Five major factors in organizational behavior
Our research paper focuses on five major factors in organizational behavior while examining and analyzing the behavior of Engineering Adnan Saffarini's office. The first point discussed is culture; where we mainly focused on corporate culture, culture creation, employees' recognition of the organization's culture, the effects of culture on employees, types of culture, recruitment of employees, change in culture, and cross cultural transition. Second aspect discussed is motivation; where we focused on the definition of motivation, individual's needs and goals, theories of motivation, how managers can motivate their employees, and motivation and the reward system. Third, we discussed diversity; which we focused on workplace diversity, benefits of diversity in the workplace, challenges of diversity in the workplace, and some managing diversity tools. Forth point mentioned is groups, teams, and interpersonal conflict; where we talked about group's type, group's purpose/ goals, group's stages of development, group's characteristics, group maintenance roles, team's types, team's goals, team's development, team's characteristic and a brief examination intergroup conflict. Fifth aspect in organizational culture discussed was leadership; in which we mainly concentrated on what is transformational leadership, components of transformational leadership, transformational leadership vs. transactional leadership, what are the characteristics of a leader of change, where transformational leadership and authenticity meet, and transformational leadership behaviors.
An Overview of Culture:
Culture is one of those terms that are difficult to express distinctly, but everyone knows it when they sense it. Organizational culture is the personality of the organization. Culture is comprised of the assumptions, values, norms and tangible signs of organization members or employees in the organization and the way they behave. Members of an organization soon come to sense the particular culture of an organization. For example, the culture of a large, profit oriented corporation is quite different than that of a hospital and in that sense is quite different than that of a university. Another way to understand is by recognizing the arrangement of furniture, what they brag about, and what members wear; it is very much related to what you can use to get a feeling about some persons personality. Furthermore, when we wanted to analyze EAS we looked through these factors to get to the optimal solution.
When considering corporate culture; we can be recognizing it as a system that consists of inputs, processes and outputs. Inputs include feedback from society, professions, laws, stories, heroes, and values on competition or service. The process is based on our assumptions, values and norms; our values on money, time, facilities, space and people. Outputs of a culture are organizational behaviors, technologies, strategies, image, products, services, appearance, and reputation.
In EAS the input of their culture is the rules and regulations that the company focuses on like being very ethical with their customers as discussed in Question 2 of the appendix as well as well as laws that the government of UAE forms on them in terms of the type of designs in different locations. The process in EAS is considered in the place they are working in, and the facilities that employees of the companies has. Regarding the output of EAS, it is considered in terms of the service that they are producing to the customers as well as the blueprints that they produce for them; the product differs depending on the type of property that the customer wants and the place where it should be built. All of those factors constitute the corporate culture of EAS.
Regarding how does a company creates its organizational cohesive and positive culture, managers has go through four different stages to foster that culture; a historical foundation, an understanding of what is expected, being part of a group, and encourage interpersonal and intergroup relationship. In the historical foundation stage, the manager should have a sense of history, communication, positive problem solving, and stories about founders and leaders. In the understanding of what is expected stage, the manager has to have leadership, role model examples, norms, expectations and values. In being part of a group, the manager has to have a reward system, career management and job security, recruiting and staffing, socialization of new staff members, and training and development. In encourage interpersonal and intergroup relationship stage, the manager has to have a member contact, participative decision making, intergroup coordination, and personal exchange.
According to Mr. Saffarini, he said that the steps that they took in making their own culture in more or less the same as the step mentioned above, however, he said that he concentrate more on the value, ethics and religion when making EAS's culture; he said that if anything could contradict to what he believes in he would try to find other alternative, even if that alternative sometimes does not necessitate the same result. We could understand from his answer that from his strong beliefs and religion his reputation has been built, and their customers are very loyal to them as a result of those believes and ethics.
Employees Recognition of the Culture:
Moving to how the employees in EAS perceive their culture Mr. Saffarini said that senior management actions have long been recognized as significant factors impacting employee perception and behavior. Particular managerial actions that badly affect their employees' perceptions remain debatable because every individual has his own ways of reacting to situations. Furthermore, it has been analyzed that from employee anger frequently stemmed from their perception that managerial actions and organizational hypocrisy caused them to contain hostile attitude and compel them to carry out sabotage to vent their ire and dissatisfaction. EAS offices has got a multicultural and a diverse workforce that is why their prime concern remains of practicing equality, generous and humble approach sans any bias over caste, creed, religion, nationality and color.
Moreover, they prefer to maintain cordial relations which has long been suggested and opined by both management researchers and practitioners as being a significant variable that affects employee perception and as a consequence, their reaction to management attempts to influence them, and naturally the outcome of our adopted policies is reflected in our employees perspective, comprising of trust, belief.
In addition to that EAS is seeking for a long term relationship with their employees. From their answer, we can see that EAS has a culture that allows their employees to perceive their beliefs, values and expectations.
The Affect of Culture on Employees:
Regarding the affect that the culture that EAS encounter on their employees, EAS office culture delivers and complements skills, experience, and resources along with their sub consultants to successfully complete a construction project through coordination among multiple teams. Formation of teams provides many advantages for the participants, but is also subjected to several risks too unless or until they are headed by a sufficiently experienced engineering professional. The quality of the managerial actions determines how well all the teams performs. It also has a significant and direct impact on the organizational structure, which in turn affects inter-company relations.
From their answer, we can analyze that EAS's culture focuses on the managerial roles and team work, as they said if the managers where not really into managing their products and they were not into the team members that they are managing; many problems will appear and some might be not satisfying the customers wants and sometimes delivering the wrong product to them.
