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1: MOWP: A Panoramic View (intro and lit rev) 2) MOWP: Perceived Valence (expectations) 3) MOWP: Reality 4) Architecting the workplace of the future 5) Epilogue
Throughout human history work has played an important role in human societies. Work is the key activity which keeps the economy of a society operational and keeps industries productive. Work plays an important role in people¶s lives and is a means of earning a living, acquiring status as well as wealth in society. In the well educated and well paid managerial classes today, work as a source of living is not enough. Today people look for meaning. The importance of meaning in life is underscored by the views presented below: Work makes a person productively channelize energy and create something useful/ meaningful. Thus work is one of the important generators of purpose in one¶s life. In modern societies money appears to be a preeminent requirement and jobs which command higher salaries attract the graduates especially business graduates. Different societies view work differently and the priority given to work by society also varies. The dominant values of industrialized western societies are achievement, individualism and rationality. This cluster of values, according to Max Weber, was central to the Protestantism
In the 21st century. K. the central tenet of which is. Under Protestant version of Christianity n Europe. enshrined in a variety of texts and scriptures. µCulture and Organizational Behavior¶. the Gita extols work as worship. In such a situation workplace expectations and meaning of workplace held little meaning. the Vedas being the oldest among them. manifests remarkable resilience in affecting the life and activities of common Indians. new jobs got created. Jai B. Hierarchical Order and Spiritual Orientation. In such a context. young. Economic growth rode upon the rise of the service economy. There was a sea change in the post liberalization era . and English speaking Indians got many new avenues for employment. Sinha 1990) that characterize Indians in many walks of life. the job market for the highly 2 . Career success and the accumulation of wealth were an indication of one¶s state of grace. B. so were government jobs. There are also references of the prevailing aaram culture (not working diligently. S. µEthics in Management: Vedantic Perspectives¶. preference for taking rest and relaxing without doing any hard work) or chalta hai orientation (J. MNC jobs were sought after and of course. and people got work opportunities they had never dreamt of before. Thus work was a source of livelihood even among the highly educated and qualified people (Are there any studies available on job satisfaction pre 1992? Check ICSSR publications). Educated. In such a context.economic growth steadily climbed up. Chakarborty in his book. the struggle for jobs ± even among the highly educated -was high and those who got jobs held on to them for a lifetime owing to lack of options. In the Indian context work has been considered to be Dharma or duty. Sinha in his book. P. which justifies any means that serves one¶s purpose (Kumar 2004). he also talks about how the Brahamanical Idealism in seeking perfection in whatever one does coexists with anarchical individualism.³work must be done without personal claims to egocentric results as the primary driving force´ and that ³meaning and richness flow from the mind to the work´.5). Indian economy had a slow rate of growth famously known as the Hindu rate of growth (3. P. In the pre-liberalization era. hard work became a morally sanctioned religious duty to be performed to assure heavenly rewards. talks about how the Vedantic thought outlines the Indian work values. speaks about how the primordial Hindu worldview of Cosmic Collectivism.which transformed the meaning of workplace. However.
³Never before has India offered so many opportunities. Today people look to the workplace for the satisfaction of many of their social and psychological needs. Over the last 5 years Indian companies acquired $ 1. 3 . there has never been a better time to be born in India. at least in the strata which we seek to examine. As the Indian economy began to integrate with the global economy. global norms. global standards. Economic growth has given a new definition to the workplace in India with service industry having ushered in a physical makeover of workplaces. Students from top MBA institutes had a dream run with very generous salaries. Globalization: Globalization is very much on the ascent and India has now joined the list of globalizing economies. The old definition of work as a source of livelihood is on the wane. Such factors have increased the confidence levels of Indians and in turn influenced general public perceptions.educated exploded. global attitudes. multiple job offers and foreign travel. µThe India Way¶ (Capelli and others) underscore the point that managerial practices adopted by Indian companies± the source of their competitiveness. began to enter the Indian environment. within a matter of a decade the publication of books like. As K V Kamath said. Predominant Contextual Influences Today¶s context and workplaces : Over the last decade we have seen the unfolding of a number of important contextual factors and their impact on the corporate landscape having an impact on workplace expectations. Globalization provided many opportunities for Indians to travel abroad understand and learn from different parts of the world.are being studied and extolled. While in the 1990s the oft repeated corporate mantra was to benchmark with the best in the world.6 billion worth of international companies and majority of them have been turned around. Similarly the quality of lives of the middleclass has undergone a shift at least materially speaking. which was for decades completely cut off from the world. ambitions and expectations.
