Chapter 1 Introduction to the Field of Organizational Behaviour
INTRODUCTION TO THE FIELD OF ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOUR
After reading this chapter, students should be able to: Define organizational behaviour and give three reasons for studying this field of inquiry. Discuss how globalization influences organizational behaviour. Summarize the apparent benefits and challenges of telework. Identify changes in Canada’s work force in recent years. Describe employability and contingent work. Explain why values have gained importance in organizations. Define corporate social responsibility and argue for or against its application in organizations. Identify the five anchors on which organizational behaviour is based. Diagram an organization from an open systems view. Define knowledge management and intellectual capital. Identify specific ways that organizations acquire and share knowledge.
communities of practice Informal groups bound together by shared expertise and passion for a particular activity or interest. contingency approach The idea that a particular action may have different consequences in different situations. contingent work Any job in which the individual does not have an explicit or implicit contract for longterm employment, or one in which the minimum hours of work can vary in a nonsystematic way. corporate social responsibility (CSR) An organization’s moral obligation towards its stakeholders. employability An employment relationship in which people are expected to continually develop their skills to remain employed. ethics The study of moral principles or values that determine whether actions are right or wrong and outcomes are good or bad.
globalization When an organization extends its activities to other parts of the world, actively participating in other markets, and competing against organizations located in other countries. grafting The process of acquiring knowledge by hiring individuals or buying entire companies. grounded theory A process adopted in most qualitative research of developing knowledge through the constant interplay of data collection, analysis, and theory development. intellectual capital The sum of an organization’s human capital, structural capital, and relationship capital. knowledge management Any structured activity that improves an organization’s capacity to acquire, share, and use knowledge in ways that improve its survival and success. open systems Organizations that take their sustenance from the environment and, in turn, affect that environment through their output. organizational behaviour (OB) The study of what people think, feel, and do in and around organizations.
organizational culture The basic pattern of shared assumptions, values, and beliefs governing the way employees within an organization think about and act on problems and opportunities. organizational learning The knowledge management process in which organizations acquire, share, and use knowledge to succeed. organizational memory The storage and preservation of intellectual capital. organizations Groups of people who work interdependently toward some purpose. scientific method A set of principles and procedures that help researchers to systematically understand previously unexplained events and conditions. stakeholders Shareholders, customers, suppliers, governments, and any other groups with a vested interest in the organization. teleworking Working from home, usually with a computer connection to the office; also called telecommuting values Stable, long-lasting beliefs about what is important in a variety of situations. virtual teams Teams whose members operate across space, time, and organizational boundaries and linked through information technologies to achieve organizational tasks.
Organizational behaviour is a relatively young field of inquiry that studies what people think, feel, and do in and around organizations. Organizations are groups of people who work interdependently toward some purpose. OB concepts help us to predict and understand organizational events, adopt more accurate theories of reality, and influence organizational events. This field of knowledge also improves the organization’s financial health. There are several trends in organizational behaviour. Globalization requires corporate decision makers to be more sensitive to cultural differences, and seems to be associated with the recent rise in job insecurity, work intensification, and other sources of work-related stress. Information technology blurs the temporal and spatial boundaries between individuals and the organizations that employ them. It has contributed to the growth of telework -- an alternative work arrangement where employees work at home or a 2
Chapter 1 Introduction to the Field of Organizational Behaviour
remote site, usually with a computer connection to the office. Information technology is also a vital ingredient in virtual teams -- cross-functional groups that operate across space, time, and organizational boundaries. Another trend in organizations is the increasingly diverse workforce. Diversity potentially improves decision making, team performance, and customer service, but it also presents new challenges. A fourth trend is the employment relationships that have emerged from the changing work force, information technology, and globalization forces. Employment relationship trends include employability and contingent work. Values and ethics represent the fifth trend. In particular, companies are learning to apply values in a global environment, and are under pressure to abide by ethical values and higher standards of corporate social responsibility. Organizational behaviour scholars rely on a set of basic beliefs to study organizations. These anchors include beliefs that OB knowledge should be multidisciplinary and based on systematic research, that organizational events usually have contingencies, that organizational behaviour can be viewed from three levels of analysis (individual, team, and organization), and that organizations are open systems. The open systems anchor suggests that organizations have interdependent parts that work
together to continually monitor and transact with the external environment. They acquire resources from the environment, transform them through technology, and return outputs to the environment. The external environment consists of the natural and social conditions outside the organization. External environments are generally much more turbulent today, so organizations must become adaptable and responsive. Knowledge management develops an organization’s capacity to acquire, share, and use knowledge in ways that improves its survival and success. Intellectual capital is knowledge that resides in an organization, including its human capital, structural capital, and relationship capital. It is a firm’s main source of competitive advantage. Organizations acquire knowledge through grafting, individual learning, and experimentation. Knowledge sharing occurs mainly through various forms of communication. Knowledge sharing includes communities of practice, networks where people share their expertise and passion for a particular activity or interest. Knowledge use occurs when employees realize that the knowledge is available and that they have enough freedom to apply it. Organizational memory refers to the storage and preservation of intellectual capital.
Canadian Organizational Behaviour includes a complete set of Microsoft PowerPoint® files for each chapter. (Please contact your McGraw-Hill Ryerson representative to find out how instructors can receive these files.) In the lecture outline that follows, a thumbnail illustration of each PowerPoint slide for this chapter is placed beside the corresponding lecture material. The slide number helps you to see your location in the slide show sequence and to skip slides that you don’t want to show to the class. (To jump ahead or back to a particular slide, just type the slide number and hit the Enter or Return key.) The transparency masters for this chapter are very similar to the PowerPoint files.
groups of people who work interdependently toward some purpose • Structured patterns of interaction -. organizational structure
Four Seasons and OB Slide 2
THE FIELD OF ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOUR
Organizational behaviour (OB) -. • CEO Isadore Sharp emphasizes the importance of relying on the creativity of its staff and maintaining a culture that supports employee involvement.g. producing oil from oil sands or selling books on the Internet.
What are Organizations? Slide 3
. leadership. motivation. corporate culture.expect each other to complete certain tasks in a coordinated way • Organizations have purpose -. and do in and around organizations.e.Part 1
LECTURE OUTLINE (with PowerPoint slides)
INTRODUCTION TO THE FIELD OF ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOUR
Introduction to the Field of Organizational Behaviour Slide 1
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts have leveraged the power of organizational behaviour to become one of the top luxury hotels in the world as well as one of the best places to work.study of what people think. communication. feel. • Four Seasons pays close attention to employee competencies.
and organizational boundaries with members who communicate mainly through electronic technologies
Trends: Information Technology Slide 6
. Globalization • SAP. Information Technology & OB • Re-designs jobs. time. usually with a computer connection to the office -.activities in other parts of the world.changes employment relationship expectations • Virtual teams -. facilitates competitive advantage through knowledge management. Influence our environment • Improves our ability to work with people and influence organizational events
EMERGING TRENDS IN ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOUR
Trends:Globalization Slide 5
1. • Telework (telecommuting) –alternative work arrangement -.operate across space. Satisfy the need to understand and predict • Helps us figure out why organizational events happen
Why Study OB? Slide 4
2. participates in other markets. Helps us to test personal theories • Helps to question and rebuild personal theories 3. work intensification and demands for work flexibility from employees.Chapter 1 Introduction to the Field of Organizational Behaviour
WHY STUDY ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOUR?