Types of Culture:
Moving to the type of culture that an organization has, it could be consolidated into four major types; the Bureaucratic culture, the Clan culture, the Entrepreneurial culture, and the Market culture. In the bureaucratic culture, the organization focuses on the rules, policies, procedures, chain of commands, and centralized decision making. The Clan culture is about being a part of working family, following traditions and rituals, teamwork, spirit, self-management, and social influence. In the Entrepreneurial culture, an innovative creativity, risk taking, and aggressively seeking opportunities illustrate that type of culture. Moreover, in the Market culture, the emphasis is on sales growth, increased market share, financial stability, and profitability.
Moreover, from EAS's answer of question 3 in the appendix, we can see that the most dominant culture that EAS is using is the Clan culture; because, both project and organization levels, which mean that the culture of construction engineering consultants and contracting firms very much depends on honest communication, respect for people, trust, and robust relationships.
Recruitment of Employees:
Regarding the consideration that the company has in mind when bringing new employees into your culture; the company should be more aware of the company's specifications and what does it exactly needs, and it should consider how does each specification help in improving the company and produce its success and its profit as a result. Moreover, employees are considered as one of the key successful factors in every organization, so each should be able to manage them effectively and to know which employees (current or potential) are the ones that really contribute to the organization, in term of growth as well as profit.
When considering what does EAS consider when they bring new employees in their company, Mr. Saffarini said that their prime consideration while recruiting new staff is to look out for integrity and honesty and a zest for learning and apart from academic credentials and skills they look at the characteristics and behavioral approach and gauge temperament levels in order to find out the ability of coping under duress and pressure. From his answer it could be seen that they set very high standards in getting new employees, which could be seen that they're culture is consisting of a very high educated and well mannered employees and it is difficult to adapt to their culture in this hyper competitive environment.
Change in Culture:
Moving to influencing culture change, there has been a great deal of literature generated over the past decade about the concept of organizational culture; particularly regarding learning how to change organizational culture. Organizational change efforts are rumored to fail the vast majority of the time. Usually, this failure is credited to lack of understanding about the strong role of culture and the role it plays in organizations. That's one of the reasons that many strategic planners now place as much emphasis on identifying strategic values as they do mission and vision.
As Mr. Saffarini the leader of EAS said “The concept of culture is particularly important when attempting to manage organization-wide change; we are coming to realize that, regardless the best put in plans, organizational change must include not only changing structures and processes, but also changing the corporate culture as well”. When analyzing his answer, we can see how important is understanding the culture of the organization to be a good leader as should the leader be even more aware when an organizational change have occurred. Furthermore, even through sometimes the culture change might create a shock in the environment, the benefit that it encounter after that would reduce those risks; as it is most of the times necessary for the company to succeed or even to stay running.
Cross cultural transition:
Regarding the organizational cross cultural transition, where we live in a global environment where cross-cultural corporation is widely spread around the world and EAS is having its' offices located in different regions in the world, we asked Mr. Saffarini about the results of having a cross-cultural corporation. Moreover, he said that there are mainly five results. First, supposed stressors in the overseas experience; which employees suffer of stressful experience in their perceptions of interactions with both other employees in the company and with people in the foreign culture. Second, ways of coping; where the way of coping to the cross cultural environment differs from one employee to another and this creates some advantages and disadvantages. Third, social support; where employees don't candid about their needs for a sense of belonging and a sense of competency. Fourth, international development; where the employee as well as the company has the advantage to work internationally with different people that have different experiences and different ways of thinking. Fifth, self awareness; where employees are challenged to explore their beliefs, assumptions, and sense of competency, and this self awareness allows employees to discover their strength and weaknesses.
Furthermore, we can understand from his answer that cross cultural transitions might create some disadvantages; however when consider the advantages that it creates on the employees and the companies itself the advantages will highly outweigh those risks/weaknesses.
To Sum up:
The importance of understanding organizational culture cannot be overlooked. The bottom line for managers who want to create a culture of success is to start with creating a positive environment. Bring in people whose values are in line with the organization's culture, and continue to acknowledge success and involve the whole organization in maintaining an environment that allows people to enjoy working hard to meet the company's goals.
An Overview of motivation in organizations:
The job of a manager in the workplace is to get things done through employees. To do this the manager should be able to motivate employees. Managers have to be excellent at addressing the needs and goals of individual employees. There is no one motivational approach that works for everyone, each individual has a different attitude and personality therefore each individual should be motivated differenlty. Individuals differ in their desired rewards; they differ in how they attempt to satisfy their needs, and how they view the fairness of what managers attempt to do for them and the work environment. Different people are motivated by different things. For example, someone may be greatly motivated by earning time away from his/her job to spend more time with the family. Other might be motivated much more by recognition of a job well done. People are not motivated by the same things. Again, a key goal is to understand what motivates each of your employees. Managers can find out what motivate their employees by asking them, listening to them, and observing them
The Definition of Motivation:
Motivation is the psychological feature that arouses an individual to behave in a certain manner for accomplishing certain pre-defined goals. Motivation is an explanatory concept that we use to make sense out of the behaviors we observe. In an organization, it is very important to maintain a high motivation level in the employees to enable them to bring out their best at the job. This helps in enhancing the productivity of the organization. Managers in any organization prefer highly motivated employees because they make every effort to find the best way to perform their jobs. Motivated employees are interested in producing high-quality products or services. The motivated employees are more likely to be productive than are nonmotivated employees. Motivated employees are interested in being part of the team and providing their best efforts to improve the organization and its production. They are interested in supporting, encouraging co-workers.