especially high paying MNCs have been placing tremendous demands on the employees in terms of stretched working hours.Technological advancements: The world is more closely connected than ever before thanks to technological advancements and hence there is tremendous mutual influence leading to the rise of global trends. a far cry from the earlier search for a secure job. In fact in the last one decade. Generational gaps are visible at the workplace between µorganizational commitment and self focus. cost cutting and time management. respect for authority and questioning authority. In the last few years classroom discussions with students has shown that the percentage of students aspiring to turn entrepreneurs has increased. The advent of the relatively well to do middle class has created a large group of people with increasing materialistic and hedonistic orientation. organizations in India. reduce time to market and make game changing moves requiring innovative approaches. working world class. Exposure to global trends through more technologically equipped media and greater ease of travelling are changing the expectations of people from their workplaces The struggle for survival among organizations and impact on the employee: The various competitive forces in the business context are pushing organizations to constantly cut costs. as well as between contribution and career orientation¶ (Singh et al 2006).going global. 4 . Heightening individualism and Hedonism: Today. values of the younger generation are shifting from tolerance of authority to rejection of authority. add value. In turn organizations have become more demanding on employees. Entrepreneurship: The explosion of business opportunity in India has turned more educated Indians into entrepreneurs. Indian employees have had to adapt to the changing demands of the workplace.
People are interested in working not just for making money.´ and ³getting job done´ to ³making work as the way of life´. and stock or stock options (exhibit). 2009) underscores the changes in expectations from the workplace. leadership attention (for example. Will Hutton. social. one-on-one conversations). it is now getting more and more important amidst the scenario of talent scarcity. and Mohr. and personal dividends from work. too . the focus seems to be shifting from ³money´ to ³meaning. In the contemporary world of organizations.All these factors are bound to change the expectations of the µMillennials¶ from the workplace. hard work to smart work etc. they are equally concerned with the overall experience of work. the chief executive of The Work Foundation. and a chance to lead projects or task forces²as no less or even more effective motivators than the three highest-rated financial incentives: cash bonuses.´ ³organizational commitment´ to ³work commitment.it is about money and meaning. retention challenges. A recent McKinsey Quarterly survey (Dewhurst.´ ³working´ to ³serving. but there are crucially important psychological. These changes in Millennials throw up very real challenges for organizations in managing and retaining them. Employee Preferences and expectations from work: Rising expectations are not surprising given that people spend long hours at work. the place. the people. Guthridge. The survey¶s top three 5 . ³The respondents view three non-cash motivators²praise from immediate managers. and so on and so forth. increased base pay. E.. Changing Job Attitudes: Organizations have to contend with increased expectations from new entrants. the job. says that ³Employers and organizations are going to have to think much harder about the jobs they offer.´ ³earning´ to ³learning. and the need to get skilled employees. The wage packet still matters. Although this phenomenon has been observed over the last decade.
This last year I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow. I have the opportunity to do what I do best everyday. namely the presence of the above 12 listed dimensions. Guthridge. The mission/purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important. 11. In all the companies Gallup studied there was a tremendous range across workgroups and great workplaces in different companies had a great deal in common. 3. They studied workplaces with an eye on four key outcome variables: employee retention. At work. 7. There is someone at work who encourages my development. and strive to create opportunities for career growth. In the last 7 days. I know what is expected of me at work. My associates are committed to doing quality work. ³Some of them 6 . 5. 12. These 12 dimensions are: 1. customer satisfaction. In the last 6 months someone at work has talked to me about my progress. These themes recur constantly in most studies on ways to motivate and engage employees. Our interactions with Human Resource Heads over the last decade have brought out a general bewilderment at the attitudes of the youth entering organizations. 8. 2. I have a best friend at work.´ (Dewhurst.non-financial motivators play critical roles in making employees feel that their companies value them. My supervisor or someone at work seems to care about me as a person. 6. my opinions seem to count. take their well-being seriously. productivity and profitability and identified 12 dimensions that consistently correlate with these 4 outcomes-dimensions which Gallup uses to measure the health of a workplace. At work. 2009) Gallup Organization did a multiyear research project involving 150 organizations across countries to try and define a great workplace. I have received recognition or praise for doing good work. Mohr. I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right. People say. 9. 4. 10.
