the likelihood that his or her job opportunities will increase as the person‘s career progresses. (b) Enhanced self-awareness resulting from being forced to analyse personal strengths and weaknesses and the career options available.
(c) Acquisitions of useful experience as the employee selects jobs in organisations, departments, divisions, etc., that will best promote his or her career. (d) Having a tangible long-term objective.‖ (Graham: 58).
Typology of jobs
In the European Union are five main categories of workers. 1. Professional workers: they have undergone a relatively long and hard curriculum in order to become professionals including special training at the workplace. They are the most significant proponents of the subjective rationality since they are subjects of their professional code of ethics. Their loyalties are therefore sometimes divided between their profession and their employer or company. Professional workers are likely to have a good level of job satisfaction and the entrance to profession is limited. Examples of professional workers include doctors, engineers, teachers, lawyers etc. 2. Craftspeople: they are skilled manual workers in practical activities such as building, printing, machinery engineering, who have served an apprenticeship. They share some similarities with the professional workers: they are enjoying a relatively high social prestige since their skills are highly valued and necessary for maintaining almost every piece of machinery and practical activity. Craftspeople are enjoying a good level of job independence for they can easily find a job with another employer. 3. Machine minders and assembly workers: these workers are more manipulative and handling oriented. Their training and skills are limited to a certain number and types of operations. They are less valuable since they tend to loose their skills and abilities over time (with age). It is common that when they change the employer to change their occupation too. Their attitude towards the company and work is more detached. 4. Process workers: their primary task is to monitor automatic processes, such as chemical processes. Process workers are better trained than previous categories (except professionals) since they have to understand the science and technology behind the processes they are monitoring. Their higher qualification and job autonomy is often related to a good level of job satisfaction. 5. White collar workers are closely related to the formerly labeled clerks. They usually have a very good experience with a particular set of tasks with a particular company. Therefore, their skills are not easily transferable to another organization. White collar workers have a good level of job satisfaction when they are able to control their own work and the respective results. They are getting frustrated when their job is reduced to routine and simple clerical duties. Management tends to treat them individually.
Another important typology classifies workers in fully employed, part-time and temporary employed. Part-time and temporary employees are more cost effective for flexible business but on the long run they may have hidden and important costs such as: difficulty in controlling tasks and communication, low morale and weak interpersonal relations.
Improving job performance. Training
Improving job performance can be done on several dimensions as follows: - enrichment, - enlargement, - rotation of jobs. Job enlargement is assigning more tasks to the worker or enlarging the range of the tasks. Job enrichment refers to the expansion of the job‘s content, requiring more skills and responsibilities, in order to allow more autonomy to the worker. Job rotation refers to shifting workers from one task to another. It implies a larger skill basis (even it is not significant) and willingness to change tasks. Job rotation may have a good impact on workers‘ morale especially when highly repetitive tasks are to be changed for other kind of duties. Job rotation is important also because it gives to the worker a better understanding of the context of production. Enhancing the scope of the tasks requires proper training. Training is a widespread method in improving job performance. Training has a double function: to increase the utilization of labor force and to motivate the workers. It is clear that a better trained person, under normal conditions, will use in more efficient ways his or her own skills. It is evident also that a well trained person has a better perception of himself or herself and that this can be related to a better motivation. ―In detail, the gains which it is hoped training will bring are: Greater productivity and quality Less scrap or spoiled work Greater versatility and adaptability to new methods Less need for close supervision Fewer accidents Greater job satisfaction showing itself in lower labour turnover and less absence.‖ (Graham: 283) The side-effects of training refers to the cost effectiveness of it related to time waste during training sessions; another side-effect refers to the potential frustration of the trained people against the unsatisfactory opportunities matching their new expectations. The negative aspect may appear also when the trainee sees no use of the process or perceives it as a punishment or displeasure.
The grid of training is centered on attitudes, skills and knowledge. That is, training can be in attitudes, in skills or in knowledge. Training in attitudes Training in attitudes is trying to accommodate employee‘s attitudes with the purposes of the job. Without proper attitudes the job cannot be carried out. Attitude training can be on or off job. It consists on simulations or actual role playing (T Groups1). The basics in training attitudes is transferring the desired attitude from a model to the trainee, often using emotional carriers such as role playing, obvious/real good examples etc. Training in skill We remember that skills are abilities to do certain things. Regarding the modern organization, skill means the ability to achieve the task the organization has assigned to the individual. Training in skills takes care of several levels of abilities such as: technical, interpersonal, decision-making and informationprocessing. Technical skills are related to the ability of handling physical objects; interpersonal skills relate to the capacity to work within a group; decision-making or decision-taking training takes care of the rapidity and the degree of relevance of decisions and training in information processing refers to ―the discovery and dissemination of information‖ (Graham: 296). Training in knowledge Knowledge is another important component of job. Job means also applying certain knowledge to obtain a certain product. Training in knowledge is almost compulsory in order to properly integrate the worker with the organization. School provides general knowledge, that is, education; training in knowledge at the workplace provides the very knowledge necessary to properly operate specific duties. Coaching, mentoring and formal lectures are basic methods for training in knowledge. Coaching means ―the power of example‖, that is the trainee is put next to a very skilled colleague; coaching is also regular sessions with an experienced manager which is to explain the job and test the knowledge acquired. Mentoring is a more informal approach, where the apprentice is advised and counseled by an older and more experienced fellow worker. There are several layers of knowledge to focus upon such as:
―T-groups are an off-job method (the T stands for training) which has been in vogue in recent decades. The group of trainees (not more than twelve in number) is told that its sole task is to examine and discuss its own behaviour. After a slow and awkward beginning, the group‘s discussion generally becomes somewhat emotional, even heated, with members criticising each other‘s attitudes or indulging in frank self-criticism. Group sessions often continue for several days, and are regarded by some as enjoyable and by others as unpleasant. The purpose of T-group training is partly to bring about a change in attitudes by showing individuals what others think of them, partly to demonstrate the importance of personal behaviour in group processes and partly to improve the social skills of the trainees. This form of training has never been clearly validated; its effects on some individuals have been quite harmful psychologically and many others have found it useless because they have been unable to practise their newly found social skills in an unsympathetic working environment.‖ (Graham: 295-296)
job purpose and procedures background information legal standards equipment interpersonal relations etc.
Total quality management and Jobs
Total quality management is a global system of economic, human resources, sales and technologic policies aimed at constantly improving the quality of the output. ―A firms‘ total quality management (TQM) system comprises all its policies, operational methods and organizational structures concerned with quality management and the continuous improvement of the quality of its output.‖ (Graham: 107) Total Quality Management requires a different design of the job. Workers must better relate each other and to assume responsibilities beyond their immediate tasks. In its turn, management should be prepared to assume a more cooperative attitude, qualities such are cooperation, fairness, facilitation, becoming critical within TQM. Strictly related to working conditions, total quality management is based on job enrichment, teamworking and other job improving techniques. In order to be functional, the TQM requires some basics such as: a) properly trained employees to deal with complex tasks; b) adequate work culture – people must take responsibility, be flexible and have the will to contribute to problem solving c) trust in individual workers to assume responsibilities and take decisions, especially on matters related to quality; d) direct and daily communication; workers should know how their actions are related to quality; e) managers ―should become mentors and facilitators rather than authority figures‖ (ibidem); f) properly appraisal of everyone‘s contributions to quality.
Job description, evaluation and payment
Job description is a general statement regarding the purpose, duties and responsibilities of a specific job. Job description comprises the job title, scope of the job and its place in the hierarchy. Performance assessments are carried out on the basis of job description. Job performance analysis is intended to compare the formal objectives of the company related to that particular job with the actual performance of the job. It has a twofold target: to certify the salary or career trajectory and to assess the overall work
performance and work efficiency in the company. ―Job evaluation is the process of placing jobs in order of their relative worth so that employees may be paid fairly. It is concerned with the demands and conditions of the job and not with the personal qualities of the individual who is occupying the job.‖ (Graham: 185) There are three layers of assessing performance: a) standards of competence – general benchmarks indicating ―what people should be capable of doing in specific workplace situations.‖ b) personal competencies – are the actual individual characteristics involved in the duty; c) occupational competencies – are the outputs levels the individuals are expected to attain. (Graham: 181-182) Job evaluation or performance assessment is strongly related to payment. Payment is the value of work. Its functions are related to daily life support – food and shelter, and more important to status and personal self-fulfillment needs. Perception of payment is strongly related to the sentiments of fairness and justice, and therefore, is at the center of the company‘s morale. The rationale of job evaluation is: (a) ―to make pay administration easier … (b) to harmonise internal rates of pay with those found in other companies (c) to provide a means by which a reasonable rate of pay can be fixed for new or changed jobs within the company (d) to protect the employee from arbitrary decisions by management (e) to justify wage differentials and hence avoid frequent invocations of grievance procedures (f) to facilitate fair promotion systems based on rationally determined job grading structures (each grade should specify all the qualifications and personal attributes needed to occupy a job within that grade).‖ (idem: 185)
Stress at the workplace
Stress is unfortunately a well established companion of the working-place. It is part of a larger set of psychological problems associated to work. Stress is defined by the Health and Safety Commission in Great Britain as "the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them"2. The U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare identified six factors associated to stress: 1. job dissatisfaction 2. low self-esteem 3. occupational pressures 4. continuous and excessive changes in employment
5. conflict or incongruity between job and other aspects of life, mostly between educational status and job status 6. ―jobs that require the worker not to express personal feelings but to hold them within while maintaining a clam, cheerful, controlled exterior.‖ (apud Feldman: 286-287). One particularly causes of stress is bullying. Bullying at work consists of mostly verbal and psychological aggression towards another person but also of physical intimidation. Other behaviors associated to bullying are sexual and age-related harassment, persistent criticism and public ridicule. Bullying is related to poor communication, hiding important information to the bullied person, bad or unfitted assignments and responsibilities, excessively supervision etc. (Graham: 131-132) On the overall, stress is associated to reducing in quality, quantity of the output, bad or low morale and serious illnesses. Stress has spillover effects over families and easily distorts the social relations in general. Stress is seriously damaging the social capital3 which is one of most valuable components of the working organization.