Individual's needs and goals:
Managers are expected to understand how individual's diversity specifies the type and degree of motivation in the organization because diversity results in different behavioral patterns that in some manner are related to needs and goals. A need, which is a deficiency or lack of something of value that an individual experiences at a particular point in time, encourages and motivates individuals to perform better and harder in the work to achieve the best results. These needs may be phsiological (for example; a need for food, shelter, and clothes), psychological (for example, a need for self-esteem), or sociological (for example, a need for social interaction). When any of those needs are present, the individual will seek to fulfill those needs and may be more susceptible to managers' motivational efforts. Two of the most widely accepted theories of motivation applied in organizational environments are those of Abraham Maslow and Fredrick Herzberg. Maslow's (1954) motivation theory was his hierarchy of needs. The hierarchy divides human needs into higher and lower orders. The lower order needs are primary, such as food, shelter, and physical security, while the higher order needs involve self-actualization. When the lower order needs are absent in the life of an individual, the satisfaction of those needs become the center of the individual's life. In most modern societies, however, the primary needs are satisfied. Thus, a real motivation results from individual desires to satisfy their higher order needs. Individual needs differ over time because of many factors that control their needs, for example, job position, technology development, marital and family status, and financial situations. By analyzing the change of individual's needs over time, we have asked EAS Company the following question “Why an individual's needs and preferences will change over the course of his or her work/career?” Mr. Saffarini replied that humans are greedy by nature, and the quest to have more leads them to pursue new destinations to meet their growing requirements and for those who boasts themselves to be totally diligent with pride in being spontaneous, communicative, possessing excellent interpersonal skills associated with the ability to relate effectively to a multitude of individuals on all levels of intellect will never tend to compromise with the existing present and are always on the go.
Each individual has some set of goals and objectives therefore a manager should know something about an employee's goals and about actions that the employee has to take to achieve them. By knowing the goals of an individual, manager can be able to understand how this individual can be motivated towards achieving his/her goals.
Theories of Motivation:
There are two categories that explain motivation which are the content motivation theories and the process motivation theories. Content theories focus on the factors within the person that energize, direct, sustain, and stop behavior. First step in determining how to motivate an employee is to follow the content theories by studying the needs, desires, and goals within each individual since each individual is unique in many ways. Some of the theories that are under the explanation of the content theories are (need hierarchy, ERG, two-factor, and learned needs). As discussed previously need hierarchy model is Maslow's theory that assumes that people's needs depend on what they already have. In a sense, then a satisfied need is not a motivator. Human needs, organized in a hierarchy of importance, are physiological, safety, belongingness, esteem, and self-actualization. ERG theory of motivation is theory that is developed and tested by Alderfer and that categorizes needs as existence, relatedness, and growth. Herzberg's two-factor theory of motivation view that job satisfaction results from the presence of intrinsic motivators and that job dissatisfaction stems from not having extrinsic factors. McClelland's learned need theory proposes that a person with a strong need will be motivated to use appropriate behaviors to satisfy the need. A person's needs are learned from the culture of a society.
How managers can motivate their employees?
Managers need to look at how to maximize their resources especially in these confused and unstable economic situations. Employees are one of the important company's resources. Therefore, managers need to make sure their employees are getting what they need for optimum work performance. Managers should avoid unclear expectations; employees want to work with managers who have vision and clear goals and objectives. Mixed views or unclear priorities confuse employees, making them feel as if they wasted their time, energy and effort only to accomplish the wrong results. Managers should set clear goals and objectives so that employees can be motivated properly towards achieving the company's vision. Managers should evaluate what the needs are of each of their employees, think positively and remember that manager's attitude will be reflected on their employees, be proactive rather than reactive, keeping everything in perspective, realize that at the start of any new attempt, risk is always present but it is better to try and fail than to never have tried at all, and managers should actively listen and communicate with the employees. As Mr. Saffarini mentioned about how managers can motivate their employees when we asked him the following question“Do you believe that a manager can change the employee's attitude towards his job in a positive way?” he said that they strongly believe that a manager can change the employee's attitude and perspective with a positive frame of mind by educating them and by providing them an ample scope to explore new avenues in their respective fields of work. Mr. Saffarini mentioned the procedures that they follow to improve their employees' performance when we asked him the following question “How can the company improve an individual's performance?” he replied that they carry out on time assessment; authentic evaluation and fairly reward the deserving employee to improve an individual's performance. They strongly believe that these are the key factors for any company to carry out the evaluation program on half yearly or yearly basis in order to provide a strong sense of security and growth to the employee, which will automatically yield the required zest and zeal from within. Another question about motivation was “How do you motivate your employees?” he replied that they motivate their employees with a positive frame of mind and influence them about the ability of a person to gain knowledge, cooperation, and useful information from others by means of persuasion or control over rewards and attain prosperity and growth on all fronts.
