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I. Understanding a Social System

A. Social Equilibrium B. Functional and Dysfunctional Effects C. Psychological and Economic Contracts

II. Social Culture

A. Cultural Diversity B. Social Culture Values

III. Role
A. Role Perceptions B. Mentors C. Role Conflict D. Role Ambiguity

IV. Status A. Status Relationships

B. Status Symbols C. Sources of Status D. Significance of Status

V. Organizational Culture A. Characteristics of Cultures

B. Measuring Organizational Culture C. Communicating and Changing Culture

VI. Fun Workplaces

Understanding a Social System

A social system is a complex set of human relationships

interacting in many ways. 2 points : 1. The behavior of any one member can have an impact, directly or indirectly, on the behavior of any other. Although these impacts may be large or small, all parts of the system are mutually interdependent. 2. Any social system engages in exchanges with its environment, receiving input from it and providing output to it (which then becomes input for its adjacent systems).

Social systems are, therefore, open systems that

interact with their surroundings. Consequently, members of a system should be aware of the nature of their environments and their impact on other members both within and outside their own social system.

Social Equilibrium
A social system is said to be in equilibrium when its

interdependent parts are in dynamic working balance. Equilibrium is a dynamic concept, not a static one. Despite constant change and movement in every organization, the systems working balance can still be retained over time. The system is like a sea: in continuous motion and even suffering substantial disruption from storms, over time the seas basic character changes very little.

When minor changes occur in a social system, they are

soon absorbed by adjustments within the system and equilibrium is regained. On the other hand, a single significant change or a series of smaller but rapid changes may throw an organization out of balance, seriously reducing its forward progress until it can reach a new equilibrium. In a sense, when it is in disequilibrium, some of its parts are working against one another instead of in harmony.

Functional and Dysfunctional Effects

A change has a functional effect when it is favorable for

the system. When it creates unfavorable effects, such as a decline in productivity, it has a dysfunctional effect. Management tasks: 1. appraise both actual and proposed changes to determine possible functional and dysfunctional effects 2. predict both short-term and long-term effects 3. measure hard (e. productivity) and soft (satisfaction and commitment) criteria 4. consider the probable effects on various stakeholders

Employees can also have functional and dysfunctional

effects on the organization. For employees to exhibit functional behaviors, they need to receive clear expectations and promises of reward. Furthermore, in exchange, the organization needs to receive a commitment from the employees.

Psychological and Economic Contracts

Economic contract- exchange of time, talent and

energy for wages, hours, and reasonable working conditions. Psychological contract- employees involvement (both contributions and expectations) with the social system. Employees agree to give certain amount of loyalty, creativity, and extra effort, but in return they expect more than economic rewards from the system. They seek job security, fair treatment, rewarding relationships, and organizational support in fulfilling their career development expectations.

The Result of the Psychological Contract and the Economic Contract

Employee: Expected gains Intended contributions

Psychological contract

Employee: If expectations are met: High job satisfaction High performance Continuance with organization If expectations are not met: Low job satisfaction Low performance Possible separation

Employer: Expected gains Rewards offered

Economic contract

Employer: If expectations are met: Employee retention Possible promotion If expectations are not met: Corrective action; discipline Possible separation

Guidelines for Employers

To prevent breakdowns of the psychological contract, employers are urged to:

Help employees clarify their expectations and

perceptions Initiate explicit discussions of mutual obligations Exercise caution when conveying promises Provide candid explanations for broken promises Alert employees to the realistic prospects of reneging (ex. When a business downturn forces an employer to withdraw previous commitments)

Exchange Theory
This theory simply suggests that whenever a

continuing relationship exists between two parties, each person regularly examines the rewards and costs of that interaction. In order to remain positively attracted to the relationship , both parties must believe that a net positive ratio (rewards to costs) exists from their perspective. Consequently, the psychological contract is continually examined and often revised as new needs emerge and new rewards become available.

Social Culture
Culture is the conventional behavior of a society, and

it influences all actions of an individual even though it seldom enters ones conscious thoughts. Social culture is an individuals environment of human-created beliefs, customs, knowledge and practices. Social cultures are often portrayed as consistent within a nation. Social cultures can have dramatic effects on behavior at work.

Some of the ways in which cultures differ include

patterns of decision making, respect for authority, treatment of females, and accepted leadership styles. Knowledge of social cultures is especially important because managers need to understand, appreciate, and respond to the backgrounds and beliefs of all members of their work unit. People learn to depend on their culture. It gives them stability and security. However, this dependency may also place intellectual blinders on employees.