Additional text on Job Evaluation
Some Do's and Don'ts when Interviewing / Evaluating Employees
Have as much privacy as possible Call applicant by name when calling him into the office Ensure the applicant knows your name Greet applicant courteously and sincerely Make the applicant feel that you are pleased with his interest in the position Establish an informal but business like atmosphere Make the applicant feel important Talk to the applicant as though you were the only contact he would ever have with the company Compliment a good employment record Interrupt the conversation to keep interview on track Use active listening Relax and the applicant will relax Keep information given, confidential
The social capital refers to ―those tangible substances that count for most in the daily lives of people: namely good will, fellowship, sympathy, and social intercourse among the individuals and families who make up a social unit.‖ (L.J. Hanifan in Robert Putnam, Bowling Alone. The Collapse and Revival of American Community, Simon & Schuster, 2000, p.19) Social capital is also the social network and the ―associated norms of reciprocity‖ (idem: 21)
Remember the applicant's time is valuable Investigate applicant's work record / performance thoroughly Watch for gaps in work record Check job records and references Use application blanks and other data in planning the interview Make an outline in advance, of the main items of information you want to obtain during the interview Plan the time required for the interview
Interview when worried, upset, ill or under stress Hold an interview in a noisy place Keep applicants waiting unnecessarily Give the impression of being abrupt or harsh Allow outside interruptions Seek information you already have Antagonize the applicant Show emotion at any physical handicap Hurt the applicant's feelings or destroy his faith in himself Forget applicant is sensitive to every word the interviewer speaks Appear to lose interest in the interview Dominate the interview Pry into personal lives Break or delay an appointment Fall into a set pattern of interviewing Waste time on a long interview if the applicant is clearly not suitable Conduct the interview in a haphazard manner
(source: Accel Team, http://www.accel-team.com )
12. Organizations and Work
Organisations and groups are representing a huge and challenging research area. An entire science is studying them: social psychology. Since we are dealing with just an interdisciplinary branch of social theory – behavior in organizations relates with sociology, anthropology, economics, social psychology, we cannot discuss this matter exhaustively. Only some aspects will be treated: from the broader theory – in order to understand the fundamentals, to the closer aspects strictly dealing with behavior in organizations.
Organizations – definitions
―Organizations … are social entities formed for particular purposes. … An organization usually has several goals, some of which may conflict. Second, it is a social entity – o it is composed of people working together in some relatively patterned way to further the organization‘s goals. Third, it has an organizational structure carrying out its activities. o This means that the technology (knowledge, skills, and equipment used to produce the goods or services) has been subdivided into separate tasks that have been coordinated. Fourth, an organization is a distinct entity with an identifiable membership – even if it is a corporation with branches in 120 countries or an association with affiliate chapters in thousands of towns across the country.‖ (Ramona Ford: 321, arrangements and emphasis added). This is a general definition. A closer definition of organizations as capitalist structures is the following: Capitalist enterprises are organized structures oriented towards making profit using rationalized labor or rationalization techniques of labor. These rationalization techniques of labor are technology, proper management of human resources and bureaucratization. Bureaucracy assures the calculability of the capital efficiency. Technology and human resources are subordinated to the formal rationality of bureaucracy. Technology is the tool for enhancing the manpower and, in the same time, is a space of competition, a niche of organizational development. Some companies are making drugs, others aircrafts, others bricks – different products, different markets, different technologies. Economic organizations are living in a broader context, social, cultural and geopolitical. We have already learnt about the globalization, bureaucratization, rationality and hyperrationality, about the human motivational and attitudinal pot (Chapter 1 - Organizational Behavior and Global processes).
Organisational structure refers to the general linkages and relationships that functionally unify technology, people and specific tasks, people to achieve the desired goals of the organization (cf. Ramona Ford: 333).
The role of bureaucracy in organizations. Bureaucracy and Authority We may remember the basic traits of bureaucracy in Chapter 5 – Rationality within organizations. Researchers have stressed the role of bureaucracy in developing the capitalist enterprise, comparing it with the introduction at scale the steam engines: ―The decisive reason for the advance of bureaucratic organization has always been its purely technical superiority over any other form of organization. The fully developed bureaucratic apparatus compares with other organizations exactly as does the machine with the non-mechanical modes of production. Precision, speed, unambiguity, knowledge of the files, continuity, discretion, unity, strict subordination, reduction of friction and of material and personal costs – these are raised to the optimum point in the strictly bureaucratic administration … And as far as complicated tasks are concerned, paid bureaucratic work is not only more precise but, in the last analysis, it is often cheaper than even formally unremunerated honorific service.‖ (Weber: II, 973). Bureaucracy is important because it assures the proper context for capital flowing based on rationalization of work. This is modern capitalism, opposed to political capitalism where capital flowing does not need the support of rationalized work. The basic traits of the modern bureaucracy are the same with those of the market mechanism: precision, speed, unambiguity, knowledge, continuity, discretion … all of these are the characteristics of a highly developed monetary economy based on property and knowledge.
The basic structure of organizations. Social layers and Authority
There are three important social layers regarding organizations: workers, management, owners. The task of workers is to achieve the working goals assigned by management. Some of the workers are bureaucrats. The main task of the bureaucrats is to monitor, to account (including forecasting), using figures and numerical calculations, the concordance between capital efficiency goals and daily working tasks. The task of management is to provide strategic and tactical goals for work in order to achieve capital efficiency. Management is also in charge with rationalizing work. A very important social layer is the lower management strata of supervisors. They are directly related to work and, in the same time, aware of the higher goals of the company.
Another layer is the layer of authority. The main depositors of authority are managers, given their position within the enterprise as general or specific coordinators. Modern workers have authority, too. It is the authority of profession and this authority they share with the management. Authority is transmitted through bureaucratic channels. There are, of course, informal structures, but the entire organizational network, formal and informal is related to bureaucracy. The major difference between formal and informal structures of authority is that formal authority has written rules and must be obeyed, at least by letter if not in spirit. Since Max Weber we know that behavior in organizations is under three types of authority: Traditional Charismatic Legal or rational Traditional authority is based ―on the sanctity of the well established rules‖; charismatic authority is based on ―personality appeals‖ of the leader; legal or rational type of authority is based on formal rationality of the legal perceived rules and on ―the right to issue commands under such legal enacted rules‖ (Weber). In the real world, the structure of authority is a mixture of all these three ―ideal types‖. The organizational structure and the power of managers, even the rights a worker enjoys are based on legal and rational considerations (written rules and codes of behavior, job descriptions, regular assessments, professional background etc.). Tradition has a good record with modern authority and in the market economy: the older the rule and the product, the more prestigious and less questionable they are. Of course, the basic condition for the traditional ingredient to work is its quality and proven efficiency. Charisma is a very important component of the informal side of power and leadership. Without personal charisma social bonding cannot establish. It is a key element to lead an organization and for teamwork.
Organisational culture and Management Style
In general terms, organizational culture ―is the organization personality and way of life‖ (Ramona Ford: 345) More specifically, organizational culture refers to the rationality of achieving organizational goals and to a certain degree the personal goals of those individuals inside the organization. Organisational culture contains formal rationality goals and subjective rationality goals. We remember that formal rationality goals are bureaucratic defined and subjective rationality goals are representing more localized expectations and values (professional, personal, local culture etc.).
Organisational culture overlaps with the dominant management styles. Recall Likert stated the typology of management styles as follows: 1. authoritative 2. human relations 3. participative. (cf. Likert‘s classical book, New Patterns of Management, 1961 apud Ramona Ford: 343) The authoritative managing culture is based on material rewards and on coercive means, only the top management being empowered. There are two subtypes of authoritarian cultures: exploitative and benevolent. The exploitative style is imposing tasks, rules etc. while the benevolent is dominated by the trust of ruler by the ruled – a kind of master-servant relationship. Fear is the commonplace for both subtypes and the means to motivate people are very restricted. The benevolent management style was labeled by Likert paternalistic – ―velvet glove on the iron fist‖. The participative style is based on personal responsibility and teamwork. The organizational structure is flexible and based on cooperation. In order to shape a participative culture and management style, some human resources specialists are considering that four conditions must be met:
―The motivation to work must be fostered by modern principles and techniques, and not by the old system of rewards and threats. Employees must be seen as people who have their own needs, desires and values and their self-worth must be maintained or enhanced. An organization of tightly knit and highly effective work groups must be built up which are committed to achieving the objectives of the organization. Supportive relationships must exist within each work group. These are characterized not by actual support, but by mutual respect.‖ (Accel Team, online paper on Advancing Employee Productivity).
Groups. Working Groups
Groups are assemblies of people which constantly act and interact on the basis of shared values. Common goals, shared values, constant and common action are key elements of groups, in general. Groups are the backbone of substantial rationality in the company. A working group is a relatively tight knit of people based on constant, mutual and functional interaction in reference to specific values and tasks. Constant functional interaction – prescribed or not by formal norms, brings forth psychological reciprocity and value sharing. This is the working group – a task oriented group. The task component relates to producing new outputs from rare resources (that is, economic action). We must note that not always the goals of groups inside a company are the same with the company‘s goals. The
differentiating factor is the norm of the group. Groups are developing their own norms and are defining their own interests.
Groups are of critical importance for a company. As we will see later in this chapter, groups can boost or deadly hinder organizational efficiency. Therefore it is good to know when a group is about to emerge, in what conditions, on what value basis, with what type of informal leadership etc. ―According to B.W. Tuckman, groups develop through four stages as follows: 1. Members learn about each other, about the nature and purpose of the group and the constraints that limit its activities. Group structures, status hierarchies and patterns of interactions are determined. Rules of behaviour are established and individuals tell each other about their perceptions of the group‘s structure and objectives. This stage is sometimes referred to as the «orientation» or «forming» phase. 2. Disputes and power struggles arise. There is internal group conflict, criticism and open questioning of the group‘s goals. This is the «confrontation» or «storming» phase. 3. Conflicts are resolved and a division of work and responsibilities among group members is tentatively implemented. Specializations develop; individual differences are recognized and «who does what» disputes disappear. Group norms emerge. This is the «differentiation» or «norming» phase. 4. Eventually, group productivity increases, there is much collaboration among members and commitment to the group. Individuals value the contributions of their colleagues and accept their idiosyncrasies. A decision-making system acceptable to all the group‘s members is established. People get on with their work. This is the «collaboration» or «performing» phase of the process.‖ (cf. Tuckman apud Graham: 48, 49, original emphasis). Groups always arise inside an organization. Their emergence can be more or less peaceful and in harmony with the formal goals of the company. In order to achieve the proper type of group behavior a proper selection of the personnel is needed. Taking care of the potential informal leaders is another important task for the human management team. The informal leaders can be promoted in formally recognized positions in order to mix the formal objectives with the informal objectives of his group. Then, individual job satisfaction is the next task the management should ensure: achieving the formal goals must be rewarding. Every worker should feel personally responsible even if he or she is part of a recognized work group/team or not.
A brief classification of groups. Vocation
The most common classification of groups is formal/informal and primary/secondary groups. The formal/informal distinction refers to the straightness and openness of the relationships inside. A formal relationship is distant and openly governed by written rules, it is impersonal; an informal group is face to face, with a personal touch, pursued in familiar terms etc. The primary/secondary typology refers to the degree of belonging an individual feels toward his or her group. Primary groups are the social nests each of us has. They are critical for the development of the individual‘s identity. The most important traits of primary groups are mutual support, face-to-face interaction and intimacy. Secondary groups are similar to the formal groups, with little mutual understanding and support, and impersonal interactions. Some theorists are merging the characteristics of the informal groups with those of primary groups especially the sense of belonging, identity and self esteem, personal security, stress reduction. R. Sayles in his Behavior of Industrial Work Groups (Wiley, 1958) established four major types of working groups: apathetic, erratic, strategic and conservative (apud. Mullins: 469). The criteria of his classification were based on members‘ cohesiveness/interdependence, group status, level of payment and skills.
