Employees Involvement In Decision Making

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Abstract: In the specialized literature it is considered that group decisions, taken after consultations and negotiations, hold the weight in the large economic organizations of the present. In the first part, the present paper attempts to study, from a theoretical point of view, if this idea is an accurate observation of a real state of affairs (in this respect, it is analyzed, from a personal point of view, some of the classic approaches on group decision and, in terms of this analysis, decision-making processes from the current organizations shall be put in a new light). In the second part of the paper, we intend to study to what extent the conclusions can apply to the sector of the small and medium enterprises of Romania and to what extent the employees of the Romanian SMEs are involved in the decision-making processes.

JEL classification: L26, D81

Key words: decision making, group decision, entrepreneur, entrepreneurial teams

1. Introduction

Modern organizations no longer resemble the traditional organization, but this is already a truism. There are many elements of differentiation, but in the present paper we retain the following: "The classic company used to own or at least control anything that was believed to be its business. There were suppliers and distributors, but they were 'outsiders'. The company based on command and control as it had its own properties. This model still represents the traditional structure of companies, but more frequently command and control are replaced by or combined with all kinds of relationships: alliances, joint venture, partnership, participating minority, know-how and marketing agreements - in this type of relationships no one controls or commands. This type of relationships has to be based on the mutual understanding of objectives, policies and strategies and on team spirit and persuasion" (Drucker, 2000, p. 13). "Organizational symbols have recently been directed towards networks and 'cobwebs' having as distinguishing marks operational and ad-hoc teams, horizontal processes or virtual systems, which are borderless and chaotic.'(Ulrich, 2000, p. 144)

Under the circumstances of these mutations, group decision-making becomes a necessity and an adapted favorable climate for this type of decisions represents an extremely important element for the current organization. Making a group decision does not necessarily mean that the decision is a better one, but we can discuss some prerequisites which are obvious in this respect. If a person makes a decision it is considered that the person acted autocratically, that he/she doesn't take into account others interests or opinions and implements the decision by coercion but by consensus. In this case, one can question the legitimacy of the decision. Obviously, when the decision was taken and accepted by the group it is considered to have a general legitimacy even if a person might not agree with it. It was important that the person's opinion had been asked for and that the person directly participated in the decision-making process. The acceptability of a group decision is helpful for obtaining the decision implementation. If those who decide really understood the meaning of the decision and they considered it adequate, it was expected that they would implement it correspondingly. In other words, making a group decision means to draw on more experiences and skills than what only one person can possess. Also, the group will draft more variants of a decision and propose many modalities of implementation. Group decision also encourages assuming risks. By definition, group decisions suppose a certain risk degree and uncertainty. Although experts cannot answer very trenchantly, it seems that groups tend to be more audacious than individuals. D. G. Myers and H. Lamm (quoted by Stanciu, Ionescu, 2005, p.215) assert, on the basis of the their own studies and other 300 reviewed studies, that group discussions lead to decisions which are not necessarily more dangerous but more extreme than individual decisions; if the members of a group tend to adopt initially a riskful solution, then the group will adopt a much more riskful solution for a particular situation; if the members of a group are initially cautious, then the group will be more cautious. Eventually, a group decision has positive valences in terms of personal satisfaction, but it may become a negative phenomenon in terms of stress. Within the group, people have satisfactions as they compare notes, they communicate much more and when they have good ideas they have the chance to raise their status and this may give them self-confidence.

According to Keen (1981) 'the model of only one person deciding, who walks fast on the halls of the company, late in the night, trying to make a decision, it is a very rare case. In most public or private organizations of North America, Europe or Japan, decisions are taken after many consultations'.

The above situation, with some small differences, is a reality present in the large organizations. Is this situation present (frequently) in the small and medium enterprises which numerically dominate the economies nowadays? The entrepreneurship has been for a long time materialized in only one person, the heroic and solitary entrepreneur. This image changed in the past few years. Under the influence of pragmatic evolutions, entrepreneurial teams became a constant presence associated with successful projects. Under these circumstances, a statement as the following doesn't surprise anymore: 'The entrepreneur in entrepreneurship is more likely to be plural, rather than singular' (Gartner et al., 1994). Nevertheless, many people regard it with circumspection and reticence.