1.working from home. competes against organizations located elsewhere • Requires new organizational structures and different forms of communication • Adds more diversity to the workforce. 2. the German software giant and others operate in a global economy -. • Increases competitive pressures.need to replace face time with performance output -. mergers.
not a specific job -. -. Changing Work Force • More diversity -.adjust to the new workforce -. • Ethics -.leverage diversity advantage (e. Workplace Values and Ethics • Values – stable. decision making.g.Part 1
Trends: Workforce Diversity Slide 7
3. -.the study of moral principles or values that determine whether actions are right or wrong and outcomes are good or bad
Trends:Employment Relationship Slide 8
Employability vs Job Security Slide 9
Trends: Workplace Values & Ethics Slide 10
. Generation Y) • Implications -.g.some control over (eg.no explicit or implicit contract for long-term employment. age.need to continuously learn skills • Contingent work -. long-lasting beliefs about what is important.new age cohorts (eg.e. Gen-Y employees expect responsibility and involvement.more women in workforce -. etc.many tasks.primary categories – gender. ethnicity.secondary categories -. or minimum hours of work can vary in a nonsystematic way 5. education. Gen-X employees value flexibility and opportunities to use new technology. Generation-X. 4. marital status) -. provide better customer service). Emerging employment relationships • Employability -.
shareholders. information systems.
. and suppliers) associate with firms based on their CSR • Many firms talk about their CSR. customers. governments.an organization’s moral obligation toward all of its stakeholders • Stakeholders -.g. Multidisciplinary anchor • Many OB concepts adopted from other disciplines -.supporting economic.emerging fields: communication. but needs to continue scanning other fields for ideas. and any other groups with a vested interest in the organization • Triple bottom line -. and environmental spheres of sustainability • Various stakeholders (job applicants. marketing. current employees.Chapter 1 Introduction to the Field of Organizational Behaviour
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR)
Corporate Social Responsibility Slide 11
• Corporate social responsibility -. psychology concepts in motivation.part of corporate social responsibility -.e. Behaviour Anchors Slide 12
1. perceptions -. womens’ studies • OB is developing its own models and theories. suppliers. social. but few practise CSR or have their actions evaluated
FIVE ANCHORS OF ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOUR
and/or organizational level • Topics identified at one level. Multiple levels of analysis anchor • OB issues can be studied from individual. but usually relate to all three levels 5. but other output have adverse effects (eg. team.stakeholders – anyone with a vested interest in the organization -. Contingency anchor • A particular action may have different consequences in different situations -. Systematic research anchor • OB researchers rely on scientific method -.Part 1
2.natural and social conditions outside the organization -.environment is increasingly turbulent – rapid change • Organizations need to adapt to external environment • Need to coordinate subsystems and be aware of unintended consequences
Open Systems Anchor of OB (build) Slide 13
. pollution) • External environment -.no single solution is best in all circumstances • Need to diagnose the situation and select best strategy under those conditions • Universal theories welcomed where contingency theories offer little advantage 4. • OB also adopting a grounded theory approach – dynamic and cyclical approach that provides constant interplay between data gathering and developing theoretical concepts.a set of principles and procedures that help researchers systematically understand previously unexplained events and conditions. layoffs. 3. Open systems anchor • Open systems -..organizations consist of interdependent parts that work together to continually monitor and transact with the external environment • Receives inputs and transforms them through technology into outputs that are returned to the external environment • Some output valued (services).
face-to-face. -.encourages info sharing
Knowledge Management at Clarica Slides 16
Knowledge Management Processes Slides 17
. Knowledge acquisition -.Chapter 1 Introduction to the Field of Organizational Behaviour
Any structured activity that improves an organization’s capacity to acquire. and relationship capital 1. etc. Relationship capital -.communities of practice -..informal groups bound together by shared expertise and passion for a particular activity or interest • Rewards -. teams. 1.intranets.distributing knowledge to where it is needed in the organization • Communication -.acquiring knowledge by hiring individuals or buying entire companies • Individual learning -.organization's ability to extract information and ideas from its environment as well as through insight • Grafting -. Human capital -. and use knowledge for its survival and success
Knowledge Management Defined Slide 14
Intellectual capital • Knowledge residing in the organization -. share. customer loyalty)
Intellectual Capital Slide 15
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT PROCESSES
Knowledge management at Clarica Life Insurance Company • Clarica Life Insurance Company uses its company-wide Intranet (called Clarica Connects) to help agents develop and share their expertise in ways that generate innovative solutions. Knowledge sharing -.learning about external environment • Experimentation -.employees possess and generate 2.sum of its human. Structural capital -. insight 2.creativity.captured in systems and structures 3. structural.value derived from external stakeholders (eg.
15: Organizational Memory Defined
. Knowledge use • Knowledge awareness – know that relevant knowledge is available • Freedom to apply knowledge Organizational memory -.12: Knowledge Management Defined 1.8: Trends: Workplace Values & Ethics 1.Part 1
3.3: Trends: Globalization 1.13: Intellectual Capital 1.10: Organizational.2: Why Study Organizational Behaviour? 1.11: Open Systems Anchor of OB 1.storage and preservation of intellectual capital -.1: What are Organizations? 1.7: Employability vs Job Security 1.6: Trends: Employment Relationship 1. Behaviour Anchors 1.4: Trends: Information Technology 1.9: Corporate Social Responsibility 1.14: Knowledge Management Processes 1.5 Trends: Workplace Diversity 1.includes employee knowledge and embedded knowledge
Organizational Memory Slide 18
Retaining intellectual capital • Keeping good employees • Transferring knowledge from one person to the next • Transferring human capital to structural capital Organizations also need to “unlearn” • Cast off routines and patterns of behaviour that are no longer appropriate
Transparency Transparency Transparency Transparency Transparency Transparency Transparency Transparency Transparency Transparency Transparency Transparency Transparency Transparency Transparency 1.
The word “computer” appears in most chapters of this book. this knowledge will help everyone to improve their personal effectiveness and wellbeing in organizational settings. Organizations affect virtually every part of our lives. manage conflict. so it only makes sense that we should be interested in knowing when. OB theories must be simple. Organizations have been reducing entire layers of management and passing control of work processes over to nonmanagement employees.. such as making better decisions. Organizational behaviour has direct implications for influencing organizational events. building employee commitment. 2. Students will certainly identify others: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 3. OB concepts and theories help to confirm and challenge our personal theories as well as adopt new perspectives of reality. This is an open-ended question which could be used as an exercise activity with subsequent class discussion. Telecommuting Computer feedback Computer monitoring Computer-based learning Effect of computers on job design E-mail and other computer-mediated communication Virtual teams Using computer technology to integrate the work unit’s technological with social system Computer-based decision support systems Electronic brainstorming Computers as substitutes for labour Organizational politics of computer-based information sharing Computer-based negotiation Computer technology as a driver of organizational change Computers and free agents Web-based career postings Computers connecting network structures
“Organizational theories should follow the contingency approach. improving individual performance. and why organizational events occur -. this knowledge helps us to predict and understand organizational events. Finally. These practices may seem most appropriate for senior and middle managers. Here are some of the topics linked to information technology. while it would be preferable to use universal theories for the sake
. In the long run. the organizational behaviour concepts described in this book will become more important than ever before to employees at all levels.no matter what position we hold in the organization. yet accurate. The main objective is to help students understand how computer technology has profound implications for behaviour in organizations. Contingency theories are more refined because they recognize that environmental and personal characteristics moderate most causeeffect relationships. organizational behaviour helps us to test the numerous personal theories that we have already formed to make sense of the work world. OB theories prescribe ways to persuade and negotiate. According to the textbook. Besides the value of OB courses for influencing organizational events. accuracy usually requires the contingency approach because most human behaviour is too complex to understand sufficiently through universal (i. and communicate with others in organizational settings. but they are relevant to everyone who works in and around organizations.e. While simplicity calls for universal theories. As this happens. A friend suggests that organizational behaviour courses are only useful to people who will enter management careers. At a more interpersonal level. Look through the list of chapters in this textbook and discuss how information technology could influence each organizational behaviour topic.Chapter 1 Introduction to the Field of Organizational Behaviour
SOLUTIONS TO DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1. In other words.” Comment on the accuracy of this statement. Discuss the accuracy of your friend's statement. and helping work teams operate more effectively. Everyone needs to master the knowledge and skills required to work more effectively with people in organizational settings. the friend’s perspective of organizational behaviour is inaccurate. how. structuring organizations to fit the surrounding environment. one best way) theories.