Strategic - good production - important to the management - unionized, active, pressure on management - good negation techniques Conservative - mainly individual operations - lower group interaction - strong group identity - professional bodies - ambivalent towards unions
Status & group internal density
Erratic - unpredictable - authoritarian leadership - freq. interaction Apathetic - low morale - no clear leadership - members feels suppressed - easily managed
Skills & payment
Figure 3: Typology of working groups (after Sayles‘ theory on industrial work groups)
The professional or working group has an important role in modern day personal lives. The sense of modern identity is vocational, that is, professionally centered.
Vocation is the link between work and the most intimate needs of the individual, such as personal development. This is why the stronger the primary character of the professional/working group, the better the quality of life of the individual will be.
Role and status
Group life is structured according to various roles and statuses of different individuals. Social life is defined by role and status and these, in their turn, are group defined. Each group ―assigns‖ specific roles to the individuals. Role is about the expectations others are having towards us. Status is about the position we are occupying inside de group or society at large. Each status has a set of roles attached to it. For instance, being a mother has lot duties (roles) which everybody, including the child, expects to be met. If the mother fails to fulfill the role, the child becomes stressed and gets crying or something worse can happen. Depending on the gravity of the failure to fulfill the duty of motherhood, the group, the society, will say ―that person is a bad mother‖. Let‘s consider now being a bank top executive. Leading the bank is the status of the individual inside the group called ―Bank of …‖. If that bank has a good profile, being director there has also a high social status profile for the society at large. There are lots of roles – expectations attached with that high profile status. Being director of such a bank has attached expectations coming from the society in general, even from the political parties, expectations from inside the bank itself, notably from the board of directors, regular workers and clerks etc. That chairperson has expectations to fulfill regarding national level of investment, mortgages, interest rates even inflation and fuel costs. Besides, he or she is expected to have a good involvement in charity actions and sustaining national culture etc. When there too many roles, there arises the so called role conflict or role strain – when contradictory expectations are meeting in the same place and in the same time, for the same individual. An individual within a role conflict situation gets stressed and nervous, incapable to ―please everybody‖ and even himself. ―Individuals who cannot live up to role expectations may experience feelings of inadequacy, embarrassment and guilt. Interactions with others become difficult, and could eventually collapse. … Role ambiguity can cause stress, insecurity and loss of self-confidence. … Serious problems occur when role occupants and others disagree fundamentally about the contents of a role, i.e. the duties it covers, ranges of acceptable behaviour, whether certain actions are voluntary or mandatory and (importantly) which of the role occupant‘s obligations should assume priority.‖ (Graham: 57)
―Defining‖ roles and statuses means building and/or observing norms. Norms are standards of behavior of what is acceptable and it is not acceptable for society and/or a particular group. Every group has a particular norm. That particular norm is almost the same with the concept of substantive rationality. And we remember that in order to achieve efficiency, the management of the organization has to assure the compatibility between these particular norms and the general tasks and objectives of the company (the formal rationale of the organization). ―A group norm is a shared perception of how things should be done, or a common attitude, feeling or belief.‖ (Graham: 45) The group norm is the invisible link that keeps people together. Norms are created through continuous interaction and norms are unified responses towards the modifications of the environment. Norms are shortcuts, already made solutions to somewhat precise categories of environmental challenges. Norms and Working Groups ―Norms … facilitate the integration of an individual into a group, and thus will be eagerly accepted by new members.‖ ―Norms may relate to working methods, to how much work should be done and how enthusiastically it should be done; quality of output, relations with management …; how various people should be addressed and treated … Group norms are particularly important in determining workers attitudes towards change, since norms can create or overcome resistance to new methods and ideas.‖ (Graham: 45). Norms are the starting point of conformity. Conformity means behaving according to norms. Without norms there is discomfort and social disorientation. The importance of understanding norms is more than understanding the subtler mechanisms of conformity. It is about enhancing productivity. Norms are not emerging from anywhere. They are mostly generated by the so called informal leaders, more exactly by opinion-leaders. Opinion leaders are those persons who take a primary role in explaining/filtrating existing norms for the rest of the group, who have the power to emulate collective action by verbalizing goals and tasks according to their own values. If their values are not as high as the organizational values, the consequences may be disruptions in the chain of production, in the general cohesion of the company and the mess of the whole chain of command. The final output will be poor quality and lower in quantity.
Group cohesiveness refers to the attractiveness of the group and defines its consistency, stability and unity over time and under different conditions. The effects of cohesiveness are maintenance of membership, influence over members,
and self-esteem – the greater the cohesiveness, the stronger the feeling of membership, influence over its members and self esteem. Group cohesiveness also relates to productivity and organizational efficiency. Group cohesiveness is norm related. If the norm on which the cohesiveness is built fosters productivity and work efficiency, the organizational goals will be better achieved. If, on the contrary, the norm on which the cohesiveness is built opposes the company‘s formal culture, the overall productivity and quality will be much lower. Group cohesiveness acts as a manpower multiplier. Depending on the group norms, this multiplier can boost the company‘s efficiency or dramatically hinder it. Factors determining group cohesiveness are the following: - satisfaction of personal needs by group‘s means and action; - group goals: the closer objectives of the group to the individual‘s goals, the more cohesive the group; - attractiveness: personal, company‘s goals and even group‘s aims may be outweighed in importance by some very appealing group individuals; - individual success within the group: it seems that the higher the individual‘s success at the tasks done with the group the stronger the group cohesiveness will be. (cf. Feldman: 375-381)
Group Behavior related to Work Efficiency
After taking into account some basic considerations on working groups‘ efficiency, we will discuss some phenomena specifically related to group behavior: social facilitation, social loafing and group think. General considerations Certainly individuals are not just enrolling with the company. They are enrolling also in the more or less transparent structure of groups, more exactly within a certain group. That group would be their working group. There are some general implications of groups within the company. Here they are: (a) ―The group will produce a settled system of personal relationships and customs. (b) These customs sometimes include restrictions on output. (c) Individuals will often behave more in the way the group expects than as they would if left to themselves. (d) The group exerts great pressure on all its members to conform to its own standards of behaviour. (e) Newcomers to the group are often made to feel unwelcome. … (f) The group tends to resist change imposed on it, and will react to it slowly because of the threat to its existence, its security, its customs and its pattern of relationships. (g) Unofficial leaders emerge in the group, changing according to the needs of the situation at the time. When the group is in open conflict with the management, … it may choose as its leader a person whom normally its
members would describe as an agitator. When conditions settle down, a new leader might emerge who would be a more diplomatic person. (h) A group often seems to follow the same motivation process as an individual – searching for and eventually perceiving satisfying goals. It can be frustrated and show the negative reactions of aggression, regression, resignation and fixation. (i) The character of a group will not change because one person leaves it or joins it, unless that person is extremely influential. (j) An external threat or the competition of another group will increase the cohesiveness of a group.‖ (Graham: 49, 50)
Social Facilitation The effect the group has on its members to improve their performance is called social facilitation (Feldman: 382). The social facilitation is two sided. When people are performing well learned behavior their performance will be significantly improved by the presence of the other members, while the same people, in the same context (watched by group mates), will perform worse poorly learned procedures (Zajonc: 1965 apud Feldman: 382-383). According to other researchers (Contrell: 1972, ibidem), this effect happens mostly when the performer knows that he or she is evaluated by others. The social facilitation theory was later developed with the conclusion that performance is increased regarding simple tasks only. In the case of more complicated tasks, the action of the individual will be distracted by the presence of the others and the performance declines. Social Loafing Social loafing is the loose of personal responsibility within the context of the group. It is the reverse of social facilitation. ―Social loafing occurs during a shared group activity when there is a decrease in individual effort due to the social presence of other persons … Hence, people are apt to work less hard in groups due to the perception of reduced social pressure to produce.‖ (Feldman: 384) Some researchers are considering social loafing an inevitable effect of the groups: the larger the number of group members working the same task, the smaller the contribution of each individual (the so-called Ringelmann Effect apud Wilf Ratzburg) The reasons for social loafing effect are still unclear. Some researchers are considering a weak motivation. Some are considering it as an adverse effect related to social facilitation. A general rule to avoid social loafing is that people must feel direct responsible of their task and their job satisfaction; assessment of the job performance must take care of these general lines.
Groupthink Group think is a concept labeled by Irving Janis and refers to the ―deterioration in mental efficiency reality testing, and moral judgments as a result of group pressures‖. (Janis: 1971). The most obvious factor here is pressure towards conformity which escalates into pressure towards unanimity. There is the context of group attraction and leaders‘ strong positions which hinder any critical analysis. ―One of the most common [trait of groupthink] … appears to be that or remaining loyal to the group by sticking with the policies to which the group has already committed itself, even when those policies are obviously working out badly and have unintended consequences that disturb the conscience of each member. This is one of the key characteristics of groupthink.‖ Group think has the following characteristics: the illusion of group invulnerability and that group cannot make errors; the effort to discard any contradictory information; stereotypical judgments against other social groups; pressure to adopt the dominant perspective; the self reinforcing illusion of unanimity which in turns reinforce the dominant perspective; the so called mind guards – individuals which take care to protect the group from contradictory or divergent information. (Janis, idem; Feldman: 391-393).
13. Managing organizations (I): Leadership
General considerations and definition
Leadership, together with grouping and communicating, is a social necessity. Leadership is the ability of a person to influence another. The aim of leadership is to facilitate the procurement of rare resources for each member of the group. In the modern organization, leadership is designing tasks and directing towards those tasks the rest of the people. In modern organizations leadership means also personal responsibility using the technique of empowerment. Each member of the organization is at first responsible to himself or herself of what is doing and secondly to the superior level: ―An employee‘s feeling of being in control and of significantly contributing to an organisation‘s development can be greatly enhanced by «empowering» that person to complete tasks and attain targets independently, without constantly having to refer back to management for permission to take certain actions. The employee is trusted to take sensible decisions.‖ (Graham: 36). Managing is more than authority. Managing is influencing people to properly complete a certain task. (McClelland & Burnham: 1995)
Authority and Power
There is a useful distinction between authority and power. Informal leaders may have more power than an appointed, formal leader. Authority is a special social position by appointment. It can have power or not. Power is about influencing people. The gap between authority and power is filled by legitimacy – the degree the appointment is recognized by the ruled. Functional leadership comes from both elements: authority and power, and is based on competence, legitimacy and appointment. The way a leader molds its position and aptitudes in handling people to get the job done is called management style - see Chapter 12 – Organisations and Work – Organisational culture and Management Style and The basic structure of organizations. Social layers and Authority. There are several approaches towards management styles. W. Ratzburg briefly describes two behavioristic approaches: ―The University of Michigan studies (Rensis Likert) identified two styles of leader behavior: a) Production centered behavior: when a leader pays close attention to the work of sub- ordinates, explains work procedures, and is keenly interested in performance. b) Employee centered behavior: when the leader is interested in developing a cohesive work group and in ensuring employees are satisfied with their jobs.