2. Group decision-making - a reinterpretation of classic approaches

Although the group decision-making is considered to be present everywhere within the modern organization, in our opinion things have to be regarded with circumspection. The hypothesis that we will try to argue within this paper is the following: actually the group decision-making is not very frequent yet in the current (small or large) organization, despite what is written in the specialized literature.

Firstly, we will try to define, in a personal manner, the group decision, without claiming 'the absolute truth' or 'the whole truth'. It is not an attempt of conceptualization, but rather an approach aimed at identifying the conditions of existence of the group decision-making.

In the specialized literature there is a plethora of definitions of group decision-making. Very often (especially in the Romanian specialized literature), the group decision-making is considered, in a simplistic manner, a decision-making process that involves several people, without transcending this „zone". In my opinion, the correct name for this process is multi-personal decision not group decision or participatory decision.

I believe that the attempt to give an exact definition has to start from the aims pursued by the group. Firstly, by group processes it is intended to obtain a good decision which is a result of solid foundation based on the interconnection, activation and harmonization of many individuals' experiences, skills and knowledge who are the stakeholders of a decisional situation. Secondly, the group decision aims at obtaining an intense engagement from the part of those involved in the implementation of the decision thus becoming a motivation tool in accordance with the present socio-political trend namely the fall into abeyance of representative democracy and the introduction of the participative democracy.

Before defining the decision-making process of a real group, we have to mention the fact that in the specialized literature the Simonian model regarding the structuring of the decisional process became a classic model. In the present analysis we will focus on the stage of choice deployed by a group (without excluding the possibility that certain stages take place outside the group).

Taking into account the previous mentions, in order to discuss about a real group decision/making, I believe that some conditions are imperative: group management/leadership should facilitate and encourage the involvement of each member in the decisional process; conditions for an intensive process of communication within the group should be created in order to prevent conformism and the effect of social laziness and by which information, knowledge and experiences would be shared; adopt a practical modality of decision which would lead to a final solution to which each member brought his contribution - the only modality matching the description is consensus; all members of the group should be hold liable for the decision.

In what follows we will make a short analysis of each of previous conditions. For the first condition we point out only a few items. I consider that the leit-motive for this condition is the assertion of J. Naisbitt (1989, p. 273) according to which: "The new leader is one who facilitates, not gives orders". In accordance with this, Finch (1977) pointed out that the role of a formal leader or manager of a decisional group is rather the role of a facilitator, counselor or negotiator than the role of a final arbiter.

In fact, over time, the leader's behavior has been considered extremely important for group decision-making and has been frequently analyzed in the specialized literature.

Thus, R. Tannenbaum and WH Schmidt (1958), in an article already classic, have treated the issue of the differentiated approach to the decision-making process of a group based on the position and the involvement of the group leader in decisional process. Thus, they distinguish between the following styles of decision adoption:

â- The manger decides and announces the decision - the manager identifies the problem, analyzes different possibilities of solving the problem and chooses the solution which will be used to solve the problem, asks his subordinate to implement the chosen solution. The manager might not use coercive modalities, but his subordinates do not participate directly in the decisional process.

â- The manager decides and then 'sells' the decision to the group - he identifies the problem and decides independently. Nevertheless, instead of simply announcing the decision taken in order to be implemented, he tries to persuade his employees to accept the decision.

In these two cases, obviously, we do not discuss about a group decision.

â- The manager presents the decision with background ideas and invites questions - the manager decides and tries to persuade his subordinators to accept the decision. Nevertheless, a supplementary step is made because the subordinators are asked to put questions about the decision. The involvement of the subordinators is not present in the decisional process. By this style it is aimed at overcoming some possible obstacles during the implementation process.

â- The manager suggests a provisional decision and invites discussion about it - the manager allows his subordinates to have a certain role in the decisional process, but he is responsible for the identification and the diagnostic of the problem. The manager makes a decision which can be modified on the basis of some suggestions of the employees. The final decision is taken by the manager. If we are allowed to express it, in this case we can discuss about a group decision at a low level.

â- The manager presents the problem or situation, get suggestions, then decides - this is the first management activity described up to now that allows subordinates to bring solutions for the problem before the manager choose the solution. Nevertheless, the manager is the one who identifies the problem.