Cultural dependency is further compounded under

conditions involving the integration of two or more cultures into the workplace. Employees need to learn to adapt to others in order to capitalize on the distinctive backgrounds, traits, and opportunities they present, while avoiding possible negative consequences.

Cultural Diversity
Employees in organizations are divided into

subgroups. Two broad sets of conditions : 1. job-related differences and similarities such as type of work, rank in the organization, and physical proximity. 2. non-job related conditions such as those related to culture, ethnicity, socioeconomics, sex, and race This cultural diversity, or rich variety of differences among people at work, raises the issue of fair treatment for workers who are not in positions of authority.

Discrimination & Prejudice

Problems may persist because of a key difference in

this context between discrimination and prejudice. Discrimination is generally exhibited as an action, whereas prejudice is an attitude. Either may exist without the other. The law focuses on an employers actions, not feelings. If actions lead to what is legally determined to be discriminatory results, such actions are unlawful regardless of the employers alleged good intentions.

Valuing Diversity
Key premise: Prejudicial stereotypes develop from

unfounded assumptions about others and from their overlooked qualities. Differences need to be recognized, acknowledged, appreciated, and used to collective advantage. The workforce of the future will contain a rich blend of people representing diverse cultural and social conditions. All participants will need to explore their differences, learn from others around them, respect the value that others contribute and use that information to build a stronger organization.

Social Culture Values

The Work Ethic

For many years, the culture of the Western world emphasized work as a desirable and fulfilling activity. This attitude is also strong in some parts of Asia. Work ethic is viewing work as very important and as a desirable goal in life. When one has work ethic, he tends to like work and derives satisfaction from it. He usually has a stronger commitment to the organization and its goals than do other employees. These characteristics of the work ethic make it highly appealing to employers.

On the issue of work ethic,

available researches present 2 possible conclusions:
1. the proportion of employees with a strong work ethic

varies sharply among sample groups (varying between 15 to 85%) 2. the general level of the work ethic has declined gradually over many decades, especially with the younger workers.

Why has the work ethic declined?

1. Competing social values have emerged, such as

leisure ethic (a high priority placed on personal gratification), desire for community and connectedness (an emphasis on close personal relationships), and entitlement (a belief that people should receive societal benefits without having to work) 2. changes in social policy and tax laws have reduced incentives to work and occasionally even penalized hard work and success(in the minds of some workers, at least)

Social Responsibility
- is the recognition that organizations have significant

influence on the nations social system and that this influence must be properly considered and balanced in all organizations actions. The presence of strong social values such as social responsibility has a powerful impact on organizations and their actions. It leads them to take a broader view of their role within a social system and accept their interdependence with it.

A role is the pattern of actions expected of a person in

activities involving others. Role reflects a persons position in the social system, with its accompanying rights and obligations, power and responsibility. In order to be able to interact with one another, people need some way of anticipating others behavior. Role performs this function in the social system.

Each Employee Performs Many Roles

Who is an employee?

A person has roles both on the job and away from it.
Each role calls for different types of behavior.

Within the work environment alone, a worker may have more than one role.

Role Perceptions
How one thinks he is supposed to act in his own role

and how others should act in their roles. Since managers perform many different roles, they must be highly adaptive (exhibiting role flexibility) in order to change from one role to another quickly. Supervisors especially need to change roles rapidly as they work with both subordinates and superiors, and with technical and non-technical activities. When a manager and an employee interact, each one needs to understand four different role perceptions.

Role Perceptions
Managers perception of own role Managers perception of employees role

Employees perception of own role Employees perception of managers role

The key is for both parties to gain accurate role perceptions for their own roles and for the roles of the other. Reaching such an understanding requires studying the available job descriptions, as well as opening up lines of communication to discover the others perceptions . Unless roles and clarified and agreed upon by both parties, conflicts will inevitably arise.

A mentor is a role model who guides another

employee ( a protg) by sharing valuable advice on roles to play and behaviors to avoid. Mentors teach, advise, coach, support, encourage, act as sounding boards, and sponsor their protgs so as to expedite their personal satisfaction and career progress. The best mentors are credible, challenge you to improve, stimulate you to take risks, build your confidence, support your efforts to set stretch goals, and identify challenges and opportunities.

Tips for Protgs Using Mentors

1. 2. 3.
4. 5. 6. 7.

Select more than one mentor. Consult them periodically. Brief them on your progress, current issues, and problems you are facing. Be candid, and expect candor in return. Seek feedback from them. Ask suggestions for improvement. Share a summary of your strengths and weaknesses, and your action plan for overcoming your limitations Ask your mentors to watch for opportunities opening up that might use your skills. Seek their advice on career-building moves that will enhance your promotability.