These two styles of leader behavior were believed to lie at the ends of a single continuum. Likert found that employee- centered leader behavior generally tended to be more effective. Researchers at Ohio State leadership found results which suggested two basic leader behaviors or styles. a) Initiating structure behavior: when the leader clearly defines the leader-subordinate, establishes formal lines of communication, and determines how tasks are to be performed. b) Consideration behavior: the leader shows concern for sub-ordinates and attempts to establish a warm, friendly, and supportive climate. Unlike the Michigan Studies, these two behaviors were not viewed as opposite ends of a continuum, but as independent variables. Thus the leader can exhibit varying degrees of both initiating structure and consideration at the same time. Rather than concentrating on what leaders are, as the trait approach did, the behavioral approach forced looking at what leaders do. The main shortcomings of the behavioral approach was its focus on finding a dependable prescription for effective leadership.‖ (Wilf Ratzburg, A behavioral approach to leadership in op.cit.) Graham pointed out that higher productivity is more related to the employee centered management than to production centered management. (Graham: 27)
Blake and Mouton Managerial Grid
In their book, The Managerial Grid (1964), Robert Black and Jane Mouton devised a grid relating human relations concerns to the efficiency of work. The grid classifies the managerial concern for human relations on a scale ranging from 1 to 9, where 1 means low concern and 9 the highest concern. The same applies to the concern for production. For instance, a 1,9 manager has a very low concern on production and the highest concern for human relations. Reversely, the 9,1 manager ―arranges work as efficiently as possible, with scant regard for subordinates‘ feelings. Other potential combinations are 1,1 managers, who make little effort to get work done or develop close personal relationships, and 5,5 managers who balance task performance with human relations considerations. Best of all is the 9,9 manager who achieves high production from committed, satisfied subordinates.‖ (apud. Graham: 29)
Blake and Mouton's managerial grid
Concern for people
4 3 2 1
0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Concern for production
As we already know, leadership can be formal or informal; it can be task oriented or human needs oriented etc. An interesting typology was stated by McClelland and David H. Burnham. Their article Power is the Great Motivator (Harvard Business School, March 1976, reprinted in January 1995) is already a classical approach. McClelland and Burnham revived the concept of power, mistakenly confused by many scholars with authoritarianism. They demonstrated that the main drive for a leader is power. Power for leadership is the self-achievement target for almost every person in a leading position. The explanation is ―because they focus on personal improvement and doing things better by themselves, achievementmotivated people [good managers] want to do things themselves. … Yet managers, particularly in large, complex organizations, cannot perform by themselves all the tasks necessary for success. They must manage others to perform for the organization‖. (McClelland and Burnham: 1995) Basically, McClelland and Burnham stated that there are three types of leaders and leadership: 1. affiliative oriented – that is, close to human needs leadership; their leadership it facilitate uncertainty and low morale being too much dependent on workers‘ moods; 2. personal power oriented – they are fulfilling the personal need for power closely to the task oriented managerial style; they have great incentives for organizing and leading but this drive is not well self-controlled; 3. institutional oriented – an interesting and very productive concept – institutional managers are organization minded. The affiliative managers are ―concerned about being liked tend to have subordinates who feel that they have little personal responsibility, that organizational procedures are not clear, and that they have little pride in their work group.
In short, as we expected, affiliative managers make so many ad hominem and ad hoc decisions that they almost totally abandon orderly procedures. Their disregard for procedure leaves employees feeling weak, irresponsible, and without a sense of what might happen next, of where they stand in relation to their manager, or even of what they ought to be doing.‖ ―The managers who are motivated by a need for personal power [emphasis added] are somewhat more effective. They are able to create a greater sense of responsibility in their divisions and, above all, a greater team spirit. They can be thought of as managerial equivalents of successful tank commanders such as General George Patton, whose own daring inspired admiration in his troops. … Managers motivated by personal power are not disciplined enough to be good institution builders, and often their subordinates are loyal to them as individuals rather than to the institution they serve. When a personal power managers leaves, disorganization often follows. The strong group spirit that the manager has personally inspired deflates. The subordinates do not know what to do for themselves.‖ The institutional manager is the best profile of the manager. Its main traits are the following: 1. ―Institution managers are more organization minded, that is, they tend to join more organizations and to feel responsible for building up those organizations. Furthermore, they believe strongly in the importance of centralized authority. 2. They report that they like to work. … People who have a high need to achieve like to reduce their work by becoming more efficient. … But managers who have a need for institutional power actually seem to like the discipline of work. It satisfies their need for getting things done in an orderly way. 3. They seem quite willing to sacrifice some of their own self-interest for the welfare of the organization they serve. 4. They have a keen sense of justice. It is almost as if they feel that people who work hard and sacrifice for the good of the organization should and will get a just reward for their effort.‖ ―Of the managerial types, the institutional manager is the most successful in creating an effective work climate. Subordinates feel that they have more responsibility. Also, those kinds of managers create high morale because they produce the greatest sense of organizational clarity and team spirit. If such a manager leaves, he or she can be more readily replaced by another because the employees have been encouraged to be loyal to the institution rather than to a particular person.‖
Emergence of leadership. Situational and contingency theories
Leadership can emerge on formal and informal basis, that is, appointed or spontaneously propelled by the internal logic of the group. The situational theories (Godwin & Hazelwood, Rabbie & Bekkers, Crocket, Hemphill etc.) state that individuals are somehow thrust into leadership positions. Of course, personal traits are also important but the leadership is a specific situational opportunity, ―because it is the characteristics of the situation and not the person that lead to leadership attainment‖ (Feldman: 359). The following are the situational opportunities when a person, with the necessary personality traits, can become a leader: 1. the group is attaining a critical size, and in order to be managed it needs a leader; 2. the nature of group‘s composition. A homogeneous group is likely to easier produce and accept a leader than a heterogeneous one; 3. the need for communication is a good leadership predictor: the higher the need to communicate the greater the likelihood to emerge a leader; 4. the importance of the group goal: ―the greater the degree of importance in achieving a group goal, the more likely a leader will emerge‖; 5. the changing needs of group‘s members will favor the appearance of a flexible leader able to handle and even manipulate these particular needs. (cf. ibidem) Contingency theories (Fred Fiedler) suggests that there a number of three situations when and where leadership arises. These three conditioning factors are: 1. affectivity – the quality of the emotional context inside the group; this dimension is the most important; 2. task complexity and structure – that is, the level of clarity and size of the task to be solved; 3. the strength of the leader‘s power position – that is, the degree of power a leader can claim over the members of the group; ―The contingency model holds that the three factors relating to the situation determine the degree of favorability of the group to the leader [and to the leadership behavior]. The most favorable situation is one in which the affective relations between the leader and the followers are positive, the task is highly structured, and the power position of the leader is strong, while the least favorable situation is one in which leader-member affective relations are poor, the task is unstructured, and the power position is weak.‖ (Feldman: 361). For instance, when the quality of the emotional environment of the group is poor, the leader favorability is also low and the task will be poorly structured and poorly done, the power position of the leader will also be weak. To work around this problem the management should appoint a task-oriented leader, the directivebehavior being a good solution to that group. A group will be ready to be led when it is already task oriented, and its members have good emotional ties.
Power is the ability of an actor to exert his or her willingness over another actor (an institution or another person). The result of the power is a desired behavior change at the level of those ruled. There are several work-related types of power according to French and Raven (apud Feldman: 353-356). 1. Reward power. When influencing others is reward centered. Reward power is contingency dependent, that is, the rewarding message or event is carrier dependent. A good remark done by our boss may have a reward effect on us but the same remark done by whatever person doesn‘t. 2. Coercive power. Coercive power refers to the ability to deliver punishment. It may have serious adverse effects and it is not a good motivator. 3. Referent power. It is closely to the Weberian charismatic aspect of authority. Referent power is based on the attractiveness of the person in power. 4. Legitimate power. In this context legitimate power is the power of the office. It is not the person who has the authority, but the office he or she occupies. An interesting aspect of this kind of power is that ―its holder dos not have to rely on rational arguments in order to convince other of his or her right to influence‖.
A quite important part of leadership is self-management, called empowerment. It solves the very serious problem of alienation since it gives to the worker the sense of being in charge of himself and for a part of the production process at least; empowerment also relates the worker to the meaning of his or her own product. ―The employee is trusted to take sensible decisions.‖ (Graham: 36) Empowerment means that the individual worker is actively involved in improving and deciding his or her own tasks. The direct target of empowerment is not alienation but, of course, the efficiency of capital. Using empowerment organization can quickly solve problems without recourse to unnecessary higher levels of management. ―Hence, for example, salespeople might be empowered to offer special discounts to prospective customers, production operatives can be empowered to decide the speed of an assembly line …‖ (ibidem) In order to enable empowerment, the organization must: Have a good entry selection of the workers. The new employees must be culturally end psychologically ready to accept greater responsibilities. Once decided to implement empowerment, the management is to provide the necessary access to information. Workers have to understand in order to contribute to the overall performance of the organization. Provide workers with real power to influence their duties and other problems of the organization.
Place the rewarding system under the general system of empowerment. The individual worker is to be rewarded according to the general organization‘s performance.
The main benefits of empowerment are: ―The encouragement of individual creativity and initiative, commitment to the enterprise and team spirit Decision-taking at the most suitable levels Facilitation of performance management Faster and more flexible responses to customer requirements Higher levels of self-confidence and motivation among employees Better relations between management and front-line (customer contact) employees A «meetings of minds» vis-à-vis customers and the firm‘s staff regarding what constitutes product quality Receipt of valuable ideas for new products from front-line employees Provision of an early warning system regarding customer dissatisfaction Immediate correction of mistakes.‖ (Graham: 36)
14. Managing organizations (II): Teamworking and Communication
Teamworking is a special way of organizing humans and technology within the larger organization of the company. It represents the empowerment of the individual by his or her expression of personal freedom within the collective action. Communication is the expression of all the internal linkages of the organization, it is about transmitting information and power. Communication is the social exchange – the core of any social organization.