Speaking with the young students from the MBA program over the years brings out the other side of the coin. pay was found to be the single most important motivational factor for the Millennials (Corporate Leadership Council 2004). 2006). ³They are not loyal´. In a similar vein. This µimpatience to succeed¶ attitude has resulted in an expectation for instant rewards rather than paying dues which the Gen X had to endure. A better understanding of the Millennials¶ career expectations priorities helps employers to create job offerings and work environments that are more likely to engage and retain millennial workers. superiors are too imposing¶ etc. Millennials. For the purpose of this study we will use the term µMillennials¶. ³They are selfish only concerned about their personal growth´. Yang and Guy. They are also looking for work that is meaningful and fulfilling (Lancaster and Stillman 2002. a recent study of University students (Greenberg 2008) found that Millennials demonstrated a sense of entitlement to good grades which was not related to actual academic abilities. and the Nexus Generation (Barnard 1998. sometimes there is nothing much to do¶.simply just don¶t turn up the next day´. increasing demographic diversity) various authors have labeled them as Generation Y. They have low tolerance for less than challenging work and often perform poorly in high volume and non-stimulating work (Corporate Leadership 7 . Burke and Ng 2006.companies from the new recruits and visa versa. This does give inkling about the mismatch between the mutual expectations. ³They have no concern for the organization´. Given the characteristics of the youth entering organizations and the events that define their lives (globalization. The expectation of good pay and benefits may also reflect the sense of entitlement that persists among Millennials. µit¶s so boring to work in these companies¶. Nexters. companies are too bureaucratic. Hill (2002) used the term ³ability-performance nexus´ to describe disconnect between what Millennials expect to achieve and what they are capable of achieving. A recent study by PriceWaterhouse Cooper (2008) found that corporate responsibility is critical to Millennials and 88%indicated that they will seek employer whose related work values match their own. They have been reported to wonder why they were not getting any pay rises and promotions after 6 months on the job (Erikson 2009). Students say. Zemke 2000). rapid technological advancement. In a recent study.
they emphasize the social aspects of work (friendly coworkers. fun environment) (Lyons 2003). Good training and developing new skills were next. As a result. Millennials appear to be seeking the opportunity to broaden their horizons through job mobility and international assignments 9Pricewaterhouse Cooper 2008). In addition. It is particularly noteworthy to note that commitment to social responsibility. greater organizational commitment and improved performance (Earl and Bright 2007). manifested in the large number of studies being undertaken 8 . There is widespread concern that differences in values between Millennials and older generations of workers affects Millennials¶ membership negotiation (of the organization) and their acceptance by incumbent workers. Eddy Ng. They also rated good people to report to among the leading attributes when making career decisions. benefits and security ranked in the middle behind career advancement. indicating a strong desire for professional growth to take on high impact positions. confirming the stereotype that they are impatient to succeed. opportunities to have a social impact and strong commitment to employee diversity ranked at the bottom of the list. since they want an atmosphere where supervisors and managers are constantly available for feedback (Corporate Leadership Council 2005). Millennials have gone to school in an era in which they are frequently assigned to group projects and presentations (Lowe et al 2008). ³manager quality´ was rated as top motivational factor (after pay) for Millennials. From an employers¶ perspective these are positive findings since met expectations have been linked to higher job satisfaction. and hope to form friendships with their coworkers (Corporate leadership Council 2005). The findings of the above study show that most Millennials appear to understand that their first job may not fulfill all their wants and needs. Items related to pay. Millennials also like collaborating closely with and learning from colleagues and managers they respect. Linda Schweitzer and Sean Lyons (2010) studied the career expectations and priorities of the Millennials and found that the Millennials rated the opportunities for advancement as the most desirable work related attribute. In different parts of the world there is talk of generational differences in work values. Perhaps not surprisingly.Council 2005). Recent economic events may have caused to adjust their short term expectations downwards.