their source of wealth -. some of the wealthiest organizations (including many software companies and consulting firms) have few physical assets. 6. This question also suggests a subtle misunderstanding by the executive about knowledge management. Intellectual capital is the sum of an organization's human capital. Their ships are often owned by others. Structural capital is the knowledge captured and retained in an organization's systems and structures. savings in one area sometimes resulted in increased costs in another area. companies use software to manage documents and exchange
Although less common. Discuss the merits of the oil executive’s comments. reliable suppliers. organizing it. This includes keeping good employees and systematically transferring their human capital into structural capital when they must leave. Moreover. Banks are selling off their corporate headquarters because their competitive advantage -. this
oil company would not have found land with oil deposit’s unless it had the knowledge to find that oil. For instance. They give lip service to the idea that “People are our most value assets” but still don’t understand that land and capital have little value without people. an oil company executive argues that this perspective ignores the fact that that oil companies could not rely on knowledge alone to stay in business. They also need physical capital (such as pumps and drill bits) and land (where the oil is located).is found in knowledge. The teams boldly crossed departmental boundaries and areas of management discretion in search of problems. Human capital refers to the knowledge that employees possess and generate. 7. the city managers discovered that a dollar saved in the water distribution unit may have cost the organization two dollars elsewhere. and relationship capital. The major oil companies today are mainly in the knowledge business -. Indeed. other departments and subunits had to adapt to changes implemented in the TDS area. these two may be more important than what employees carry around in their heads. On the contrary. pp.S. and explain how an organization can retain this capital. see: B. Although much corporate knowledge resides in the brains of its employees (called human capital). When the water distribution unit employees tried to improve efficiency.Part 1
of simplicity. It also includes embedding knowledge in the organization’s systems and structures. Employees working in other parts of the City of Calgary began to complain about these intrusions. An information technology consultant recently stated that over 30 percent of U. In other words. Spring 1985. After hearing a seminar on knowledge management. and other external sources that provide added value. In fact. 4. Relationship capital is the value derived from satisfied customers. organizational capital. 5. many executives still see value in land and capital.scouting for oil or marketing what others have found and extracted. This city has many subunits with close links to each other. Some of the actions that improved productivity in one area sent ripples through other parts of the organization. 139-145. It could not operate the equipment to extract and refine the oil unless it had enough knowledge. The executive’s comment that companies could not remain in business with only knowledge. It also includes documentation -bringing out hidden knowledge. Fully describe intellectual capital. the interdependence of these subsystems became apparent. The drilling equipment is leased or owned by companies that specialize in drilling. Retaining intellectual capital refers to the discussion in the textbook about retaining organizational memory. when some team ideas were implemented.” National Productivity Review.] This incident illustrates that organizations are open systems with many interdependent parts that function as a whole to achieve a set of goals. Oil companies are also outsourcing several aspects of physical assets. For details. Use the open systems anchor to explain what happened here [NOTE: This discussion question is based on a real incident in Calgary. we often must rely on contingency theories to sufficiently understand and predict organizational behaviour. “A Near-Run Thing: An Inside Look at a Public-Sector Productivity Program. Sheehy. it also resides in the organization’s systems and structures (known as structural capital). Employees in the City of Calgary’s water distribution unit were put into teams and encouraged to find ways to improve efficiency. and putting it in a form that can be available to others.
But knowledge management consists of much more than knowledge sharing. BusNews has experienced increased competition from other news providers. requires some knowledge base in computer technology to make this strategy effective. It also includes knowledge acquisition and knowledge use. explain how BusNews might gain the intellectual capital necessary to become more competitive in this respect. There is little knowledge within BusNews about how to use these computer technologies.Chapter 1 Introduction to the Field of Organizational Behaviour
information. as with scanning. is the leading stock market and business news service. he concluded that “knowledge management in Canada is at its beginning stages”. he sees knowledge management purely as knowledge sharing. Based on this. in other words. that few Canadian firms practise knowledge management. Over the past two years. This is a useful support strategy but.
. 8. Knowledge acquisition includes the organization’s ability to extract information and ideas from its environment as well as through insight Knowledge use refers to applying knowledge. This is a viable strategy. The textbook briefly describes three knowledge acquisition strategies: Individual Learning. This information technology consultant has a limited view of knowledge management. particularly through intranets and other computer technologies. but is relatively slow. BusNews Ltd. Experimentation. These competitors have brought in Internet and other emerging computer technologies to link customers with
information more quickly. This is the process of acquiring knowledge by hiring individuals or buying entire companies. Specifically. Comment on this consultant’s statement. This incident calls for an analysis of the different strategies to acquire organizational knowledge. Grafting. Based on the knowledge acquisition processes for knowledge management. whereas Canadian firms are just beginning to adopt this technology. given that other news providers already have this knowledge. This is probably the most effective approach for BusNews because hiring knowledgeable employees are acquiring a company with this knowledge would provide the intellectual capital quickly.
not the firm’s long-term survival and success. Teams will likely be mentioned as another OB concept. A third factor may be the inherent ambiguity regarding the benefits of satisfying the needs of stakeholders other than sahareholders.
Q: How do magazines such as Banana encourage multiculturalism in Canada? A: To answer this question. The most likely answer is that many corporate leaders are so focused on short-term shareholder value that they fail to see that satisfying the needs of other stakeholders is often in the best long-term interest of shareholders. whereas most companies in Canada do not? A: Students may need to speculate somewhat on the answer to this question. these magazines celebrate cultural differences and recognize that people with different backgrounds can adapt and live successfully within this diversity.
. Some students might say that this photo caption emphasizes organizational structure. what other professional groups would benefit from an intranetbased community of practice A: Basically. any knowledge-oriented group would benefit from a community of practice because they have the opportunity for knowledge sharing.
Vancouver City Savings Credit Union
Q: Why do organizations such as VanCity apply the triple bottom line. what organizational behaviour concepts described in this book would have the greatest influence on the success of Syncrude and other mammoth projects? A: This is a question for classroom debate.
Clarica Life Insurance Company
Q: Along with independent sales agents.Part 1
PHOTO CAPTION CRITICAL THINKING QUESTIONS
Q: In your opinion. However. Moreover. generally. Commonly mentioned examples are engineers working in different regions for an organization. and medical specialists. it would be great if the instructor had a copy of this (or a similar) magazine to illustrate the material within the magazine. Others might suggest that communication plays a major role in the success of major projects. academics in specific fields of study. these leaders are rewarded for their fairly short-term financial performance.