Teams are special working groups. Members of the teamwork are voluntarily coordinating themselves to achieve the desired results, each of them being in the same time highly independent. The leader authority is fully accepted. We may say that working teams are special groups based on highly individual social esteem, which are freely choosing to join the team. High social esteem is based on high skilled labor and clear designed targets. The team is also based on unconditioned mutual support, great cohesion, shared perceptions, high mutual respect and much satisfaction for being a member of it. According to Meredith Belbin (www.belbin.com/belbin-team-roles.htm), the differences between ordinary groups and teams are based on size, selection, leadership, perception, style and spirit. Against groups, the team size is limited, selection is tighter, leadership is shared and rotational, the management style is based on role share and coordination and the spirit is highly dynamic. The team is a strong working unit and this quality is dependent on all these described above. Reasons for teamworking Teamworking is a highly developed component for companies which are operating on a certain level of complexity – due to technology, market pressures etc. Teamworking is one of the finest means of employing people at their highest personal capabilities and empowering them by the context text of collective action. Teamworking is the technique to unleash the individual aspirations and to multiply it within the force of the group. Not all companies are required to work at this level of complexity which means that teamworking is still a desiderate for some low developed companies and countries. More specifically, teamworking is related to cell-based manufacturing, just-intime production4, total quality management5. Team working can also be part or a
―Another distinctively Japanese formally rational development is the «just-in-time» (JIT) system. The JIT system involves producing and delivering finished goods just in time to be sold, subassemblies just in time to be assembled into finished products, fabricated parts just in time to go into subassemblies, and purchased materials just in time to be transformed into fabricated parts. One could say that the Japanese produced
consequence of broader management techniques like empowering, enterprise downsizing etc. (cf. Graham: 53) Keeping the teamwork functional Teamworking is a fragile mechanism. It depends both on internal conditions of the working group and also on the general framework of the company. Critical to teamworking is the link between personal reward and the efficiency of the group. There should be an established balance between personal incentives and the necessities of the group. When the individual has an unclear responsibility or his or her reward is not clear related to the group performance the overall team behavior will suffer. Another approach is to keep conflicts in cognitive terms rather than affective terms (Ratzburg). If cognitive conflicts are problem solving oriented, affective conflicts are easily becoming personally fights with deep negative impact on the internal cohesion of the team. According to Victoria Griffith (apud Mullins: 456), what makes teamwork dysfunctional are factors such as: ―too much emphasis on harmony‖ – if there is too much agreement the teamwork will suffer from the groupthink syndrome; ―too much discord‖ – it is obvious that internal tensions will destroy the logic of the team, based on cooperation and sharing; ―emphasis in individualism‖ – ―even companies that value collective efforts may undermine teams by basing salaries and promotion more on individual than on collective accomplishments.‖ ―a feeling of powerlessness‖ – empowerment, as we will se, is a crucial factor in enhancing job satisfaction a key point for teams. Team members must feel that they influence decision as a team in order to be effective. ―the failure of senior management to work well together‖ – when top management have contradictory views, the team working is brought to a hold for team members are loyal to their bosses. ―meeting-its‖ – ―teams should not try to do everything together. Excessive time spent in meetings not only means wasted hours, it also means the group will be exposed to less diversity of thought.‖ ―seeing teams as the solution for all problems‖ – transforms theory and management techniques in demagogy. Teamworking is not suited for everything, for instance when the potential members are far away of each other.
small quantities just in time, while, in contrast, industries in the Untied States produced large quantities «just in case» …‖ (Ritzer: 223)
―A firms‘ total quality management (TQM) system comprises all its policies, operational methods and organizational structures concerned with quality management and the continuous improvement of the quality of its output. TQM focuses on the totality of the system rather than its individual parts, seeking to identify the causes of failure rather than the simple fact that failures have occurred. TQM has implications for human management resource management because it demands a management style that evokes full and committed co-operation from employees‖ (Graham: 107)
Teamworking roles There are several theories regarding the typical roles various individuals are assuming inside the team. It is for sure that individuals assume different roles, the differentiation between them depending on each member‘s personality and team opportunities. Meredith Belbin has an interesting and popular description of team roles. Team roles are seen as ―patterns of behavior that characterises one person‘s behaviour in relationship to another in facilitating the progress of a team.”
Figure 4. Team roles after Meredith Belbin. The coordinator, the teamworker, the specialist, the plant, the shaper, the completer-finisher, the implementer, the monitor-evaluator and the resource investigator. (www.belbin.com/belbin-team-roles.htm)
BELBIN Team-Role Type (www.belbin.com/belbin-team-roles.htm)
―Creative, imaginative, unorthodox.
PLANT Solves difficult problems. Ignores incidentals. Too pre-occupied to communicate effectively. Mature, confident, a good chairperson. Clarifies goals, promotes decision-making, delegates well. Can often be seen as manipulative. Off loads personal work. Sober, strategic and discerning. Sees all options. Judges accurately. Lacks drive and ability to inspire others Disciplined, reliable, conservative and efficient. Turns ideas into practical actions. Somewhat inflexible. Slow to respond to new possibilities
Painstaking, conscientious, anxious. Searches out errors and omissions. Delivers on time. Inclined to worry unduly. Reluctant to delegate Extrovert, enthusiastic, communicative. Explores opportunities. Develops contacts. Over - optimistic. Loses interest once initial enthusiasm has passed. Challenging, dynamic, thrives on pressure. The drive and courage to overcome obstacles. Prone to provocation. Offends people's feelings. Co-operative, mild, perceptive and diplomatic. Listens, builds, averts friction. Indecisive in crunch situations. Single-minded, self-starting, dedicated. Provides knowledge and skills in rare supply. Contributes only on a narrow front. Dwells on technicalities.‖
Belbin‘s typology is considered ―subjective‖ by other researchers. ―There is little empirical evidence concerning the personal characteristics of members of highly successful teams … and [there is also] the difficulty of appraising team as opposed to individual performance.‖ (Graham: 54)
As we stated earlier, communication means social exchange. Communicating is beyond spoken words. Communication is interpersonal behavior. It channels leadership and skill, and is at the core of working groups including teamworking. Bad communication means lower job satisfaction, lower motivation and bad attitudes, aggression, regression, fixation etc. Improper communication leads to the groupthink and other unwanted phenomena. Communication is also participation, that is workers‘ empowerment to decide for themselves. ―From the psychological point of view, communications have an importance which goes beyond the transmission and reception of information. The form which a communication takes … can profoundly affect the attitudes of the employees and the degree to which they understand and support management. Many industrial disputes originate in a failure of communications - a misunderstanding by the employees of the intentions of management (or vice versa) or a misinterpretation of company policy.‖ (Graham: 94)
Types of communication Communicating can be: - from the point of view of formality: - formal or, - informal communication - related to workers‘ participation we may have: - one-way or, - two-way communication - according to the direction and levels involved there is - downwards, - upwards, - lateral or sideways communication. (cf. Graham: 94) Formal communication is limited to the job description and other formal duties. Informal communication is more flexible and when combined with formal channels it fuels communication efficiency. When formal communication is weak, the informal communication channels are becoming more active. One-way communication is much more effective in giving orders but can be costly on the long run regarding the human motivation. One-way communication is task-centered and better for preserving managing authority, while two-way communication is people-centered. On the other hand, two-way communication may produce better results with complex tasks. The one-way communicating pattern is similar to the hierarchical group, where the two-way communicating pattern is typical for the egalitarian group, based on ―focused unanimity on action and decision making‖. Interesting findings on this typology were developed by Robert Escarpit. He found that the maximum number of people to communicate in an egalitarian group is maximum 16. Above that number, due to communicating problems the group will split up. A similar rational refers to the size of the hierarchical group, whose maximum size is 64. 64 is the maximum number of people a leader can satisfactorily and personally direct towards legitimate ends, using his voice and gesture for all members of the group. (cf. Robert Escarpit: 424-427) Downwards communication is specific for formal communication. Upwards is more present during informal communication, while sideways communication is horizontal communication between the same levels of the organization. Barriers to communication In order to avoid distortion communications must be standardized, at least partially. Even if informal communication is encouraged the overall structure of communication has to be cell divided, with formal or standardized checks in the middle in order to avoid distortions. The communicating structure must follow the general patterns of working and team structures. Long communicational chains are always transforming in informal communication which, in its turn, is downgraded at its lower end in gossip. High technology and complex duties are
not gossip compatible. That is, communication patterns must be functional, straightforward and task-related. Information overloads, unclear and vague words, inability to listen (especially when communication is not well related to task) are main barriers for communicating. A very interesting communication barrier or distortion is the Parkinson’s law (C. Northcote Parkinson, Parkinson's Law: The Pursuit of Progress, John Murray, London 1958). Parkinson‘s law has also implications in understanding groups both formal and informal. Briefly stated, the Parkinson‘s Law says that in terms of groups 1=2 and 2=7. That is, whenever a single person (leader or not) is to do a certain task, will ask sooner or later for others 2 to join him. These two persons will have to be subordinates for sharing the task will otherwise bring a lower status for the first person. In their turn, the two newcomers will try to preserve and develop their influence bringing other people to work for them. Parkinson‘s law originally pointed out to public offices: 1) 'An official wants to multiply subordinates, not rivals' and (2) 'Officials make work for each other.' (Cyril Northcote Parkinson at www.heretical.com/miscella/parkinsl.html ). The distortion comes from the fact that the main goal of the group formed is personal prestige and status, not necessarily the specific task. Communication will be subordinated to false needs and form filling. More than that, Parkinson‘s Law states that such a behavior will develop its own needs: «work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion» which is similar to the popular saying 'it is the busiest man who has time to spare.' (ibidem).