Motivation and Reward system:
Employees are motivated by both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. To be effective, the reward system must recognize both sources of motivation. All reward systems are based on the assumptions of attracting, retaining and motivating people. Financial rewards are an important component of the reward system, but there are other factors that motivate employees and influence the level of performance. To ensure the reward system is effective and motivates the desired behaviors, it is essential to consider carefully the rewards and strategies utilized and ensure the rewards are linked to or based on performance. Strategies for rewarding employees' performance and contributions include both non-financial and financial mechanisms. Rewarding system is procedures, rules, and standards associated with allocation of benefits and compensation to employees. We analyze the rewarding system of EAS Company by asking Mr. Saffarini this question “What is the rewarding system that the company used to reward its employees?” he replied that the company uses appropriate increments at regular intervals, gifts, and bonuses at the successful completion of the assigned projects. Feeling valued by their supervisor in the workplace is one of the key to high employee motivation and morale. Provide employee recognition to say “thank you” for whatever effort or task done properly and to encourage more of the actions and thinking manager believe will make their organization successful. People who feel appreciated are more positive about themselves and their ability to contribute. People with positive self-esteem are potentially the best employees.
An Overview of Diversity:
Valuing the diversity of our employee, customer and consumer base, and putting a framework in place to support our people and business strategies is very important.
We know that having a diverse work force is the right thing to do and makes good business sense. We also know that simply having diversity in our work force is not enough; we must create an inclusive environment where all people can contribute their best work.
The “diversity”, theorizes that in a global marketplace, a company that employs a diverse workforce (both men and women, people of many generations, people from ethnically and racially diverse backgrounds etc.) is better able to understand the demographics of the marketplace it serves and is thus better equipped to thrive in that marketplace than a company that has a more limited range of employee demographics.
We have a set of values, to guide how we interact with our customers, our consumers and with each other. These values charge us to act with integrity and show respect, promote passion about our business, and demonstrate accountability for our personal and professional actions.
Our values also promote an environment that values diverse backgrounds, experiences and ways of thinking. Our diversity and inclusion strategy supports that focus with recruiting efforts dedicated to reaching all potential candidates. And once talented individuals join EAS Office, our people programs help these individuals build great careers.
The Executive Manager has developed a strategy to help EAS Office continually improve in creating a diverse and inclusive workplace. The Diversity and Inclusion strategy is designed to create and sustain a diverse and inclusive work environment that will enable us to maintain our position among organizations. Diversity enables us to create a work force that reflects our consumer and customer base and an environment where everyone feels the freedom to contribute.
We asked Mr. Saffarini some questions regarding to diversity. One of these questions was: “What makes EAS Office good at diversity?”
Depending on who's doing the measuring and which way the winds of political correctness are blowing, the inclusion of everyone from white women and disabled to older workers has been upheld as proof of a company's profound commitment to equal opportunity and inclusion.
Many of the companies making sincere and significant investments of money and resources toward achieving the ideal of diversity within their organizations have no idea how to measure their progress--or even whether they are headed in the right direction.
EAS Office supports the diversity of its workforce can also improve employee satisfaction, productivity and retention. This portion of the business case, often referred to as inclusion, relates to how an organization utilizes its various relevant diversities. If a workforce is diverse, but the employer takes little or no advantage of that experience, then it cannot monetize whatever benefits background diversity might offer.
Regarding to the question we asked during the interview with Mr. Saffarini “How diverse is your workforce?” EAS Office answered that their office deploys multidisciplinary teams in UAE and around the region for projects in conceptual and preliminary engineering services pertinent to engineering design, construction, environment friendly management.
Informal groups at the company offer special interest programs that help with inclusion and diversity. Multilingual workforce from different nationalities come together to work on diversity and inclusion of activities on a large scale, and this strategy during execution of the assigned tasks aligns every professional's goals and performance measures with the company's vision, mission, values and strategic objectives.
While diversity in the workplace brings about many benefits to an organization, it can also lead to many challenges. It is the responsibility of managers within organizations to use diversity as an influential resource in order to enhance organizational effectiveness.
In general, we have three organization types which focus on the development on cultural diversity. The three organization types are: the monolithic organization, the plural organization, and the multicultural organization. In the monolithic organization, the amount of structural integration (the presence of persons from different cultural groups in a single organization) is very minimal. “In some countries, this organization usually represents white male majorities in the overall employee population with few women and minority men in management jobs”. “The plural organization has a more heterogeneous membership than the monolithic organization and takes steps to be more inclusive of persons from cultural backgrounds that differ from the dominant group”. The multicultural organization not only contains many different cultural groups, but it values this diversity.
Referencing to our question that we asked to Mr. Saffarini: “What are the characteristics of the expatriate (non-local) manager in your company?” he said: “We have number of managers hailing from different nations all of them have a common approach while dealing with subordinate staff and moreover we emphasize on coordination and cooperation among individuals and believe in team work. Our policies are reflected in their characteristics.”
Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace:
Diversity is beneficial to both the organization and the members. About the question that is referred to benefits of diversity in EAS Office, the benefits of diversity brings potential benefits such as better decision making and improved problem solving, greater creativity and innovation, which leads to enhanced product development, and more successful marketing to different types of customers. It provides our office with the ability to compete in global markets.
Diverse in EAS Office and other organizations will be successful as long as there is a sufficient amount of communication within them. Because people from different cultures perceive messages in different ways, communication is vital to the performance of an organization. Miscommunication within a diverse workplace will lead to a great deal of challenges. Diversity, the idea, is not only prevent unfair discrimination and improve equality but also valuing differences an inclusion include ethnic, age, race, culture, sexual, orientation of physical disability and religious and belief.
Challenges of Diversity in the Workplace:
There are challenges to managing a diverse work population. Managing diversity is more than simply acknowledging differences in people.