Stauffer 1997). had little notion of work-life balance (McGuire et al. structure. supportive. Their differing experiences and values can affect their perspectives. 2008). As Millennials continue to enter the workplace. Third. there is widespread speculation and some concern about how Millennials¶ predispositions and behaviors will affect other organizational members. may cause senior level workers to feel disrespected by young workers whom they believe have not yet earned these considerations. Second. Millennials¶ expectations for frequent. more senior workers¶ believe that Millennial newcomers should have to µµpay their dues¶¶ as they did when they were young workers (Marston 2007). They are the original workaholics who.to 60-h weeks. others¶ assessments of them may reflect expectancy violations (Burgoon 1993. even as young adults. Gursoy et al. Martin 2005. and their organizational expectations. and they frequently advise young coworkers to work hard. according to empirical and popular press sources. A recent 9 . Remo 2006. as well as their lack of formality regarding status. they expect open communication from their supervisors and managers. 2000). They may even resent Millennials¶ implicit and explicit requests for communication and information. but also because they like to avoid risk (Alsop 2008. 2008. Zwilling 2009). A pertinent example of attitudinal and value differences related to Millennials that may affect membership negotiation is that. working 55. their evaluation of coworkers. even about matters normally reserved for more senior employees (Gursoy et al. 2007. and open communication. Initially. and patiently wait their turn for promotions (Chatman and Flynn 2001). SHRM. When Millennials communicate and act according to their backgrounds and values. First. Boomer workers are depicted as having routinely sacrificed on behalf of the firm. in part because they perceive group-based work to be more fun. Millennials prefer to work in teams. 2009). Millennials expect close relationships and frequent feedback from supervisors (Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM] 2009). Burgoon et al. 2007. McGuire et al. Popular literature and empirical research indicate that three Millennials¶ expectations are likely to be especially significant for workplace interaction and the development of work relationships. or propriety. demonstrate their dedication.on studying the workplace expectations of the Millennials (Jacobson 2007.
express a weaker work ethic. believe that work is less central to life. In particular.Gallup poll found that Millennials desire a work-life balance that will allow them to balance play with work (Ott et al. Smola and Sutton). 2009). may question Millennials¶ commitment and dedication to the organization. disrespect. Millennials may surprise their Boomer and Gen X managers when. Raines 2002). 2008). It is possible that Boomer generation workers will never completely accept new colleagues who do not share their work ethic. Jean Twenge (2010) reviewed the evidence for generational differences in work values from time lag studies and cross sectional studies. Their subsequent interactions with Millennial coworkers may reflect a level of discomfort. 2008). value leisure and seek more freedom and work life balance than their Boomer counterparts. Importantly. Greenfield proposes that this confidence has been buoyed by an educational system with inflated grades and standardized tests. Coworkers see them as overly confident and inappropriately demanding. dismissing Millennial workers as selfish or lazy (Collinson and Collinson 1997. asking µµwho do they think they are?¶¶ (Alsop et al. Twenge and Nolen-Hoeksema 2002) and Twenge (2000) as well as by Greenfield 1998 and George 2000 has revealed that Millennials are unusually and extraordinarily confident of their abilities. according to Gallup polls. Kowske et al 2010. Raines 2002). Martin 2005). or even distrust. Boomer coworkers who often are in leadership positions. Empirical research by Twenge and colleagues (Twenge and Campbell 2001. Their coworkers may initially respond to Millennials¶ work-life balance attitude with resistance (Alvesson and Willmott 2002. they seek key roles in significant projects soon after their organizational entry and very early in the membership negotiation process (Ott et al. The idea of paying their dues by working hard to demonstrate their worth before they are given significant tasks is likely to be resisted by Millennials. in which many Millennials are expert in performing well. critics in the popular literature contend (Marston 2007. Millennial-written blogs and popular press articles attest that they also freely and openly admit that they prioritize close personal relationships over career (µµCara¶¶ 2009. These studies consistently found that Gen X and especially Gen Y (Millennials). Smola and Sutton 2002 and Twenge et al in press and Families and Work Institute 2006. theories that younger generation seek meaning in their work and expect it to be a expression of their identity (Arnett 2004) are not supported by these studies10 .