Additional texts on Teamworking and Communication
The effectiveness of teamworking can be assessed on the following indicators: - the level of mutual trust - the quality of communication o expressivity and diversity of opinions o general level/intensity of communication o listening capacity of its members o the general easiness or flowing of communication o creativity - management efficiency o ability to establish and pursue goals and objectives o leadership efficiency o control and procedures o efficiency in using resources o problem solving - self-awareness and capacity of evaluation General questionnaire to evaluate teamworking effectiveness
I. Goals and Objectives There is confusion about the purpose and the desired outcomes
Team members understand and agree on goals and objectives
3----------2-----------1----------0-----------1-----------2---------- 3 II. Trust and Conflict There is little trust, conflict is evident There is a high degree of trust and conflict is dealt with openly 3----------2-- --------1----------0-----------1-----------2---------- 3
III. Expression of Differences Disagreements produced defensive Disagreements do not produce defensive Reactions. reactions. 3----------2-- --------1----------0-----------1-----------2---------- 3 IV. Leadership efficiency Leadership based on domination. Leadership Leadership is legitimate. People are fully lacks legitimacy. participate in leadership. 3----------2-- --------1----------0-----------1-----------2---------- 3 V. Control and Procedures There is little control and there is a lack of procedures to guide team functioning. Team has good and effective guiding procedures. Procedures are supported by the team members. 3----------2-- --------1----------0-----------1-----------2---------- 3
VI. Efficiency of Resources The team is not recognizing and/or is not Member resources are fully recognized and using all members‘ resources. fully utilized. 3----------2-- --------1----------0-----------1-----------2---------- 3 VII. Level of Communication Channels of communication inside the team Communication is open and participative. are closed or ill. 3----------2-- --------1----------0-----------1-----------2---------- 3 VII. Listening Component of Communication The team members do not listen to each Team members are actively listen to each other. other. 3----------2-- --------1----------0-----------1-----------2---------- 3 VIII. Flow of Communication The discussion required a great deal of The discussion moved forward with backtracking and reorienting. succeeding points building on previous ones. 3----------2-- --------1----------0-----------1-----------2---------- 3
IX. Common approaches / Problem Solving The team has not standard / agreed The team has well based standard procedures for problem solving and decision procedures or easily agree on problem making. solving procedures and decisions. 3----------2-- --------1----------0-----------1-----------2---------- 3 X. Creativity The team does not encourage creativity and The team does encourage creativity and does not experiment new procedures. experiments new techniques. 3----------2-- --------1----------0-----------1-----------2---------- 3 XI. Self Awareness/Evaluation The team never evaluates its functioning or The group often evaluates its functioning and processes. processes 3----------2-- --------1----------0-----------1-----------2---------- 3 (after Wilf Ratzburg, op.cit, Team Effectiveness: Meeting Evaluation Form)
15. Conflict Solving and Organizational Behavior
Conflict. Definition and General considerations
Conflict is the process ranging from disagreement, opposition, confrontation and ultimately to aggression between individuals and groups, when one actor obstructs the reach to scarce resources of another. The keywords of conflict are opposition, blocking, resources. Tension is the preconflictual state in which the conditions of disagreement are accumulating. Tension may start when an actor start obstructing even unconsciously the other‘s goals. Aggression refers to the act of harming another. Aggression seems to be seriously limited by controlling those situations that trigger it. A strong context for aggression is frustration. There is a hypothesis which states that frustration will always discharge into an aggressive behavior and that aggression is always the result of frustration. ―By frustration, the hypothesis refers to the thwarting or blocking some ongoing behavior directed toward a desired goal. Moreover … rather than frustration leading directly to aggression, the process is one in which frustration leads to a propensity to be aggressive and the arousal of aggressive drive. This aggressive drive then leads to the actual aggression.‖ (Feldman: 299) ―Conflict, per se, is not necessarily good or bad but an inevitable feature of organisational life and should be judged in terms of its effects on performance. Even if organisations have taken great care to try and avoid conflict it will still occur. Conflict will continue to emerge despite attempts by management to suppress it.‖ (Mullins: 818)
Constructive and destructive conflicts
As we already mentioned, conflict can be constructive or destructive. There is a brief description of both. Constructive conflict bring into open potentially serious problems in order to be solved. Destructive conflict diverts important energies of the organization into unproductive questions leading to individual demoralizing, group disbandment and even to organizational turmoil. One of the factors that keep the border between constructive and destructive conflicts is the character of dispute: is it personal (affective conflict) or problem oriented (cognitive conflict)? A dispute transforms easier into a destructive conflict if it is perceived as an assault to personal identity or qualities. ―Affective conflict lowers team effectiveness by provoking hostility, distrust, cynicism, and apathy among team members. Most affective conflict is 88
personalized anger or resentment, usually directed at specific individuals rather than specific ideas. Affective conflict undermines team effectiveness by preventing teams from engaging in the kinds of activities that are critical to team effectiveness.‖ On the other side, ―cognitive conflict is beneficial because it requires teams to engage in activities that are essential to a team's effectiveness. Cognitive conflict focuses attention on assumptions that may underlie a particular issue and which are often ignored. Cognitive conflict improves the quality of team decisions.‖ (Ratzburg, ibidem). Here is the Ratzburg‘s classification (ibidem) of conflicts: Destructive conflict diverts energy from real task destroys morale polarizes individuals and groups deepens differences obstructs cooperative action produces irresponsible behavior creates suspicion and distrust decreases productivity threatens the group existence it lasts too long Constructive conflict opens up an issue in a confronting manner develops clarification of an issue improves problem-solving quality provides spontaneity in communication initiates growth strengthens relationships when creatively resolved helps increasing productivity
Sources of Conflict
The general causes of conflict in organizations are the following: 1. incompatibilities between tasks, between actual and desired outcomes etc. 2. constant perceived disagreement 3. incompatible attitudes, motives etc. (Ratzburg) A more complex schema refers to the overall dimensions of an organization such as: 1. the hidden network of perceptions 2. the scarcity of resources 3. complex specializations 4. functionality of the division of labor and nature or work activities 5. role conflict
6. justice and fairness 7. ―territorial‖ behavior 8. changes in environment. (cf. Mullins: 818-819) The hidden network of perceptions can easily turns into a network of acute differences. Different perceptions means different meanings and common meaning is at the basis of social exchange. The social exchange makes possible attaining personal and organizational goals. Acute differences in people‘s perceptions can trigger conflict. The scarcity of resources can bring about conflict as each department fights for its share. This fighting can take different aspects from lobbying at higher levels to straightforwardly blocking access to resources. Complex specializations lead sometimes to an unnecessary division of labor. ―Because of familiarity with the manner in which they undertake their activities, departments tend to turn inwards and to concentrate on the achievement of their own goals. When departments need to co-operate with each other this is a frequent source of conflict.‖ (Mullins: 819). Too many departments and specializations lead to organizational ignorance of others‘ needs which may trigger conflictual situations. The nature of work activities (functionality of the division of labor and nature or work) activities is closely related to the aforementioned source of conflict. Conflict will arise when division of labor becomes dysfunctional. ―Where the task of one person is dependent upon the work of others there is potential for conflict; for example, if a worker is expected to complete the assembly of a given number of components in a week but the person forwarding the part-assembled components does not supply a sufficient number on time. If reward and punishment systems are perceived to be based on keeping up with performance levels, then the potential for a conflict is even greater.‖ (Mullins: ibidem) Role conflict refers to the misfit between roles, between roles and actual behavior of a person. For instance, the role of chairman may contradict the role of being the uncle of an employee in the same company. Another issue is role ambiguity, when job descriptions are not clear enough to define the expected behavior and targets associated. Justice and fairness are essential to the organization. Injustice and unfairness can even blow up when some conditions for collective action are met; ―… according to the equity theory of motivation the perception of inequity will motivate a person to take action to restore equity, including changes to inputs or outputs, or through acting on others.‖ (ibid.) Territorial behavior. Humans are territorial, that is, emotionally attached to their own place. Since they spend more and more of their time at work, the sense of
territoriality at job can be fairly high. Dedicated people but also ordinary workers do not like their workplace to be organized by others. Besides, ―a stranger walk into a place of work can create an immediate feeling of suspicion or even resentment because people do not usually like «their» territory entered by someone they do not know, and whose motives are probably unclear to them.‖ (ibidem). A particular source of intergroup conflict is political indetermination (Ratzburg), especially when groups are highly interdependent one upon another. Risk of conflict is high when the division of tasks is very developed and reciprocal dependence is also strict under a weak strategic management.
Conflict and organizational change
Conflict may happen at different organizational levels. There are individual, group, or organizational levels where the conflict may arise or develop. All the above eight causes of conflict may be ―hosted‖ by any of these three layers, separately or in the same time. For instance, a particular situation which can trigger conflict is organizational changing. As long as organizational change may imply behavioral modifications, there are good chances that stress, role conflict, miscommunications, bad perceptions to arise. Both the individual and the organizational structure (in terms of pressure groups and cliques) may resist change. Individual factors resistant to change which are conflict related are: - inability to change habits - stereotypes and prejudices - the sentiment of loss of freedom - the sentiment of loss of security - fear of the unknown. Elements of organizational resistance to change which may lead to conflictual situations are: - organisational culture – generalized habits of doing things are hard to change if they have strong informal structures attached - lack of resources – budgeting large scale changes can lead to major debates inside the company - past contracts – may block certain goals related to change - fear of established influential groups for losing power and influence. (Mullins: 823, 824).
There is several conflict handling styles. Starting from the psychological background of conflict and based on the rational judgment of ―his/her own needs‖ and ―concern for others‘ needs‖, handling conflict can be based on:
confrontation – when people are straightforwardly demanding apologies avoidance – ignoring the issue or reducing interaction accommodation – conceding the issue to the other party compromise – bargaining until a reciprocal solution is agreed upon collaboration – when both parties accept they are involved in and want to save or maintain their relationship. (Ratzburg, ibidem).
At the level of management, specific issues should be addressed in order to avoid conflict: - clarification of goals and objectives - proper distribution of resources - careful personnel procedures - non-monetary rewards - development of interpersonal and group skills - participative and supportive management etc. (cf. Mullins: 821)
Additional text on Conflict
An interesting list of conflict generating items is proposed by Wilff Ratzburg: communication failure personality conflict value differences goal differences methodological differences substandard performance lack of cooperation differences regarding authority differences regarding responsibility competition over resources non-compliance with rules
For purposes of analysis of the causes of conflict, it may be useful to identify three general categories: COMMUNICATION semantic difficulties Words do not mean the same things to everyone who hears or uses them. If one person were to ask another to "level out the gravel" on a construction site, the words "level out" could mean different things to both party's. The differences in perceived meaning are due to semantics. If the communication is related to an activity that is critical to the organization, a semantic misunderstanding can easily lead to conflict. misunderstandings 92
"noise" "Noise" in the communications process can take a number of forms. Most obviously, noise is physical – the parties in the organization cannot "hear" one another because too many people are talking at once, there is a radio blaring in the background, or the construction workers on the street are using a jackhammer. Noise also comes in the form of distorted signals -- the fax message is misunderstood because poor quality fax paper makes it difficult to read the letters on the page. ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE group interdependence The greater the degree of interdependence, the greater is the likelihood of communication difficulties (see above). Greater interdependence also increases the possibility that the parties need to share resources. If these resources are scarce, the probability of conflict is increased. At a college, the lives of students and instructors are impacted by the Timetabling Department. The academic departments must submit their timetabling requests to the Timetabling Department. In turn, the Timetabling Department completes timetables which govern the lives of instructors and students. Neither the Timetabling Department nor the academic departments can do their jobs effectively without the highest degree of cooperation. This interdependence can become the cause of interdepartmental conflict. If either end of this interdependent relationship does not provide the other with adequate information, poor performance results. In this case, the department initiating the poor performance becomes the recipient of the other's poor performance --conflict escalates. task specialization reward systems authority relationships group or organizational size PERSONAL VARIABLES personality types value systems (source: Wilf Ratzburg, Causes of Conflict, in Organizational Behavior, 2005)
16. Appendix. Classical theories on organizational behavior
Historical Background of Organizational Behavior (Edward G. Wertheim, College of Business Administration, Northeastern University, Boston) Scientific Management
The Industrial Revolution that started with the development of steam power and the creation of large factories in the late Eighteenth Century lead to great changes in the production of textiles and other products. The factories that evolved, created tremendous challenges to organization and management that had not been confronted before. Managing these new factories and later new entities like railroads with the requirement of managing large flows of material, people, and information over large distances created the need for some methods for dealing with the new management issues. The most important of those who began to create a science of management was Frederic Winslow Taylor, (1856-1915). Taylor was one of the first to attempt to systematically analyze human behavior at work. His model was the machine with its cheap, interchangeable parts, each of which does one specific function. Taylor attempted to do to complex organizations what engineers had done to machines and this involved making individuals into the equivalent of machine parts. Just as machine parts were easily interchangeable, cheap, and passive, so too should the human parts be the same in the Machine model of organizations. This involved breaking down each task to its smallest unit and to figure out the one best way to do each job. Then the engineer, after analyzing the job should teach it to the worker and make sure the worker does only those motions essential to the task.. Taylor attempted to make a science for each element of work and restrict behavioral alternatives facing worker. Taylor looked at interaction of human characteristics, social environment, task, and physical environment, capacity, speed, durability, and cost. The overall goal was to remove human variability. The results were profound. Productivity under Taylorism went up dramatically. New departments arose such as industrial engineering, personnel, and quality control. There was also growth in middle management as there evolved a separation of planning from operations. Rational rules replaced trial and error; management became formalized and efficiency increased. Of course, this did not come about without resistance. First the old line managers resisted the notion that management was a science to be studied not something one was born with (or inherited). Then of course, many workers resisted what some considered the "dehumanization of work." To be fair, Taylor also studied issues such as fatigue and safety and urged management to study the relationship between work breaks, and the length of the work day and productivity and convinced many companies that the careful introduction of breaks and a shorter day could increase productivity. Nevertheless, the industrial engineer with his stop watch and clip-board, standing over you measuring each little part of the job and one's movements became a hated figure and lead to much sabotage and group resistance.