The case mentions that a previous employee’s telecommuting arrangement was a failure. the employer appears to have unrealistic expectations of what Irina’s productivity should be. Andrew DuBrin. while Irina is still visiting the office once a week. Psychological Reports.g. E. “Telecommuting: Who Really Benefits?”. The employer might also need to provide additional support to Irina beyond a computer and a regular courier service. given the bank’s promise of better customer service as its competitive advantage in a busy market. she is missing regular contact with her co-workers and thus is “out of the loop” for the informal transmission of information in the workplace. pp. Third. Irina is missing out on potential new clients by not physically being in the office when new customers drop in. November-December 1994. Clients have also complained to the employer about distractions like a crying baby while dealing with Irina on the phone. McQuarrie. Fourth. Risman and Donald Tomaskovic-Dewey. and while she is attempting to simultaneously work and care for a newborn baby. pp.1: CASE ANALYSIS THE GREAT IDEA THAT WASN’T
These case notes were prepared by Fiona McQuarrie. which suggests that the employer does not have a good idea of how to manage telecommuting successfully.) 1. Olson and Sophia B. 1223-1234. Her employer has told her that if her work doesn’t improve within the next month. Business Horizons. What solutions can you suggest to the problems that you have identified?
. the employer probably should not expect greater productivity just because an employee works at home. “The Social Construction of Technology: Microcomputers and the Organization of Work”. Her co-workers also appear to be resentful of her new work arrangement. (See. Second. 79-83. and the difficulties that her physical and social isolation from the office could cause. decided to telecommute to her job while working at home. June 1991. May-June 1989. Fiona A. while the employer is being supportive in supplying a computer and couriering work to and from Irina’s home. What are the major problems in this telecommuting arrangement? There are several major problems that can be identified in this case. Irina is having trouble working at home where there is no suitable physical space for her to work. which Irina could have anticipated. Journal of Social Issues. rather than attributing problems only to Irina’s perceived inability to manage her work arrangement. Is it Irina’s or the bank’s responsibility to solve these problems? This question could generate some interesting debates about the worker’s and the employer’s responsibilities in ensuring satisfactory working conditions. “Working at Home with Computers: Work and Non-Work Issues”. 3. There are also some problems in projecting a “professional image” when working from home (e. Primps. 2. the problems encountered by Irina and her employer are all taken from studies of real-life telecommuting arrangements. 97-112. so it could be said that she should have realized the problem of trying to work and care for a baby. pp. for example. Irina proposed the telecommuting arrangement.ACTIVITY 1. Fall 1984. Business Horizons. On the other hand. “Comparison of the Job Satisfaction and Productivity of Telecommuters versus In-House Employees”. University College of the Fraser Valley
After the birth of her daughter. because of her isolation from the office and because of problems with establishing a working atmosphere at home. she will have to return to regular working hours at the office. pp. The arrangement is not working as well as she had hoped. First. Although the workplace and the characters in the case are fictional. This is an important point. 71-75. Barbara J. Margrethe H. a mortgage officer. Irina’s daughter crying in the background while Irina was on the phone). Irina.
instead of managing multiple individual telecommuting arrangements. depending on the scheduling of the child care. while still allowing the employees to avoid extensive travel and other work-related costs. First. Having telecommuting available to other employees might reduce the resentment that Irina’s co-workers feel (they may be angry because they feel she is receiving special treatment). and other office furnishings. Irina could consider arranging for part. in a location convenient to the employees.or full-time at home. to some extent. Having telecommuting employees working from one place also allows the employer a greater degree of control over work. and
explore ways to support such arrangements if it is decided that telecommuting is a viable option. The employer could also consider offering some day care arrangements at the office. bulk purchase of computers. or they could share the cost. it may be that telecommuting is inappropriate for her job. and thus make it easier for her to be available outside “regular” office hours.g. Irina and the company obviously need to renegotiate the terms of the telecommuting arrangement. Irina and the company could also explore ways to refer “walk-in” clients to her when she is not physically in the office.or full-time child care while she is working at home. The “satellite office” is not a formal place of business open to the public. and telecommute from there rather than from their homes. since once a week does not seem to be sufficient for her to stay involved and to acquire new clients. there could better working conditions for Irina at home. The cost of purchasing of such a piece of furniture could be covered by either Irina or the employer. Fourth. If the employer decides to formalize telecommuting as an option. which would likely be a benefit to other employees with child care responsibilities. many office furniture companies now make cabinets containing computer and filing storage. Since Irina’s job is. The issue of Irina’s time in the office also should be resolved. Telecommuting does not work for every employee and for every job. office supplies. Rather than setting up working arrangements in each individual employee’s home. the employer establishes a “satellite office”: an office space equipped with computers. but instead is a non-homebased telecommuting site. and could also be a selling point in recruiting new employees. dependent on regular interaction with her co-workers and developing a client base from new customers. It would also possibly permit her to work different hours. There needs to be clearer expectations (on both sides) of Irina’s productivity. and office furniture). This would partially solve the problem of Irina being unable to avoid looking at work when she is not working. Some employers have also developed “semitelecommuting” arrangements if many employees live considerable distances from a central workplace. files. It appears that the employer is allowing telecommuting on a case-by-case basis. Third. Irina and the employer could also question whether telecommuting is appropriate for her situation. which can be closed so that the “work equipment” is not visible when not in use. The employer could subsidize or cover the cost of childcare to assist Irina in implementing this arrangement. She may benefit herself and the employer by returning to an office-based work arrangement. Second.
. the employer could subsidize day care for her during the time she is in the office. This arrangement avoids most of the problems associated with working from home. photocopiers. there are numerous solutions that could be applied in this case. since increased productivity and professionalism would also benefit the employer. the employer may want to examine how committed it is to the idea of telecommuting. and there might be benefits to formalizing telecommuting as an option for more employees if the company decides this is appropriate. Finally. Because of the numbers of workers working part. While this would somewhat reduce the savings generated by telecommuting.Depending on how the problem has been defined. as she had suggested to her employer. there are cost savings that could be generated (e. Employees who wish to telecommute travel to the “satellite office” rather than to the central workplace. If Irina is concerned about her ability to spend time away from her child. it would undoubtedly improve her ability to work without distraction and also to present a professional image to her clients.
not backwards. Instead. At the end of this planning and practice.
Comments for Instructors
This exercise is also called “Traffic Jam”.ACTIVITY 1. In other words. Rule #4: When performing the task. 2. However.]
Task Description (read to students)
Each team will develop and execute a strategy in which the three team members on either side of an open space will move to the other side in the same final order (see exhibit on this page). This exercise sometimes works better without chairs. The exercise offers plenty of fun and is an excellent ice breaker for the beginning of the course. be prepared to use up an entire 45 minute class for this exercise with some time for debriefing. but the instructor has more information about the team’s task. Rule #5: When performing the task. it may be useful to advise students that the task can be completed in less than 20 seconds. if that space is vacant. Rule #3: When performing the task.
None. The team that completes the task in the least time wins. [Note: The chairs are optional. Halfway through the planning stage. you can move around a student who is one space in front of you to the next space if that space is vacant (see Exhibit 2 in textbook). Step 2: All teams will receive special instructions in class about the team’s assigned task. 5. Step 3: Other than chairs. In other words. you can only move forward. This makes some teams rethink their strategy. you can move forward to the next space. Team members 1.
. no special materials are required or allowed for this exercise. the class will discuss the implications of this exercise for organizational behaviour. Rule #2: You may speak to other students in your team at any time during the planning and implementation of this task. Team members 4. each team should have a private location where team members can plan and practice the required task without being observed or heard by other teams. All teams have the same task and will have the same amount of time to plan and practice the task. you can move forward two spaces.2: TEAM EXERCISE HUMAN CHECKERS
This exercise is designed to help students understand the importance and application of organizational behaviour concepts. and 6 will begin on the right side of the open chair or space and must move to the left side in the same order (see Exhibit below).