Mr. Saffarini said there are many challenges which face culturally diverse workplaces, and a major challenge is miscommunication within an organization. The meanings of messages can never be completely shared because no two individuals experience events in exactly the same way. Even when native and non-native speakers are exposed to the same messages, they may interpret the information differently. It is necessary for employees who are less familiar with the primary language spoken within the organization to receive special attention in meeting their communication requirements. “In high context cultures, communicators share an experiential base that can be used to assign meanings to messages. Low context cultures, on the other hand, provide little information on which to base common understandings and so communicators must be explicit”. Because of this fact, it is better to view all diverse organizational environments as low-context cultures.
Cultural bias is an additional factor which challenges culturally diverse work environments. Cultural bias includes both attitudes toward an organization member based on his/her culture group identity and discrimination.
Another challenge faced by culturally diverse organizational environments is assimilation. “Assimilation into the dominant organizational culture is a strategy that has had serious negative consequences for individuals in organizations and the organizations themselves. Those who assimilate are denied the ability to express their genuine selves in the workplace; they are forced to repress significant parts of their lives within a social context that frames a large part of their daily encounters with other people. People who spend significant amounts of energy coping with an alien environment have less energy left to do their jobs. Assimilation does not just create a situation in which people who are different are likely to fail; it also decreases the productivity of organizations”.
Managing Diversity Tools:
Managing diversity goes far beyond the limits of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action. In EAS Office, high performing diversity managers recognize that specialized skills are necessary for creating a productive, diverse workforce. They seek out continuous learning opportunities and some go as far as acquiring certification. Managers must be willing to work towards changing the organization in order to create a culture of diversity and inclusion. Assessment skills and diversity education are key elements of culture change in EAS Office.
Diversity issues change over time, depending on local historical and dynamic conditions. Overt “diversity programs” are usually limited to large employers, government agencies and businesses facing rapid demographic changes in their local labor pool and help people work and understand each other.
Groups, Teams & Interpersonal Conflict
An Overview of Groups, Teams, and Interpersonal Conflict:
Effective, hard working and cohesive team can have a long- lasting impact on organizations society, and the global market place. Groups and teams in organizations can alter the individual's motivations or needs and can influence the behavior of the individuals in an organizational sitting. Under this section of our paper, we are going to expand the difference in meaning between group and team, considering the types; the characteristics and the goal from forming groups and teams, and haw do our company (EAS) deal with this issue in addition to the intergroup conflict that may arise among the members.
First of all, what is group mean? Group is a collection of one or more individuals in which behavior and/or performance of one member is influenced by behavior and/or performance by other members. Also, group can be defined as a small group of people with complementary skills and abilities who are committed to a leader's goal and approach and are willing to be held accountable by the leader. A group supports the leader's goals and the leader-dominated approach to goal attainment. A group drives individual accountability rather than shared accountability. Leadership is predominantly held by one person rather than the shared, fluid leadership on a team. In a group, the dominant viewpoint is represented. Decisions in a group are made by voting or implied agreement.
There are two types of groups:
- Formal groups: which are created by managerial decision to accomplish stated goals of the organizations and they include command and task group.
- Informal groups: which are aroused from individual efforts and develop around common interests and friendship rather than deliberate design.
When we asked EAS about the types of groups they have, they said that they form the two types of groups. They form formal groups to hold an assign task or objective. They basically have multiple groups, each assigned for different services comprise of Concept Design, Working Drawing, Sketches, Structure, MEP, Modification, Contracts and Specifications department. Apart from the above they have Accounts, Logistics and Miscellaneous groups who carry out their respective assigned tasks. So these groups are used in the benefit and success of the organization. In addition to the formal groups, EAS form informal groups because they believe that such types of groups satisfy the basic human needs and they strengthen the relationship between the employees including their leaders or supervisors.
Formal and informal groups are formed for various reasons. Some reasons involves need satisfaction, proximity and attraction, group goals and economic. Being in a group will help the employees to not feel like being alone in the company, or facing the command and instruction, because this may lead to a degree of insecurity. Especially if the employee is new in the company, he/she may need a buffer to management commands and being a member of a group will help him/her. This will help in respond to the management's instruction correctly. Also, forming groups will strengthen the social relationship between employees and managers.
EAS main purpose of forming formal groups is to achieve the assigned goals of the organization toward becoming one of the successful organizations in the industry. On the other hand, the purpose of forming informal groups, as mentioned before, is to fulfill the needs of EAS employees, which may include needs for security, knowledge acquisition, informal attempts to shape organizational policy, family, social interaction etc.
Stages of Development:
Group performance depend both on individual learning and how well members learn to work with one another. One model of group development that we think it is the one the suited for the development stages of the EAS groups is The Five -Stages Model which includes:
Group members learn about each other and the task at hand. Indicators of this stage might include: Unclear objectives, Uninvolvement, Uncommitted members, Confusion, Low morale, Hidden feelings, Poor listening, etc.
As group members continue to work, they will engage each other in arguments about the structure of the group which often are significantly emotional and illustrate a struggle for status in the group. These activities mark the storming phase: Lack of cohesion, Subjectivity, Hidden agendas, Conflicts, Confrontation, Volatility, Resentment, anger, Inconsistency, Failure.
Group members establish implicit or explicit rules about how they will achieve their goal. They address the types of communication that will or will not help with the task. Indicators include: Questioning performance, Reviewing/clarify objective, Changing/confirming roles, Opening risky issues, Assertiveness, Listening, Testing new ground, Identifying strengths and weaknesses.