The core elements of scientific management remain popular today. While a picture of a factory around 1900 might look like something out of Dickens, one should not think the core concepts of scientific management have been abandoned. They haven't. They have merely been modified and updated. While many people think of bureaucracy in negative terms, this model in its pure form was a dramatic improvement over the previous model of organization which was a feudal model based on fixed status and position by birth, not merit and unquestioned authority.
The Human Relations Movement
Despite the economic progress brought about in part by Scientific Management, critics were calling attention to the "seamy side of progress," which included severe labor/management conflict, apathy, boredom, and wasted human resources. These concerns lead a number of researchers to examine the discrepancy between how an organization was supposed to work versus how the workers actually behaved. In addition, factors like World War I, developments in psychology (eg. Freud) and later the depression, all brought into question some of the basic assumptions of the Scientific Management School. One of the primary critics of the time, Elton Mayo, claimed that this "alienation" stemmed from the breakdown of the social structures caused by industrialization, the factory system, and its related outcomes like growing urbanization.
The Western Electric (Hawthorne Works) Studies (1923-1933)
The most famous of these studies was the Hawthorne Studies which showed how work groups provide mutual support and effective resistance to management schemes to increase output. This study found that workers didn't respond to classical motivational approaches as suggested in the Scientific Management and Taylor approaches, but rather workers were also interested in the rewards and punishments of their own work group. These studies, conducted in the 1920's started as a straightforward attempt to determine the relationship between work environment and productivity. The results of the research led researchers to feel that they were dealing with sociopsychological factors that were not explained by classic theory which stressed the formal organization and formal leadership. The Hawthorne Studies helped us to see that an organization is more than a formal arrangement of functions but is also a social system. In the following chart, we can see a comparison of traditional assumptions vs. a newer "human relations" view.
people try to satisfy one class of need at work: economic need no conflict exists betwene individual and organizational objectives people act rationally to maximize rewards we act individually to satisfy individual needs -
Human relations Assumptions
organizations are social systems, not just technical economic systems we are motivated by many needs we are not always logical we are interdependent; our behavior is often shaped by the social context informal work group is a major factor in determining attitudes and performance of individual workers management is only one factor affecting behavior; the informal group often has a stronger impact job roles are more complex than job descriptions would suggest; people act in many ways not covered by job descriptions there is no automatic correlation between individual and organizational needs communication channels cover both logical/economic aspects of an organization and feelings of people teamwork is essential for cooperation and sound technical decisions leadership should be modified to include concepts of human relations job satisfaction will lead to higher job productivity management requires effective social skills, not just technical skills
Results of the Hawthorne Studies and the related research
These studies added much to our knowledge of human behavior in organizations and created pressure for management to change the traditional ways of managing human resources. The Human Relations Movement pushed managers toward gaining participative support of lower levels of the organization in solving organization problems. The Movement also fostered a more open and trusting environment and a greater emphasis on groups rather than just individuals.
(reproduced after Wilf H. Ratzburg, Organizational behavior. Motivation and Herzberg's two factor theory) Motivation-Hygiene Theory
. The motivation of employees is important to organizations since it is one of several factors that significantly affects the productivity of employees. Raising the level of motivation increases profitability through greater creativity and commitment in employees. Herzberg's Two Factor Theory, also known as the Motivation-Hygiene Theory, was derived from a study designed to test the concept that people have two sets of needs: 1. their needs as animals to avoid pain 2. their needs as humans to grow psychologically Herzberg's Study Two hundred engineers and accountants in Pittsburgh were interviewed To test the hypothesis, engineers and accountants were interviewed to assess events that led to significant changes in their job attitudes and to determine the factors that caused those changes Herzberg's study consisted of a series of interviews that sought to elicit responses to the questions: (1) Recall a time when you felt exceptionally good about your job. Why did you feel that way about the job? Did this feeling affect your job performance in any way? Did this feeling have an impact on your personal relationships or your well- being? (2) Recall a time on the job that resulted in negative feelings? Describe the sequence of events that resulted in these negative feelings. RESEARCH RESULTS It appeared, from the research, that the things making people happy on the job and those making them unhappy had two separate themes. SATISFACTION (MOTIVATION) WHAT PEOPLE WANT FROM THEIR JOBS: "...the things people said positively about their job experiences were not the opposite of what they said negatively about their experiences...." (Frederick Herzberg from a 1971 interview in Management Review) Motivation-Hygiene Theory: Five factors stood out as strong determiners of job satisfaction: 1. achievement 2. recognition 3. work itself 4. responsibility 5. advancement The last three factors were found to be most important for bringing about lasting changes of attitude. It should be noted, that recognition refers to recognition for achievement as opposed to recognition in the human relations sense.
DISSATISFACTION (HYGIENE) "...the factors which make people happy all are related to what people did: the job content... what made people unhappy was related to... job environment, job context... the way they're treated." (Frederick Herzberg from a 1971 interview in Management Review) The determinants of job dissatisfaction were found to be: 1. company policy 2. administrative policies 3. supervision 4. salary 5. interpersonal relations 6. working conditions It appears that the central theme of the satisfiers (also called motivators) is one having to do with the relationship the employee has with his or her job; job content. The theme of the dissatisfiers appears to be related to the environment or context of the job. These dissatisfiers seem to have little effect on positive job attitudes (in some of the literature, these dissatisfiers were called hygiene or maintenance factors). Two Dimensions JOB SATISFACTION: "...job satisfaction... and job dissatisfaction are not opposites; they are completely separate continua, like hearing and vision." (Frederick Herzberg from a 1971 interview in Management Review) At the psychological level, the two dimensions of job attitudes appear to reflect a two-dimensional need structure: 1. one need structure for the avoidance of unpleasantness, and 2. a parallel need system for personal growth For Herzberg, motivation results from personal growth and is based on an innate need to grow. In other words, people find satisfaction in work that is interesting and challenging. A desire to fulfill our potential drives us to seek growth and provides the incentive to achieve. According to Herzberg, the idea that the work one does is significant leads, ultimately, to satisfaction with the the work itself. Employees will be motivated to do work that they percieve to be significant. From a philosophical perspective, it is Herzberg's position that it is the responsibility of society's dominant institutions to provide for the growth and well being of people. In our society, one such dominant organization is the business institution. Therefore it is the responsibility of business and industry to provide the means for growth and self actualization
Herzberg's theory thus posits that there are two classes of factors that influence employee motivation; intrinsic factors and the extrinsic factors. The intrinsic factors were also called the motivator factors and were related to job satisfaction. The extrinsic factors were called hygiene factors and were related to job dissatisfaction. Motivators (intrinsic factors) led to job satisfaction because of a need for growth and self actualization, and hygiene (extrinsic) factors led to job dissatisfaction because of a need to avoid unpleasantness. The negative or positive KITA or "kick in the a**" approach to employee motivation yields short- range results, but rarely generates any actual motivation. In fact, to call it an "approach to motivation" is to clearly misunderstand motivation as Herzberg understood it. KITA yields movement -- the avoidance of pain -- not motivation. Positive KITA, in the form of raises and incentives reduces time spent at work, inflates wages and benefits, and overemphasizes human relations. K-I-T-A techniques fail to instill self-generating motivation in workers. Job content factors, such as achievement and responsibility, are motivators, while job environment factors are hygiene or KITA factors. Motivators are the key to http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/1650/htmlherzberg.html (5 of 8)07.10.2005 HERZBERG APPLIED: The desire to fulfill our potential drives us to seek growth and provides the incentive to achieve --MOTIVATION In an era of increasing competition, it is important for organizations to effectively utilize all available resources; including human resources. In the workplace, the motivation of employees is important to the organization as it is one of the variables that affects the employee productivity. Fundamental to Herzberg's position is the notion that motivation is a result of personal growth and is based on an innate need to grow. What this means is that people find satisfaction in work that is interesting and challenging. JOB ENRICHMENT Workers with greater ability have an opportunity to demonstrate their potential and are better utilized by allowing them to use more of their talents If you cannot challenge workers, motivational problems will result If you want people to do a good job for you, give them a good job to do. JOB ENRICHMENT: The idea of job enrichment is probably the most significant contribution of Herzberg's theory. Meaningful tasks allow for growth, and job enrichment is a relatively simple method for
facilitating this growth: adding different tasks to a job to provide greater involvement and interaction with the task. Adding tasks can raise the level of challenge in any particular job to a level commensurate with the abilities of an employee. It might be argued that, if a job can not be enriched and it is not challenging to the person in that position, then that person ought to be replaced by someone who will find the job challenging.
JOB LOADING Examples of vertical job loading: 1. increasing accountability 2. removing controls 3. making periodic reports 4. available to workers 5. granting job freedom 6. granting job authority 7. introducing new and 8. challenging tasks 9. assigning specific or 10. specialized tasks JOB LOADING: There are two forms of job loading. Horizontal job loading: adding tasks to a job but not adding any responsibility or challenge -- the meaningless of the job is simply increased. Horizontal loading ought to be avoided! Vertical job loading: adding meaningful tasks that will lead to growth -additional tasks that permit growth and provide motivating factors. . It is the responsibility of management to create an environment that encourages employee growth and self actualization... By providing motivators and removing hygienes, management can facilitate the growth of employees. This is essential to both the individual and the organization. Growth makes the employee more valuable to the organization because of his/her ability to perform higher order duties. ...management cannot really motivate employees, it can only create the environment in which the employees motivate themselves
David C. McClelland
(reproduced after Accel Team: Advancing Employee Productivity) Achievement Motivation
Over the years behavioral scientists have observed that some people have an intense need to achieve; others, perhaps the majority, do not seem to be as concerned about achievement. This phenomenon has fascinated David C. McClelland. For over twenty years he and his associates at Harvard University studied this urge to achieve. McClelland's research led him to believe that the need for achievement is a distinct human motive that can be distinguished from other needs. More important, the achievement motive can be isolated and assessed in any group. Characteristics of people with a high need for achievement McClelland illustrates some of these characteristics in describing a laboratory experiment. Participants were asked to throw rings over a peg from any distance they chose. Most people tended to throw at random-now close, now far away; but individuals with a high need for achievement seemed carefully to measure where they were most likely to get a sense of mastery—not too close to make the task ridiculously easy or too far away to make it impossible. They set moderately difficult but potentially achievable goals. In biology, this is known as the overload principle. In weight lifting, for example, strength cannot be in creased by tasks that can be performed easily or that cannot be performed without injury to the organism. Strength can be increased by lifting weights that are difficult but realistic enough to stretch the muscles. Do people with a high need for achievement behave like this all the time? McClelland maintains, only if they can influence the outcome. Achievement-motivated people are not gamblers. They prefer to work on a problem rather than leave the outcome to chance. With managers, setting moderately difficult but potentially achievable goals may be translated into an attitude toward risks. Many people tend to be extreme in their attitude toward risks, either favoring wild speculative gambling or minimizing their exposure to losses.