Before 1 2 3 4 5 6
After 4 5 6 1 2 3
Instructions (provided in textbook)
Step 1: Form teams with six students each. but only if it is vacant (see Exhibit 1 in textbook). the instructor might use two lines of tape on the floor to keep student teams in a straight line. and 3 begin on the left side and must move to the right side in the same order. students should learn the following rules for planning and implementing the task: Rule #1: You cannot use any written form of communication or any props other than chairs to assist in the planning or implementation of this task. each team will be timed while completing the task in class. Step 4: When all teams have completed their task. Although the task is not described here.) If possible. (NOTE: Larger teams may be formed. you must move only in the direction of your assigned destination. but all teams must be the same size and have the same number of people on each side.
etc. Several OB problems potentially emerge. It relates to teams because the planning and practice stage involves team development and performance. It is useful to identify the types of theories that emerge. Identify organizational behaviour concepts that the team applied to complete this task. time is required for each team to demonstrate and compete.) a mentioned most often.It usually takes teams up to 30 minutes to figure out the solution and to improve their efficiency in the task. Conflict sometimes occurs. What organizational behaviour problems occurred and what actions were (or should have been) taken to solve them. 3. Leadership may be an issue where one person dominates the process too much. Then. Conflict mat become an issue if some team members don’t work as effectively as others. Creativity and decision making are relevant because the team must figure out how to get everyone to the opposite side within the constraints indicated.
1. This is a subjective question in which students reveal their personal theories. Some students might note that they are not as good at either figuring out the method or synchronizing as well as other people
. Leadership may be an issue here because some people help the team to work toward its goals.
in the team. Team dynamics are most often mentioned. which topics (leadership. 2. This relates to the elements of individual behaviour. What personal theories of people and work teams were applied to complete this task. that is. Human checkers is an exciting exercise that applies many organizational behaviour topics. individual performance.
and so on. the first day of a class. For example. therefore. This could be the first day at work. It may be a matter of changing routines (going to bed earlier). Step 2: After the topic has been identified. did it happen again. students should develop a causal map of the incident. This exercise is designed to help you understand how to gain knowledge from past mistakes in a specific situation. Notice that this exercise also reshapes our thinking about mistakes.ACTIVITY 1. each team member writes down an incident in which something went wrong in that situation. mistakes are learning events. what were the consequences of this incident. and personal mistakes in that situation. This activity requires teams of 5 or 6 people. the incident. For example. Rather. form the incident about being in the wrong room. students can explore what can be learned from them. As an incident is described. they might note the need to look closely at room numbers. It teaches students to conduct effective debriefing sessions -. Step 3: Each student describes the mistake to other team members.3: TEAM EXERCISE DEVELOPING KNOWLEDGE FROM MISTAKES
The problem that people make from their mistakes isn’t so much the mistake itself. a student might describe how he/she sat in class and realized half way through the first lecture that it was the wrong room! Another might describe how he/she arrived late because the parking lot was full. This point is consistent with the experiential learning approach that is described in Chapter 2. They should ask why the problem happened. The knowledge might not be as obvious as you think. From these stories. etc. ask others in the class to confirm that the course in this room is what he/she assumes. The instructor will identify a situation that students would have experienced and. rethinking our motivation to enroll in a program. in the incident of being late. This exercise can be fun because it reveals some very human activities. or a social event such as a first date. go on a first date. double check last minute room changes. Think of this knowledge as a road map for others to follow when they begin their first day of class or first day at work. Rather than a source of embarrassment. For example. Step 4: As other incidents are analyzed.
Comments for Instructors
The first day of class is a suitable and usually entertaining topic because all students have obviously experienced this event and many probably have hilarious examples of how events went wrong. as well as the idea that knowledge emerges from these memorable (and sometimes infamous) events. and so on. it’s that they do not take the time to learn from those mistakes. someone might note how they were late for class because they forgot to set their alarm clock.a powerful way to extract knowledge from another person’s experiences.
Step 1: The class will be divided into small teams (four to six people). the learning might not be that we should ensure the alarm clock is set. at which they probably have made mistakes. a situation identified by the instructor. and so on. For example. the team should begin to document specific knowledge about
. if the topic is the first day of classes.
Third. the correct answer is in a state of flux. These include: (a) self-justification -. a strong culture can be a problem when the values are inconsistent with the organization’s environment. The dominant OB research indicates that task-oriented is often beneficial (such as in decision making) whereas socioemotional conflict has negative consequences. FALSE. 30). For details. FALSE. There are several reasons why people continue to support a bad decision. Decision makers tend to continue supporting a course of action even though information suggests that the decision is ineffective.ACTIVITY 1. and (d) closing costs -. The latest research indicates that job satisafaction has a moderately strong association with job performance (a correlation of around . We also discuss both the benefits of and problems with conflict in Chapter 13. 4. in Chapter 10. FALSE. you can help students to see that organizational behaviour systematically studies these issues and helps us to correct or clarify popular misperceptions. Of course. Three reasons are offered. the instructor will provide information about the most appropriate answer. Companies are most effective when they have a strong corporate culture. Second. First.)
Comments for Instructors
This exercise addresses the point that common sense isn’t always correct. As described in the latter part of Chapter 13. 2. It is better to negotiate alone than as a team. 3. a very strong culture suppresses dissenting values that may be
Read each of the statements below and circle whether each statement is true or false. TRUE. in your opinion. This information makes it easier to identify low-cost concessions or proposals that will satisfy the other side. (c) perceptual blinders -decision makers do not see the problems soon enough.decision makers underestimate the risk and over estimate their probability of success. By reviewing each statement. This is one of those “truths” that students will probably answer correctly and many OB instructors will answer incorrectly because they rely on old organizational behaviour research. Actually. TRUE. As with so many organizational behaviour concepts. (Note: This activity may be done as a self-assessment or as a team activity. to some extent”. But some emerging research concludes that even taskoriented conflict can be a problem. We have included some true statements to complicate the exercise.people want to present themselves in a positive light. The class will consider the answers to each question and discuss the implications for studying organizational behaviour. 1. After reviewing these statements. 5.decision makers will persist because the costs of ending the project are high or unknown. see Chapter 4 on workplace emotions and attitudes. the answer is “true. which is described
. Organizations are more effective when they prevent conflict among employees. some students will be counter-intuitive in anticipation that these are “trick” questions. the more your side will hear valuable information and understand the subtle nonverbal cues communicated by the other party.” In Chapter 16. To be more accurate. students will read that there is a weak relationship between corporate culture strength and organizational performance. team listening is an important virtue in negotiations. the more precise answer is “it depends.4: SELF-ASSESSMENT IT ALL MAKES SENSE?
This exercise is designed to help students understand how organizational behaviour knowledge can help you to understand life in organizations. A happy worker is a productive worker. (b) gambler’s fallacy -. a very strong culture can blind employees from seeing other perspectives. This statement represents the escalation of commitment phenomenon. The more people listening. Here are the eleven statements with their correct answers and references to their discussion in the textbook.
some female leaders are not participative. FALSE.important in the future as the environment changes. In other words. take a more relaxed approach to life. Students will read in Chapter 5 that overrewarded employees often distort their perceived inputs or outcomes to reduce inequitable feelings. Type A/B patterns are described in Chapter 7. They might think: “This large bonus means that the company values my talent more than I thought!”