Groups reach a conclusion and implement the solution to their issue. Indicators include: Creativity, Initiative, Flexibility, Open relationships, Pride, Concern for people, Learning, Confidence, High morale, Success, etc.
As the group project ends, the group disbands in the adjournment phase. This phase was added when Tuckman and Jensen's updated their original review of the literature in 1977.
Each of the four stages in the Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning model involves two aspects: interpersonal relationship and task behaviors.
As the group start to work and develop, certain characteristics emerge, such as structure, status hierarchy, roles, norms and cohesiveness.
Mr. Safarini said that the characteristics of the groups in EAS are:
- Members engaged in frequent interaction;
- Those involved define themselves as group members;
- Others define members as belonging to a particular group;
- They share common norms and mutual interests;
- They identify with one another and share values;
- They feel a sense of collective responsibility;
- They act in a unified way towards the organization.
Also, Mr. safarani told us that try as possible as they can to make the groups more attractive and interesting by making the groups small enough to permits hearing and evaluating the members' opinion, assigning charismatic leadership and make the goals compatible and clearly specified.
Group maintenance roles:
Group maintenance roles are focused on promoting and maintaining group relationships, EAS mentioned that they encourage group relationship by:
- Encouraging, i.e. being friendly and responsive to others and accepting their
- Expressing group feelings;
- Harmonizing, i.e. reconciling disagreements and encouraging members to
- explore differences;
- Compromising, i.e. being prepared to give ground to maintain group cohesion;
- Gate keeping, i.e. facilitating the participation of others;
- Setting standards for the group to achieve and applying them in assessing
- Group performance.
After discussing groups and EAS make use of them, now, we are going the talk about teams and their role in the organization.
A team is a small group of people with complementary skills and abilities who are committed to a common goal and approach for which they hold each other accountable.
The best size for teams is 2-20 individuals. Larger teams need more structure and support; smaller teams often have difficulty meeting when members are not able to attend. Members have skills and abilities that complement the team's purpose. Not all members have the same skills, but together they are greater than the sum of their parts. On teams, members share roles and responsibilities and are constantly developing new skills to improve the team's performance. Teams identify and reach consensus on their common goal and approach, rather than looking to a leader to define the goal and approach. Most importantly, teams hold their members accountable. What does this mean in practical terms? When they experience conflict with a member, they speak to that member directly rather than to a supervisor. When a member isn't performing to the level required, the team addresses the performance problem.
A lot of people use the word group and team interchangeably although they are not serve the same meaning. According to John Adair (1986) the major differences between group and team are:
- A team is more than just a group with a common aim.
- In a team all members are seen as complementary.
- There is strong collaboration & strong togetherness
- There is a strong commitment from its member & genuine support for each other.
- The Specialty is an Ability to work as a team even if the individual members are apart. (operating from various places)
Mr. Saffarini said that Construction engineering evolve around team work, it cannot be carried out by an individual and the whole process is so vast that it has to be carried out by a group and that too with comprehensive coordination and integrity.
Teams can be classified in a number of ways based on their duration and objectives to: problem-solving, virtual, cross-functional, skunkworks and self-directed work team.
EAS have the cross-functional types of teams and as Mr. Saffarini told us:
When a project is commenced the entire process begin with Concept Design, Working Drawing, Sketches, 3D Department, Presentation, Structure, MEP, Modification, Contracts and Specifications department. These teams work in tandem till the completion and handing over of the project. Which mean, that the group must includes members from different departments of the organization to carry out the job or the assigned task.
The main goal of the teams in EAS is to enhance the productivity of the organization. Team performance leads to higher productivity level than what would be achieved by many individuals working individually that is because the team brings together complementary skills by different members such as, functional expertise, problem solving and decision making and interpersonal skills. The team will develop the members' skills, as Mr. Saffarini Said. The team members would think about what features and characteristics the customers want or need in their constructions and how they can accomplish this project with a specified budget and time. They also may develop their ability to identify the problems that may face them, a discus the suitable and alternative solutions and trade-off and finally be able to take the best decision and evaluate it. When they develop the skills of identify the problems and their solution, the members would be indirectly depend on their personal interaction and communication with each other which will also be developed.
When we ask Mr. Saffarini about the way they develop a team, he responded that when a project is designed and the artistic illustration is approved by the Client, the project manager prepare an agenda for execution of detail design and the job is fragmented by assigning to the subordinate staff in order to carry out the execution in a stipulated time frame.
There are some main characteristics that must be met in each team formed for an assigned project in EAS and some of these features are:
- Clear objectives
- Good leadership
- Openness and confrontation
- Support and trust
- Co-operation and conflict
- Regular monitoring (review)
- Group inter-group relations
- In-depth knowledge of the subject
- sense of responsibility
- dedication towards the work
Intergroup relations between two or more groups and their respective members are often necessary to complete the work required to operate a business. Many times, groups inter-relate to accomplish the organization's goals and objectives, and conflict can occur. Some conflict, called functional conflict, is considered positive, because it enhances performance and identifies weaknesses. Dysfunctional conflict, however, is confrontation or interaction between groups that harms the organization or hinders attainment of goals or objectives.
Mr. Saffarini's comment on this issue by saying that Limited resources and reward structures can foster intergroup conflict by making the differences in group goals more apparent. Differences in perceptions among groups regarding time and status, when coupled with different group goals, can also create conflict.
But he also said that satisfying each individual's expectations is a Herculean task and we adopt such measures with which the conflicts can be resolved amicably.