Gen X and Baby Boomers) on dimensions of the work ethic construct using the multidimensional work ethic profile. they may need to alter their rules and policies. Popular perception is that Millennials are impatient. Millennials seem to be saying that they like their jobs and would like to stay in them. David Woehr and Christina Banister (2010) conducted a study to examine the differences across three generational cohorts (Millennials. These perceptions and stereotypes raise questions about how management can best motivate Millennials. expressing himself. John Meriac. He feels that not working would leave him aimless 11 .atleast not any more for Gen X and Gen Y than they were for Boomers. The two studies (Twenge et al in press) examining affiliation or social values found conflicting results making it difficult to draw conclusions. Post hoc comparisons revealed that Millennials exhibited lowest level of work ethic across the three cohorts. Howe and Strauss 2007). Results indicated that respondents did differ in important work related attitudes and behaviors. working means having a purpose. (Hill 2008. gaining a sense of accomplishment. There are also popular depictions of Millennials purported admirable attributes from organizational standpoint. The studies also found that Millennials were more satisfied and wanted more security from their jobs than their older generations. as well as how Millennials¶ described µunique¶ qualities will translate to organizational membership and commitment. have capabilities with advanced technology and have the ability to see problems and opportunities from fresh perspectives and are more comfortable working in teams than were past generations (Howe and Strauss 2000. In fact Millennials favor intrinsic values slightly less than Boomers did at the same age. Some organizations believe that to thrive and fully utilize Millennials¶ unique abilities. Gorman et al 2004). self important and disloyal among other unattractive qualities from an organizational viewpoint. Meaning of workplace and meaning of work: ³To the typical man in a middle class occupation. mainly that they are more accepting of diversity than were past generations. but this attitude may break down when better opportunities arise.
2006). ³As I look forward. Gary Hamel notes that as talent retention becomess more and more crucial for organizations with the ongoing talent war between organizations. This has been indicated by a landmark study conducted by Mark F Peterson and S. it is indeed spiritually meaningful. 2003. for whom their job is not only intellectually meaningful. The current management model. The meaning of work place is a much broader concept than the meaning of work since it goes beyond the job and encompasses physical context of work. centered on control and efficiency..and without opportunities to contribute« It is through the producing role that most men tie into society.´ At the top are ³people who bring in their passion and their zeal forth. an enormous meaning comes out of 12 . the intellect. no longer suffices in a world where adaptability and creativity drive business success. These quotes beautifully capture the relevance of work and the meaning it provides in people¶s lives. work goals. 1955. and societal norms predict attitudes and aspects of performance that reflect intrinsic motivation. It is in this context that the study of Meaning of Work Place assumes significance.) In his book The Future of Management (2007). this is beyond what is predicted by constructs based on traditional cognitive evaluation and job characteristics approaches to intrinsic motivation (Peterson & RuizQuintanilla. 1984).´ (Moore & Weiss. organizations now need bold management innovation more than ever. Antonio Ruiz-Quintanilla who found work centrality.. ³Well over two thirds of workers regard work as a source of personal fulfillment to them. the diligence. Interestingly. I don¶t think there¶s a company on the planet« that¶s going to be able to defend their place in the world if this is all they are getting out of their employees: the obedience. but only a very few employers ever succeed in making the most of this huge personal appetite for work that more and more people have´ (HRM Guide. Understanding meaning of work is important because it has an impact on many workplace behaviors. ³Man's search for meaning is the primary motivation in his life´ (Frankl.
their work´ (Hamel. cited from a speech on ³Continuous Management Innovation: What. 2007) 13 . Why and How´.
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