. 9. Effective organizational change always begins by pinpointing the source of its current problems.e. Yet.. Actually. 8. According to this model. But generally. Top-level executives tend to exhibit a Type A behaviour pattern (i. these features may provide superior human relations skills which give Type B people more promotions. top-level executives tend to exhibit the Type B behaviour pattern. The problem is that we sometimes (or often) experience stress beyond this beneficial level. Employees usually feel overreward inequity when they are paid more than coworkers performing the same work. dwelling on problems can bog down the change process and degenerate into political. 7. female leaders are more participative. 11. short-tempered. rapid talkers). strong sense of time urgency.
FALSE. In Chapter 17. As we learn at the end of Chapter 14. As we learn in Chapter 7. People in Japan value group harmony and duty to the group (high collectivism) more than Canadians or Americans (low collectivism). FALSE. impatient. Female leaders involve employees in decisions to a greater degree than do male leaders. they tend to work steadily. men and women are mostly similar in their leadership styles. change agents need to focus the group on its potential and positive elements. When it comes to money. But there is one exception: female leaders involve employees in decisions to a greater degree than do male leaders. hard-driving. namely that Japanese people have high collectivism and low individualism. Of course. they might begin to think that their higher pay is justified because they offer more skills or experience than they previously thought. There is lot of debate about whether men and women lead differently. FALSE. We need a certain level of stress to energize us. to identify the problem before looking for solutions. FALSE. we introduce an emerging perspective of organizational change called appreciative inquiry. Employees perform better without stress. people tend to play interesting mind games to avoid feeling overreward inequity. These recent findings are reported in Chapter 2. 10. This statement represents one of the most widely held views in organizational behaviour. Instead. and be even-tempered. several studies (including a recent major meta-analysis) now conclude that Japanese people tend to have fairly low collectivism. For example. and some male leaders are very participative. This statement refers to the dominant model of problem solving and organizational change. competitive. TRUE. some level of stress is essential for life. namely. In fact. 6.
This instrument is designed to help students to identify their “telework disposition”.] This scale assesses three personal dispositions that are identified in the literature as characteristics of effective teleworkers: (a) high company alignment. But effective teleworking requires more than technology. The greater the alignment.5: SELF-ASSESSMENT TELEWORK DISPOSITION ASSESSMENT
This exercise is designed to help students to assess the extent to which they possess the personal characteristics most suitable for telework. but it measures three of the most important dispositions.
Overview and Instructions
Teleworking (also known as telecommuting) has become one of the fastest-growing developments in the workplace. While some deviation from company practices may be appropriate. knowledge workers can now perform their work at home or another location away from their usual office. teleworkers need to agree with company values and provide work that is consistent with company expectations most of the time.
Feedback for the Telework Disposition Assessment
[NOTE: The following information is also provided in Appendix B and/or the Student CD. values. Other factors. Also. Scores on this scale range from 4 to 20. and (c) independent initiative. have lower social needs at work) because teleworking offers less opportunity for social interaction with coworkers than when working in an office setting each day. Score 15 to 20 9 to 14 4 to 8 Interpretation Low social needs Moderate social needs High social needs
. Students are asked to read each of the 14 statements in this instrument and indicate the extent to which they agree or disagree that the statement describes them. and competencies are compatible with teleworking arrangements. family. Some people are better than others tat surviving and succeeding in teleworking arrangements. With advanced computer and telecommunications systems.e. (b) low social needs at work. Score 15 to 20 9 to 14 4 to 8 Interpretation High company alignment Moderate company alignment Low company alignment
Low social needs at work
People with a high score on this subscale do not rely on co-workers to satisfy their social needs. that is. This scale does not cover every personal characteristic related to effective teleworking. technological systems support must also be taken into account.ACTIVITY 1. Scores on this scale range from 4 to 20. the degree to which their needs. the more likely that you can abide by company practices while working alone and with direct supervision. such as organizational. Notice that HIGH scores represent LOW social needs. Successful teleworkers tend to score higher on this subscale 9i.
Company alignment estimates the extent to which you follow company procedures and have values congruent with company values. please keep in mind that this scale only considers personal characteristics.
social needs at work. and higher independent initiative. A higher score indicates that students will probably be more satisfied and productive in a teleworking arrangement than someone with a lower score on this scale.Independent initiative
One of the most important characteristics of successful teleworkers is that they are able to set their own work goals and maintain a productive work schedule without direct supervision. people with high scores have higher alignment with company values and practices. Score 24 to 30 15 to 23 6 to 14 Interpretation High independent initiative Moderate independent initiative Low independent initiative
Total Telework Disposition
This overall score combines the results for company alignment. and independent initiative. Specifically. Scores on this scale range from 14 to 70. Score 54 to 70 34 to 53 14 to 33 Interpretation High telework disposition Moderate telework disposition Low telework disposition
. lower social needs at work. People who score higher on this subscale tend to have a higher degree of independent initiative. Scores on this scale range from 6 to 30.
Employee-management relations had deteriorated below the level when Simard had started. or take extended lunch breaks. Two months later. Simard attended an operations meeting at Ancol’s headquarters in Toronto. Without time clocks. Quebec plant. They felt respected and saw this gesture as a sign of positive change from the new plant manager. However. however. Initially. the increased absenteeism levels were beginning to have a noticeable effect on plant productivity. Ancol found it necessary to add another supervisor position and reduce the number of employees assigned to each supervisor. “But it sure feels like it. Productivity had dropped due to poorer attendance records and increased administrative workloads. leaving early. Ancol’s plant manager in Northern British Columbia. offered him the job of manager at its Jonquiere. Although this represented only about five percent of the employees. The number of grievances doubled over six months. During lunch. Simard described the time clock incident to Liam Jackson. One of Simard’s first observations at Ancol’s Jonquiere plant was that relations between employees and management were strained. This symbolic gesture. Jackson explained that the previous BC plant manager had done something like that with similar consequences six or seven years ago. so relations with supervisors deteriorated. After just a few months. Simard ordered the removal of all time clocks from the plant. Jackson looked surprised. the payroll department could not deduct pay for the amount of time that employees were late. but Jackson heard about the BC timeclock from a supervisor during the manager’s retirement party two months ago. Instead. the plant would assume that employees had put in their full shift. The additional responsibility of keeping track of attendance also made it difficult for supervisors to complete their other responsibilities. Instead. the plant manager position was a valuable first step in a promising career. Employees resented the reprimands. Supervisors were burnt out from overwork. 2. this required yet more time and additional skills from the supervisors. 3. which required even more time for both union officials and supervisors to handle these disputes. Although the Jonquiere plant was the smallest of Ancol’s 15 operations across Canada. Simard was happy enough managing a small metal stamping plant with another company. the 250 production employees at the Jonquiere plant appreciated their new freedom. then chuckled. A few people began showing up late. he believed. a letter of reprimand was placed in the employee’s personnel file. The previous manager had left some time ago. A couple of months after the time clocks were put back in place. STUDENT HANDOUT
Paul Simard was delighted when Ancol Ltd. problems started to appear. Moreover. Employees did not want these letters to become a permanent record. What symptom(s) exist in this case to suggest that something has gone wrong? What are the root causes that have led to these symptoms? What actions should Ancol or Paul simard take to correct these problems?
. would establish a new level of credibility and strengthen relations between management and employees at the site.SUPPLEMENTAL CASE AN UNTIMELY INCIDENT AT ANCOL CORP. Simard asked supervisors to observe and record when the employees came or went and to discuss attendance problems with those abusing their privileges. But the problems did not end there.”