Tips for Mentors who have Protgs

1. 2. 3.
4. 5. 6.

7. 8.

Identify protgs strengths, and help them build on them. Foster self-discovery by asking insight-generating questions. Let the protg make decisions, for that will increase ownership. Choose your words carefully; avoid being directive or judgmental. Listen; watch from a distance, intervene only when necessary. Dont place yourself on a pedestal; avoid sounding like an expert. Be real; be authentic; be supportive; eliminate signs of power. Be open to alternative views and choices; help the protg refine them.

Role Conflict
When others have different perceptions or expectations of

a persons role, that person tends to experience role conflict. Such conflict makes it difficult to meet one set of expectations without rejecting another. Role conflict at work is fairly common. Role conflict was most difficult for employees with many job contacts outside the organization- that is, with boundary roles. They found that their external roles placed demands on their jobs different from the demands of their external roles, so role conflict resulted.

Role Ambiguity
When roles are inadequately defined or are

substantially unknown, role ambiguity exists, because people are not sure how they should act in situations of this type. When role conflict and role ambiguity exist, job satisfaction and organizational commitment will likely decline. On the other hand, employees tend to be more satisfied with their jobs when their roles are clearly defined by job descriptions and statements of performance expectations.

A better understanding of roles helps people know

what others expect and how they should act. If any role misundertanding exists when people interact, then problems are likely to occur.

Status is the social rank of a person in a group. It is the

amount of recognition, honor, esteem, and acceptance given to a person. Wherever people gather into groups, status distinctions are likely to arise, because they enable people to affirm the different characteristics and abilities of group members. Individuals are bound together in status systems , or status hierarchies, which define their rank relative to others in the group. If they become seriously upset over their status, they are said to feel status anxiety.

Loss of status-sometimes called losing face or status

deprivation- is a serious event for most people. People, therefore, become quite responsible in order to protect and develop their status, which becomes the basis of a sense of general responsibility. Since status is important to people, they will work hard to earn it. If it can be tied to actions that further the companys goals, then employees are strongly motivated to support their company.

Status Relationships
Effects of Status
High status gives people an opportunity to play a more

important role in an organization High-status people have more power and influence, receive more privileges from their group, and tend to participate more in group activities As a result, lower-status members tend to feel isolated from the mainstream and show more stress symptoms than higher-ranked members.

In a work organization, status provides a system by

which people can relate to one another as they work. Without it, they would tend to be confused and spend much of their time trying to learn how to work together. Though status can be abused, normally it is beneficial because it helps people interact and cooperate with one another.

Status Symbols
The status system becomes most visible through its

use of status symbols. These are the visible external things that attach to a person or workplace and serve as evidence of social rank. Status symbols are a serious matter. They may endanger job satisfaction because employees who do not have a certain symbol, and think they should, can become preoccupied with that need. When an employee gives unreasonable attention to status symbols, there is evidence of status anxiety, and this situation requires management attention.

Typical Symbols of Status

Furniture, such as a mahogany desk or a conference table Interior decorations, such as carpeting, draperies and artwork Location of workplace, such as a corner office or an office having a

window with a view Quality and newness of equipment used, such as a new vehicle or tools Type of clothes normally worn, such as a suit Privileges given , such as a golf club membership or company automobile Job title or organizational level, such as vice president Employees assigned, such as an administrative assistant Degree of financial discretion Organizational membership,such as a position on the executive committee

Major Sources of Status on the Job


Significance of Status
When employees are consumed by the desire for

status, it often is the source of employee problems and conflicts that management need to solve. It influences the kinds of transfers that employees will take , because they dont want a low-status location or dead-end job assignment. It helps determine who will be an informal leader of a group It serves to motivate those seeking to advance in the organization

Organizational Culture
Organizational culture is the set of assumptions,

beliefs, values, and norms shared by an organizations members. This culture may have been consciously created by its key members, or it may have simply evolved across time. It represents a key element of the work environment in which employees perform their jobs

Benefits of Organizational Culture

Organizational cultures are important to a firms success for several reasons: 1. They give an organizational identity to employees 2. They are an important source of stability and continuity to the organization, which provides a sense of security to its members. 3. Knowledge of organizational culture helps newer employees interpret what goes on inside the organization 4. Cultures help stimulate employee enthusiasm for their tasks. 5. Organizational cultures identify role models to emulate

Characteristics of Cultures
1. Cultures are distinctive -Each organization has its own history, patterns of communication, systems and procedures, VM, stories and myths 2. Cultures are relatively stable in nature, usually changing only slowly over time (except for merging) 3. Most cultures are implicit and unconscious rather than explicit 4. Cultures are seen as symbolic representations of underlying beliefs and values