Gamblers seem to choose the big risk because the outcome is beyond their power and, therefore, they can easily rationalize away their personal responsibility if they lose. The conservative individual chooses tiny risks where the gain is small but secure, perhaps because there is little danger of anything going wrong for which that person might be blamed.
Achievement-motivated people take the middle ground, preferring a moderate degree of risk because they feel their efforts and abilities will probably influence the outcome. In business, this aggressive realism is the mark of the successful entrepreneur.
Rewards and achievement-motivated people Another characteristic of achievement-motivated people is that they seem to be more concerned with personal achievement than with the rewards of success. They do not reject rewards, but the rewards are not as essential as the accomplishment itself. They get a bigger "kick" out of winning or solving a difficult problem than they get from any money or praise they receive. Money, to achievement-motivated people, is valuable primarily as a measurement of their performance. It provides them with a means of assessing their progress and comparing their achievements with those of other people. They normally do not seek money for status or economic security. Feedback A desire by people with a high need for achievement to seek situations in which they get concrete feedback on how well they are doing is closely related to this concern for personal accomplishment. Consequently, achievement-motivated people are often found in sales jobs or as owners and managers of their own businesses. In addition to concrete feedback, the nature of the feedback is important to achievementmotivated people. They respond favorably to information about their work. They are not interested in comments about their personal characteristics, such as how cooperative or helpful they are.
Affiliation-motivated people might want social or attitudinal feedback. Achievement-motivated people might want job-relevant feedback. They want to know the score.
Why do achievement-motivated people behave as they do? McClelland claims it is because they habitually spend time thinking about doing things better. In fact, he has found that wherever people start to think in achievement terms, things start to happen.
Examples College students with a high need for achievement will generally get better grades than equally bright students with weaker achievement needs.
Achievement-motivated people tend to get more raises and are promoted faster because they are constantly trying to think of better ways of doing things. Companies with many such people grow faster and are more profitable.
McClelland has even extended his analysis to countries where he related the presence of a large percentage of achievement-motivated individuals to the national economic growth. A taught skill? Can this motive, the need for achievement, be taught to people? McClelland was convinced that this can be done. In fact, he also developed training programs for business people that where designed to increase their achievement motivation. He also developed similar programs for other segments of the population. Achievement-motivated people as managers Achievement-motivated people can be the backbone of most organizations, but what can be said about their potential as managers? As we know, people with a high need for achievement get ahead because as individuals they are producers they get things done. However, when they are promoted, when their success depends not only on their own work but on the activities of others, they may be less effective. Since they are highly joboriented and work to their capacity, they tend to expect others to do the same. As a result, they sometimes lack the human skills and patience necessary for being effective managers of people who are competent but have a higher need for affiliation than they do. In this situation, their overemphasis on producing frustrates these people and prevents them from maximizing their own potential. Thus, while achievement-motivated people are needed in organizations, they do not always make the best managers unless they develop their human skills. Being a good producer is not sufficient to make an effective manager. McClelland has found that achievement-motivated people are more likely to be developed in families in which parents hold different expectations for their children than do other parents.
More importantly, these parents expect their children to start showing some independence between the ages of six and eight, making choices and doing things without help, such as knowing the way around the neighborhood and taking care of themselves around the house. Other parents tend either to expect this too early, before children are ready, or to smother the development of the personality of these children. One extreme seems to foster passive, defeated attitudes as children feel unwanted at home and incompetent away from home. They are just not ready for that kind of independence so early. The other extreme yields either overprotected or over-disciplined children. These children become very dependent on their parents and find it difficult to break away and make their own decisions. The Herzberg link? McClelland's concept of achievement motivation is also related to Herzberg's motivationhygiene theory. People with high achievement motivation tend to be interested in the motivators (the job itself). Achievement-motivated people want feedback. They want to know how well they are doing on their job. On the other hand, people with low achievement motivation are more concerned about the environment. They want to know how people feel about them rather than how well they are doing.
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second publication of the article in July, 1977 would have been made by Robert Stewart. Wallerstein, I., The capitalist world-economy, Cambridge University Press & Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l‘Homme…, 1986 Weber, Max, Economy and Society. An Outline of Interpretative Sociology, University of California Press, vol. I şi II, 1978 Wilf Ratzburg, Organizational Behavior, 2005 http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/1650/htmlobtoc02.html Robert Escarpit, De la sociologia literaturii la teoria comunicării. Studii şi eseuri, Editura Ştiinţifică şi Enciclopedică, Bucureşti, 1980.
Table of contents
1. Introduction. Organizational Behavior and Global processes ........................................ 1 What is Organizational Behavior? .................................................................................. 1 Understanding the context of Organizational Behavior - Globalization ........................ 2 2. Fundamentele Paradigmatice (I - capitalismul) .............................................................. 5 Tipologia capitalismului (Weber) ................................................................................... 5 Tipologia capitalismului - Sistemul mondial modern (Wallerstein) ............................... 6 3. Fundamentele Paradigmatice (II – paradigmele comportamentului social) ................... 8 Omul fiinţă socială – premisa altruistă: paradigma altruismului reciproc (Trivers) ....... 8 Aparenţă şi fundal; planurile de realitate în organizaţii: paradigma reziduurilor sociabilităţii (Pareto) ....................................................................................................... 8 Schimbul social şi eficienţa organizaţiilor: paradigma schimbului social (Blau) ......... 10 4. Fundamentele Paradigmatice (III – paradigmele comportamentului social) ................ 12 Diviziunea socială (funcţională) a muncii (Durkheim) ................................................ 12 Norma socială şi efectele ei (Muzafer Sherif) .............................................................. 12 Teorii adiacente. Pragul de loialitate în organizaţii (Hirschman) ................................. 16 Additional texts on conformity: Groupthink................................................................. 17 5. Raţionalitatea în organizaţii .......................................................................................... 22 Organizaţia modernă. O primă definiţie ....................................................................... 22 Raţionalitatea în organizaţii .......................................................................................... 23 Trăsăturile birocraţiei moderne (Max Weber) .............................................................. 24 6. Raţionalitatea şi Organizaţiile moderne (I). Eficienţa socială şi Eficienţa capitalului . 25 Raţionalitatea formală şi Raţionalitatea substanţială .................................................... 25 Problemele raţionalizării formale. McDonaldizarea societăţii ..................................... 26 7. Raţionalitatea şi Organizaţiile moderne (II) Profesionalizare şi Deprofesionalizare ... 30 Profesia şi Raţionalitatea............................................................................................... 30 Deprofesionalizarea ...................................................................................................... 31 8. Fundamental concepts (I): Personality, Motivation, Attitudes. .................................... 33 Personality..................................................................................................................... 33 Motivation ..................................................................................................................... 34 Alienation ...................................................................................................................... 36 Frustration ..................................................................................................................... 37 Attitudes and Skills ....................................................................................................... 38 Additional Texts on Personality, Attitudes and Motivation ......................................... 40 9. Fundamental concepts (II): Morale ............................................................................... 43 Introduction to the theoretical background ................................................................... 43 Levels of morale behaviour .......................................................................................... 43 Morale and Organizations. Responsibility.................................................................... 44 Building the morale....................................................................................................... 45 The benefits of morale .................................................................................................. 46 10. Unsuitable attitudes toward work ............................................................................... 48 The social context and the people: Merton‘s adaptation theory ................................... 48 The social context and the people: Veblen‘s pecuniary emulation ............................... 49 Human Management considerations on the ―unfitted‖ worker..................................... 51 The Organisational context and the disadvantages of bureaucracies ............................ 52
11. Job and Career............................................................................................................. 54 Definitions and general considerations ......................................................................... 54 Advantages of career tracks .......................................................................................... 54 Typology of jobs ........................................................................................................... 55 Improving job performance. Training ........................................................................... 56 Total quality management and Jobs .............................................................................. 58 Job description, evaluation and payment ...................................................................... 58 Stress at the workplace.................................................................................................. 59 Additional text on Job Evaluation................................................................................. 60 12. Organizations and Work ............................................................................................. 62 Organizations – definitions ........................................................................................... 62 The basic structure of organizations. Social layers and Authority ............................... 63 Organisational culture and Management Style ............................................................. 64 Groups. Working Groups .............................................................................................. 65 Group emergence .......................................................................................................... 66 A brief classification of groups. Vocation .................................................................... 67 Role and status .............................................................................................................. 68 Norms ............................................................................................................................ 69 Group Cohesiveness...................................................................................................... 69 Group Behavior related to Work Efficiency ................................................................. 70 13. Managing organizations (I): Leadership ..................................................................... 73 General considerations and definition .......................................................................... 73 Authority and Power ..................................................................................................... 73 Blake and Mouton Managerial Grid ............................................................................. 74 Leadership typology...................................................................................................... 75 Emergence of leadership. Situational and contingency theories .................................. 77 Power ............................................................................................................................ 78 Empowerment ............................................................................................................... 78 14. Managing organizations (II): Teamworking and Communication ............................. 80 Teamworking ................................................................................................................ 80 Communication ............................................................................................................. 83 Additional texts on Teamworking and Communication ............................................... 85 15. Conflict Solving and Organizational Behavior ........................................................... 88 Conflict. Definition and General considerations .......................................................... 88 Constructive and destructive conflicts .......................................................................... 88 Sources of Conflict ....................................................................................................... 89 Conflict and organizational change .............................................................................. 91 Managing conflict ......................................................................................................... 91 Additional text on Conflict ........................................................................................... 92 16. Appendix. Classical theories on organizational behavior ........................................... 94 Historical Background of Organizational Behavior ..................................................... 94 Scientific Management ................................................................................................. 94 The Human Relations Movement ................................................................................. 95 Frederick Herzberg ....................................................................................................... 96 David C. McClelland .................................................................................................. 100 References ....................................................................................................................... 105
Table of contents ............................................................................................................. 107
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