1. who agreed that it would be better to put the time clocks back in. The problem had to be managed. so they filed grievances with their labour union. Nine months after removing the time clocks. Paul Simard met with union officials. others found the situation unfair. But the supervisors had no previous experience with keeping attendance and many lacked the necessary interpersonal skills to discuss the matter with subordinates. Taking a page from a recent executive seminar that he attended on building trust in the workplace.” said Simard to Jackson. “I guess it’s not quite like lightning striking the same place twice. but the headhunter’s invitation to apply to the plant manager job at one of Canada’s leading metal fabrication companies was irresistible.
© Copyright 1998 Steven L. McShane. This case is based on actual events.
. but names and some facts have been changed to provide a fuller case discussion.
Paul Simard’s entry to the organization and his knowledge from the seminar also contribute to this action. at a meeting of other Ancol managers. solution. he removed the time clocks that kept track of employee work hours. eventually. Other student groups might try to diagram the relationships that affect each other. removing the time clocks resulted in more work for supervisors. In this case.’s plant in Jonquiere. then removing the time clock. supervisors. Organizational Theory. Use the systems theory model to explain what happened when Ancol removed the time clocks. 3rd ed. however. and so on. It may also show inputs (such as Paul Simard’s entry). For example. and management.] within the organization. Typically. provide fact-based information. Paul. MN: West. and situation collide to form a decision. along with supervisors’ poor interpersonal skills. worsened relations. Simard agreed with union officials to reinstate the time clocks. The open systems view states that organizations are comprised of interdependent parts.SUPPLEMENTAL CASE ANALYSIS AN UNTIMELY INCIDENT AT ANCOL CORP. is that one action (removing time clocks) ripples through to other subsystems in the organization. 2. posed a new set of problems for labor union leaders. What changes should occur to minimize the likelihood of these problems in the future? One answer to this question is to help people at Ancol recognize that organizations are open
Suggested Answers to Case Questions
1. some abused this privilege by showing up late and leaving early. Quebec. After nine months. The main point. some groups will diagram the systems model shown in Chapter 1. This affected plant productivity. Their drawing reveals the subsystems in the case. pp. Supervisors now had to use disciplinary counseling skills which many of them lacked. decision maker. For example. It is possible in a unionized environment with process-oriented technology. This temporal image should reveal the complexity of events in the case.
This case describes the activities of Paul Simard after he became when he became manager at Ancol Corp. In particular. The results are fascinating. [SUGGESTION: This case works best when each discussion group is provided with a marker and acetate sheet or flip chart and asked to illustrate the events at Ancol from a systems perspective. [NOTE: This case is a variation of an incident described in R. such as employees. then initially increasing morale but also increasing absenteeism.] This case illustrates the problems facing organizations from an open systems view. such as a series of interrelated lines among the subsystems
. A third type of drawing illustrates the cause-effect relationships in a time sequence. 16-17. control systems (time clock). Supervisors spent more time counseling those who had attendance problems and filling out letters of reprimand. time clocks control employee attendance behaviour or. Simard learned that a similar situation had occurred at another plant a few years earlier. as predicted by the open systems anchor. Another supervisor was added to cope with the additional work. outputs (lower productivity). and feedback from the environment (union grievances). Although employees appreciated this freedom to work without a time clock. To build trust between management and employees. notice that there is no mention that it was a problem before. It also affected work activities in payroll and. Although students might suggest that lack of counseling training is a problem here. (St. The letters. we see how removing time clocks leads to a string of unexpected consequences. at least. poor relations was not the only cause of the removed time clocks. Later. (Instructors might notice how this is a classic example of garbage can decision making -. 1989). This typically starts with the poor relations. We certainly see that here with the removal of time clocks. Daft. that control systems are in place which minimize the need for supervisors to discipline employees.a problem.
SUPPLEMENTAL LECTURE: SINGLE AND DOUBLE LOOP LEARNING IN KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT
Knowledge management has its beginnings in the organizational behaviour writing about organizational learning. If Simard had known about the earlier incident. but also experimenting with new organizational systems when it becomes apparent that the existing systems are ineffective. In a learning organization. The end of the case describes how Simard attended an operations meeting at Ancol’s headquarters in Cincinnati. procedures. Schon. he might have avoided the action of removing time locks. One of the earliest organizational learning perspectives was advanced by Chris Argyris in the late 1970s. Single and double loop learning are useful concepts in the organizational learning literature because they point out how employees need to think beyond the existing organizational framework to solve problems. MA: Addison-Wesley. and norms. “Organizational Learning: A Review of Some Literature. and with what consequences. Sources: C. Argyris and D. Alternatively. This concept was popularized by Peter Senge’s 1990 book. Double loop learning involves not only responding to the error through existing procedures. as we saw at this Ancol plant. The Fifth Discipline. Notice that knowledge sharing requires a culture of open communication and information sharing. M. Argyris suggested that organizational learning involves the detection and correction of error. Even through an integrated e-mail system. In contrast. However. The second change is to apply knowledge management practices so that what was previously learned about removing time clocks would be more quickly and readily known throughout the organization. they need to be sensitive to the fact that changes in one part of the work unit affects other parts of the work unit. Dodgson. and procedures. A. 14 (1993). Organizational Learning (Reading. Oregon had a similar experience six or seven years earlier. Argyris calls the error detection and correction process “single-loop learning” when the error can be corrected through existing policies. where he learned that Ancol’s plant in Portland. the concept can be traced back more than a dozen years earlier to the work of Chris Argyris and earlier still to scholars who introduced the idea that organizations are open systems. In other words. not just the technology to make this possible. Simard could have asked other managers if removing time clocks has been tried before. albeit somewhat too late in this case. perhaps the company could leverage the benefits of Intranet technology to help employees and managers share experiences more fully. For example. policies. This illustrates the “silos of knowledge” problem that exists in large organizations. employees quickly realize that the existing system does not adequately resolve a particular problem and that a new set of norms and policies must be introduced to help the organization realign itself with the changing environment. or
might have taken steps to correct anticipated problems. 1978). This error might be an inefficiency in the organizational subsystem (such as a misunderstanding between departments) or in the organization’s relationship with the external environment (such as failing to secure sufficient resources for production). Students should discuss ways that organizations such as Ancol can improve knowledge sharing. Organization Studies.systems with interdependent parts. This is particularly important when the environment is changing rapidly and existing organizational systems are no longer appropriate.
. “double-loop learning” occurs when the error leads to a modification of the organization’s underlying norms. the organization-wide meeting that Simard attended seems to help share knowledge among plant managers. pp.
1990). The Fifth Discipline (New York: Doubleday Currency.375-94. Senge.
. P. M.
Accommodating Diversity. people are helping to improve air quality. loan executives. Silicon Valley’s famous traffic jams have motivated many employees and companies to try out telecommuting as an alternative. Monitoring Work.g. organizations and would-be telecommuters must think carefully about the following issues that arise with this employment relationship: Clarifying Expectations. desktop publishers. Reducing Corporate Costs. telecommuting (also known as “teleworking” involves working from home. providing computer equipment and network access). few auto assembly employees telecommute because the organization requires their physical labor on-site and the tolls of their trade can’t fit in a suitcase or backpack. This includes employees who are injured. Attracting Talent. telecommuters have lower absenteeism. Telecommuting potentially saves companies money because they require less space to physically accommodate employees. Many firms (including some of Cisco Systems’ offices) shift to a nonterritorial office format whereby employees take whatever work space is available when they do commute to the corporate or branch office. then work in the evening. marketing and public relations professionals. attorneys. but many organizations are still having difficulty adjusting to this new employment relationship. In other words. Also notice from Chapter 1 that employees tend to be available more often and at unusual hours when they telecommute.