Other dimensions of Culture

No best culture for all firms, culture clearly depends on

the factors in its environment Cultures will be more easily recognized when their elements are generally integrated and consistent with each other Most members must at least accept, if not embrace, the assumptions and values of the culture Most cultures evolve directly from top management A culture may be made up of various subcultures Cultures have varying strengths weak or strong

Measuring Organizational Culture

Examination of stories, symbols, rituals, and

ceremonies Interviews and open-ended questionnaires to assess employees values and beliefs Examination of corporate philosophy statements Direct survey to employees regarding their perceptions of the organizations culture but this method can produce a confusing portrait Membership in the organization and engage in participant observation. This allows direct sensing.

Any attempt to measure organizational culture can only be an imperfect assessment. In reality, many organizational cultures are in the process of changing and need to be monitored regularly and by a variety of methods to gain a truer picture.

Communicating & Changing Culture

If organizations are to consciously create and manage

their cultures, they must be able to communicate them to employees, especially the newly hired ones. People are generally more willing to adapt and learn when they want to please others, gain approval, and learn about their new work environment. Examples of formal communication vehicles: a. Executive visions of the firms future b. Corporate philosophy statements c. Codes of ethical conduct

Informal means:
a. Public recognition of heroes and heroines b. Retelling historical success stories

c. Exaggeration of myths
Unintentional a. Leakage of stories

Organizational socialization- is the continuous

process of transmitting key elements of an organizations culture to its employees. 2 powerful methods for communicating an organizational culture to new employees: 1. Signature experiences- clearly defined and dramatic devices that convey a key element of the firms culture and vividly reinforce the values of the organization. Example: demanding selection procedures

2. Storytelling -Good stories tap into the emotions of an audience - Stories convey a sense of tradition and convey personal frailty through tales of mistakes made and learned from and enhance cohesion around key values - Stories entertain, inform, uplift, teach - Stories highlight purposeful plots and patterns that the organization cherishes - stories point out consequences of actions and provide valuable lessons

Individualization affects the organization

Individualization- occurs when employees

successfully exert influence on the social system around them at work by challenging the culture or deviating from it.

Four Combinations of Socialization and Individualization

High Conformity
Socialization (impact of organizational culture on employee; acceptance of norms)

Creative Individualism




Individualization (impact of employee on organizational culture; deviation from norms)


Effectiveness of Methods for Changing Organizational Culture

Very great

Probable effectiveness




Communicate Train Formulate Reward Use stories Publicly Use Appoint a top employees value behaviors and myths recognize slogans manager management statements heroes and of culture support heroines

Culture-change methods

1. 2.

4. 5. 6. 7.

Immersion in the activity Surprise Variety Choice Experience of progress Opportunities to make contributions Opportunities to win

A fun work environment is a unique and increasingly

popular organizational culture in which supervisors encourage, initiate and support a variety of playful and humorous activities. A fun workplace culture has several key features: 1. It is easily recognized (by observing the presence of laughter, smiles, surprise, and spontaneity). 2. It means different things to various people. 3. It is relatively easy to create at work. 4. It elicits a broad range of personal and organizational payoffs.

Approaches to Stimulate Fun at Work

Recognition for personal milestones Hosting of special social events, celebrations of departmental achievements 3. Games and friendly competitions 4. Entertainment and the use of humor in publications Specific tactics: 1. dress-up days 2. Cartoons tailored to employees 3. Exaggerated job titles 4. joke for the day 5. Use of modified board games 6. TV show formats
1. 2.

Positive Effects of Fun at Work

2. 3.


Can help decrease stress Reduce boredom Stimulate friendships Increase satisfaction Produce several physiological results for employees (lower BP, greater immunity to infection, and more positive energy)

Organizational benefits
Attracting and retaining employees is easier 2. Companys values and norms become clearer 3. Customer satisfaction improves as a result of the treatment of energized employees.

Guidelines for Fun-Oriented Managers

1. Address other employee needs first (job content) 2. Make sure that fun at work will be a good fit with the organizations culture and with employee expectations 3. Build a fun workplace on an underlying philosophical foundation, not just a set of mechanical practices. 4. Make a long-term commitment to fun as an ongoing process, not a short-term program. 5. Become more playful yourself. 6. Involve others in creating fun experiences. 7. Satisfy employee needs for recognition in new and unique ways. 8. Use a wide variety of fun-related activities. 9. Capitalize on the surprise factor. 10. Assess and regularly monitor your success at creating a fun work culture.

Thank you!