We deal these any situation of intergroup conflict with iron hand and do not entertain any sort of conflict to arise between groups, and in fact during these two decades of our presence we never practiced any sort of discrimination and we strictly maintained equality among all, hence we never experienced such sort of a thing during the past years nor in the present times.
What we may do if we face such thing is to provide full control to the departmental heads to initiate disciplinary actions against the trouble makers, and keep a vigil on such elements to avoid inter-group conflicts. Assessment and evaluation of the employee shall be carried out properly sans any favoritism and the rewards shall be announced periodically which will boast the morale of the employees and motivate them to compete rather than carrying out sinister designs against their respective counter parts.
Thus, we can conclude that EAS depend a lot on teams and groups and as they mentioned is as essential part in their organizational structure. They deal with them carefully and in a proper manner to keep them developing in order to help in achieving the desired goals of the organization.
An Overview of Leadership:
In recent years organizations have gone through dramatic changes, including flatter and looser structures, downsizing, and horizontal approaches to information flow. On the one hand these changes are due to rapid technological developments, global competition, and the changing nature of the workforce. On the other hand, these organizational transformations and innovations are triggered by interventions such as total quality management and business process reengineering. Leadership is regarded as a critical factor in the initiation and implementation of the transformations in organizations. If leadership wants to engender a positive impact on individuals, teams, and organizations, both practitioners and researchers have argued that earlier leadership paradigms such as directive versus participative leadership, consideration versus initiating structure, autocratic versus democratic leadership, and task versus relations-oriented leadership should be broadened With respect to the management of transformation processes in organizations, there is a strong need for leaders who are more change-centered. These leaders place value on the development of a clear vision and inspire followers to pursue the vision. In this way they provide a strong motivational force for change in followers. Besides, a participative leadership style, a clear vision or mission is most likely to foster innovation. Leaders who enhance followers' confidence and skills to devise innovative responses, to be creative, and to take risks, can also facilitate the changeover processes in organizations resulting from this, a paradigm shift occurred in the past decade with the charismatic leadership. Although the terms “charisma” and “transformational leadership” are often used interchangeably, Bass makes a distinction between them, with charisma forming a sub-dimension of transformational leadership. As promoters of change, transformational leaders elicit performance beyond expectations by instilling pride, communicating personal respect, facilitating creative thinking and providing inspiration. Recently, the logic behind transformational leadership has begun to dissipate into the content and design of leadership development programmers. In this part of the analysis, we are going to discuss how the company define and implement “Leadership theory” in their company.
What is Transformational Leadership?
To begin with, we asked Mr. Saffarini to define Leadership and Transformational Leadership from his long experience and point of view, and the main reason why his company has selected Transformational Leadership as a foundation for his company from more than 20 years to date. As he clarified: “Leadership has been around for thousands of years, and yet we still are unable to contain it in a single definition we all agree on. Perhaps this is because leadership is continuously evolving, and more than what it seems to be, depending on how you look at it. It is a complex concept, with many applications, and the results that it creates depend highly on the context in which it is being observed. Much has been written on Transformational Leadership, which we will cover in a moment. There is the leadership theory, which has evolved over time from other leadership styles, and has applications to different contexts, be it in business, medical, non-profit or charity, education, religious or spiritual groups and even at the family level, to name a few.”
The term transformational leadership was first coined by J.V. Downton in Rebel Leadership: Commitment and Charisma in a Revolutionary Process (1973). James MacGregor Burns first introduced the concept of transformational leadership in his book Leadership (1978), during his study of political leadership, but this term is now used in organizational psychology as well. He described it not as a set of specific behaviors, but rather an ongoing process by which “leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of morality and motivation.” Transformational leaders offer a purpose that transcends short-term goals and focuses on higher order intrinsic needs. Transformational leaders raise the bar by appealing to higher ideals and values of followers. In doing so, they may model the values themselves and use charismatic methods to attract people to the values and to the leader. Burns was influenced by Abraham Maslow's Theory of Human Needs. This theory recognizes that people have a range of needs, and the extent to which they will perform effectively in the workplace will be affected by the extent to which these needs are satisfied. Transformational Leadership fits into the higher levels, as it requires a high level of self esteem and self actualization to successfully be an authentic transformational leader. Burns was one of the first scholars to assert that true leadership not only creates change and achieves goals within the environment, but changes the people involved in the necessary actions for the better as well: both followers and leaders are ennobled. Burns became famous among alternative leadership scholars because his model of transformational leadership included an ethical/moral dimension that, prior to 1978, had not been infused into any leadership theory Bernard Bass, a disciple of Burns, defined transformational leadership in terms of how the leader affects followers, who are intended to trust, admire and respect the transformational leader
He identified three ways in which leaders transform followers:
- Increasing their awareness of task importance and value.
- Getting them to focus first on team or organizational goals, rather than their own interests.
- Activating their higher-order needs.
Components of Transformational Leadership:
Next, we were curious to know what the main components of Transformational Leadership are. He said that Transformational Leadership has evolved from and contains elements of preceding leadership types, such as trait and behavior theories, charismatic, situational and transactional leadership.
There are four components of transformational leadership, which are:
Charisma or idealized influence
This is the degree to which the leader behaves in admirable ways that cause followers to identify with the leader. Charismatic leaders display convictions, take stands and appeal to followers on an emotional level. This is about the leader having a clear set of values and demonstrating them in every action, providing a role model for their followers. Genuine trust must be built between leaders and followers. Trust for both leader and follower is built on a solid moral and ethical foundation.