In spite of its benefits. A supervisor might expect that the employee is at work during the same hours as colleagues at work. Women can return to work sooner. television and movie sound mixers.
Telecommuting is more common in some jobs than in others. (This is discussed in Chapter 8. Men also have more opportunity to fulfill household responsibilities without giving up paid employment. forms processing. yet want to return to work while convalescing. This flexibility motivates talented people to join Cisco and other companies that practice telecommuting. Moreover. Individuals are also more conscious about how their actions affect the environment. we learned that Cisco Systems is willing to let some job applicants remain at their previous residence -. telecommuters need to know their degree of work time flexibility. Along with performance expectations.even when on the other side of the country. and transcribing.
The literature has identified several reasons why telecommuting has become more popular: Minimizing Traffic Congestion. Certainly. California and other jurisdictions have established challenging goals to reduce air pollution. Telecommuting is also relatively common among trainers. but these are offset by the physical space savings. In the opening story to this chapter. if they wish.) There are some costs the employer of telecommuting (e. so it becomes a way of attracting top talent. usually with a computer connection to the office. As we described in Chapter 1.SUPPLEMENTAL LECTURE: ISSUES IN TELECOMMUTING
Telecommuting is becoming commonplace in some firms. People with disabilities can participate in the labor force where their expertise involves knowledge work. Companies have difficulty moving away from “face time” as an indicator of work
. Telecommuting is a desirable working condition to some (many?) people. Increasing Productivity. The most common jobs for telecommuting are writing. whereas the telecommuter might assume that it’s acceptable to take a couple of hours off to do shopping. telemarketing. Research consistently has found that the productivity of those who telecommute is higher than that of workers in the standard office environment. without leaving home. illustrators. Telecommuting allows those with restricted access to the workplace to complete their required tasks. Addressing Environmental Concerns. By working from home or a satellite office rather than traveling a long distance to work. and project managers. architects. employees and their bosses must develop a common set of expectations regarding their availability.
Fitzer. J. 65-73.” To rectify this problem. “Managing from Afar: Performance and Rewards in a Telecommuting Environment. 33+. Sources: N. face time is a political tactic that potentially influences the employees career opportunities and choice of assignments. Weiner. “How Telecommuting Transforms Work. Moreover. p. For discussion of knowledge mapping. The high technology company had to create road maps where coworkers can quickly identify what knowledge is needed and where it is located. M.” Sloan Management Review.” Organizational Dynamics. C. pp.” A typical knowledge mapping process brings together experts within the organization. M. Hewlett-Packard has been a pioneer in knowledge mapping. 27 (Autumn 1998). Miller. “The Second Generation Learning Organizations: New Tools For Sustaining Competitive Advantage. see T. S. C. “Real Strategies for Virtual Organizing. pp. “If Only We Knew What We Know: Identification And Transfer Of Internal Best Practices. Work fulfils a social need.” California Management Review. pp. Typically. They need to find new and better ways to monitor employee performance. Sources: E. The result was a knowledge map that helps Unilever employees quickly find corporate knowledge in this area. a few organizations engage in knowledge mapping -. R. M. Martiny.” Organizational Dynamics.performance. 667-683. Prusak.identifying what knowledge the organization holds about a key product or service. 33. B. Hill. and J. 40 (Spring 1998). Thus.
SUPPLEMENTAL LECTURE: KNOWLEDGE MAPPING
One of the most common laments in larger organizations is “I wish we knew what we know. the fruit and the seeds. Venkatraman and J. about the pulp itself. Colihan.” Compensation and Benefits Review. 57-61. telecommuting shift work monitoring from timebased indicators (hours at work) to an output-based indicators (number of tasks completed). Keys. Although employees enjoy the freedom of telecommuting. For example.
. Henderson. and what skills are required for a particular project or work activity. M. Working Knowledge: How Organizations Manage What They Know (Boston: Harvard Business School Press. many eventually realize that they “lose touch” with the workplace. what gaps exist in current knowledge capabilities. Unilever recently mapped everything it knew around the world about tomatoes: about sources of pulp for tomato sauce. M. who identify what knowledge is needed. J. B. Jackson. pp. Davenport and L. 1998).” Personnel Psychology.” says Marilyn Martiny.” Financial Post. Grayson. C. 154-174. This framework is a valuable resource for knowledge sharing an utilization because it enables others to quickly identify and retrieve knowledge . 27 (Autumn 1998). “Knowledge Mapping is a process that identifies knowledge. Gibbs. and creating a directory so that this knowledge may be found quickly. T. “Harnessing The Power. 40 (Fall 1998). collateral and tools needed to sell or deliver a solution. pp. Hequet. P. Fulmer. Minimizing Isolation. 6+. 1998. “Knowledge Management at HP Consulting. “The map is used as a guide to what knowledge is important and where it can be found.” Training 31 (November1994). “Influences of the Virtual Office on Aspects of Work and Work/Life Balance. It creates a collective view of the knowledge and skills required to successfully perform each step in the work process. 29 (JanuaryFebruary 1997). P. not just the need for accomplishment and financial security. many telecommuting arrangements
include the requirement that employees attend the regular workplace a couple of days each week. skills. pp. Knowledge Services Manager at Hewlett-Packard’s consulting division. June 18. J. O’Dell and C. 71+. 51 (Autumn 1998).
(1987. All three illustrate successful implementation of the “change master” concepts developed by Dr. Soaring to Excellence.. (1997. This list was compiled from library holdings of several universities. and the Stanley works. ISBN 0563208309 The Change Masters: Understanding The Theory. 18 min.. discusses the future of organizations. Learning to Let Employees Lead. Creating the Learning Organization. This BBC production features Charles
Handy. Belasco & Ralph C. Making it happen. The learning experience v. written by Belasco and Stayer. 42 mins. This program is based on a book by the same name. 30 min. They discuss how to implement change and develop a learning culture within a business and how to analyze an organization's learning style. 22 mins. Kanter in her book The Change Masters
. Rosabeth Moss Kanter identifies “change masters” as individuals and companies who anticipate change and respond with new ideas. VHS) This program profiles three major companies: Hewlett-Packard. Please contact your film librarian to determine the availability of these programs at your institution. 76 min. (1990. James A. VHS) Dr. Handy on the Future of Organizations. Stayer share the belief that the critical difference in today's companies rests in the "intellectual capital" found in the people who make-up the entire organization. an international writer on organizational behaviour. 2. She describes the seven ingredients that are essential to successful change masters and explains how to create the kind of environment that builds innovation and promotes acceptance to change. the changing nature of work and management and the need for adaptation. this is not a comprehensive list. Due to the variety of video material. (1994. Learning to survive v.. corVision Media). Nor can we say that all of the programs below are suitable for your class. 3. The three programs are entitled: 1.
NOTE: Instructors should look through the video suggestions section in other chapters to find videos relating to the emerging themes discussed in this opening chapter of the textbook.. They have refocused their business strategies in order to compete more effectively in an ever-changing business environment. the following videos and films generally relate to one or more topics in this chapter. VHS). These programs may be available at your college/university or rented from the distributor. Security Pacific Bank. The Change Masters: Putting The Theory Into Action (1987. VHS) These three video programs (created by CASE Television for BBC) describe the organizationallearning techniques used by successful companies..
Along with the video case(s) for this section of the tedxtbook.