The degree to which the leader articulates a vision that is appealing and inspiring to followers. Leaders with inspirational motivation challenge followers with high standards, communicate optimism about future goals, and provide meaning for the task at hand. Followers need to have a strong sense of purpose if they are to be motivated to act. It is also important that this visionary aspect of leadership be supported by communication skills that allow the leader to articulate his or her vision with precision and power in a compelling and persuasive way.
The degree to which the leader challenges assumptions, takes risks and solicits followers' ideas. Leaders with this trait stimulate and encourage creativity in their followers. The leader's vision provides the framework for followers to see how they connect to the leader, the organization, each other, and the goal. Once they have this big picture view and are allowed freedom from convention they can creatively overcome any obstacles in the way of the mission.
Individualized consideration or individualized attention
The degree to which the leader attends to each follower's needs, acts as a mentor or coach to the follower and listens to the follower's concerns and needs. This also encompasses the need to respect and celebrate the individual contribution that each follower can make to the team (it is the diversity of the team that gives it its true strength). This approach not only educates the next generation of leaders, but also fulfils the individuals need for self-actualization, self-fulfillment, and self-worth. It also naturally propels followers to further achievement and growth.
Transformational Leadership vs. Transactional Leadership
Before we look at the differences between the two leadership styles, here are some notes about Transactional leadership:
Transactional leadership seeks to motivate followers by appealing to their own self-interest. Transactional leaders use conventional reward and punishment to gain compliance from their followers. They have continuing, often unspoken interaction that sound like forms like:“Do as I say and you will get a raise.” and “Meet this quota or you will get fired.”
Also, Transactional leaders accept the goals, structure and culture of the existing organization. They must do so because this type of leadership is ineffective at bringing significant change. Some researchers added to Burns original theory and it is thought by many today that transactional leadership can encompass the following types of behavior:
1. Contingent Reward: To influence behavior, the leader clarifies the work needed to be accomplished. The leader uses rewards or incentives to achieve results when expectations are met.
2. Management by Exception:
- Passive: To influence behavior, the leader uses correction or punishment as a response to unacceptable performance or deviation from the accepted standards.
- Active: To influence behavior, the leader actively monitors the work performed and uses corrective methods to ensure the work is completed to meet accepted standards.
3. Laissez-Faire Leadership: laissez-faire leaders avoid attempting to influence their subordinates and shirk supervisory duties. They bury themselves in paperwork and avoid situations that preclude any possibility of confrontation. They leave too much responsibility with subordinates, set no clear goals, and do not help their group to make decisions. They tend to let things drift, since their main aim is stay on good terms with everyone. According to Burns, the difference between transformational and transactional leadership is what leaders and followers offer one another.
What are the characteristics of a leader of change?
What is it about certain leader that enables them to successfully lead their Organizations through change? That was an important question to be asked to Mr. Saffarini as he is the most suitable one to answer
- Be inspired in your heart and mind, and show it.
- Be connected to yourself, the world and the people around you. Be grounded in reality.
- Have a vision and communicate it with passion and purpose. Allow your emotion to speak to others in a way that transcends the mind, and speaks to the heart.
- Pay personal attention to others in a way that engages them and generates trust and commitment. Genuinely care about them, what they want, and how you can serve them.
- Access the awesome power of the mind. Be curious, open to new ideas and learn constantly.
Where Transformational Leadership and Authenticity meet:
In order to answer this question, Mr. Saffarini explained that there is a positive relationship between the Leadership in general in particular transformational leadership and Authenticity
Being in a leadership position has many demands, some external, and other internal. Others and our own expectations we need to live up to - needing to be a certain way.
For instance, he mentioned that: To be a transformational leader according to BASS and BURNS you need to be, have or provide:
- Charisma or Idealized influence
- Inspirational motivation
- Intellectual stimulation
- Individualized Consideration or Individualized Attention
Or else you are not even playing the right game. But he also mentioned that, “You could do and be all of those 4 characteristics, and still not create the result you want. You might ask why not? Good question. Well, it's also very important that you be yourself. This is called being authentic. In a world that is constantly trying to make us anything but our unique and creative self, this is paramount. YOU are the magical ingredient. Without YOU, nothing happens. Your unique, and authentic way of being you, creates the energy, drive, passion, or whatever you want to call it, that makes all the difference. How you engage your energy, time, integrity and power makes a massive difference to the outcome. It's like having a high performance car, and not using the best fuel”.
Transformational Leadership Behaviors:
To elaborate more, Mr. Saffarini mentioned that there are basic but essential behaviors of any transformational leader that he/she need to have in order to maintain and increase the best performance, satisfaction, and success to the company. The behaviors are:
- Developing and sharing an inspiring vision of the organization's future.
- Behaving in ways that bring out the best in individuals and teams.
- Showing genuine concern and respect for others.
- Continuously investing in the development of themselves and others.
- Developing a culture of collaboration rather than command and control where change is welcomed as an opportunity rather than a threat
- Recognizing that leadership needs to be demonstrated at times by everyone in the organization
- Authentic transformational leadership builds genuine trust between leaders and followers.
- Transformational leaders concentrate on terminal values such as integrity and fairness. They see the responsibility for their organization's development and impact on society.
- They increase the awareness of what is right, good, important, and beautiful, when they help to elevate followers' needs for achievement and self-actualization, when they foster in followers higher moral maturity, and when they move followers to go beyond their self-interests for the good of their group, organization, or society.
- The truly transformational leader who is seeking the greatest good for the greatest number and is concerned about doing what is right and honest is
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