â- The manager explains the situation or problem, defines the parameters and asks team to decide on the solution - within this type of management behavior, the manager firstly identifies the problem and sets the limits within which the decision has to be taken. Then the manager enters a partnership with his subordinates in order to reach to the adequate decision.

â- The manager allows team to develop options and decide on the action, within the manager's received limit - in this case the manager becomes a member with the same rights as the group. The group identifies and evaluates the problem, drafts possible solutions and chooses a solution to be implemented.

In the last two cases we can discuss, apparently, about a real group decision-making (according to the definition that we previously proposed). In fact, we will observe that according to the manner in which the group decides, there are some nuances.

Another important leadership theory focused on establishing the employees' participation degree in the decisional process was the Vroom-Yetton-Jago leadership model created on the basis of two important prerequisites: organization's decisions have to be of good quality (their impact on the results has to be a favorable one); subordinates have to accept and engage in the decisions taken by the organization.

The model suggests that there are five different decision styles or modalities that leaders can use: the leader solves the problem along using information that is readily available to him/her; the leader obtains additional information from group members, then makes decision alone; the leader shares problem with group members individually, and asks for information and evaluation (group members do not meet collectively, and leader makes decision alone); the leader shares problem with group members collectively, but makes decision alone; the leader meets with group to discuss situation (leader focuses and directs discussion, but does not impose will; group makes final decision).

After analyzing these models we can draw the conclusion that we can discuss, as in the case of leadership styles, about a continuation of group decision situations and about, if we are allowed to say it, decisions which are more or less group decisions, according to the degree of involvement of the leader and of the group members.

As regards the second condition, we will discuss about the most difficult aspect namely information and knowledge sharing which represents an important challenge for any group decisional process. In practice such challenge is difficult to be achieved (Tran, 2004). In most cases group members do not know what the other members know or not. Also, in most cases, debates focus around the knowledge, the information and joint experiences (Stasser, Titus, 1985), which are not important for the quality of the decision, inducing the danger of conformism (Schulz-Hardt et.al., 2000). Stasser and Titus (1987) observed that the unshared information has a greater chance to be actively debate within the group as long as the total amount of information at disposal of the group is not very great. In contrast, the larger the group, the risk increases (Stasser et al., 1989). In this case, it is crucial the leader's ability to encourage members to express their opinions and to argue them, to encourage factious opinions and to accept the reasoned combat of these opinions.

In what follows, we will present the exact modalities by which the group decides, because in our opinion they are very important for classifying a decision as being a group decision. Hence, there are many ways in which a group decides. In general, there are six factors that have to be taken into account (Burdus et al., 2003, p.545): decision type (simple, complex, which affects the members of the group or not); the time and the available resources; the evolution in time of the group (they work well together or they do not know each other); the particularity of the assignment which determines this collaboration (simple or complex debates); the climate type that group members wish to establish (independence, authority); the situation type in which group members work (bureaucratic or alert rhythm).

Schein (1969) describes the following ways that groups make decisions: decision by formal authority or self-authorization; decision by lack of response; decision by a minority; decision by majority rule; decision by consensus; decision by unanimous consent

.The decision by lack of answer occurs when somebody within the group proposes a solution and nobody intervenes. E. Schein considers that the lack of answer can be interpreted as the decision of the group to not support that solution and the one who proposed it or, on the contrary, as a tacit acceptance.

The decision by formal authority or self-authorization occurs within groups that have a structure which obviously indicates that the leader will make the decision. According to this method, the appointed leader schedules the meeting with the members of the group, presents the problem, and listens to the opinions of the participants and only when he is sure of the decision content announces it to the group. In our opinion this modality should not be included in the field of the group decision.

The decision by a minority occurs in the decisional situation in which the leader (the manager) calls only a minority of the group in order to adopt a decision (less than 50% of the members) under a commission or a committee form. These members have certain representativiness or they have power within the group.

The decision by majority rule is a method which consists of discussing some solutions as long as it is necessary to obtain the consent of at least 51% of the group members. Though is seems a correct solution, in the case of this solution may appear a series of problems: firstly, the minority members may consider that the debate of the decision was short and they did not have time to express their point of view and for this reason they might feel marginalized.

Consensus is defined as a collective opinion resulting after the discussions that took place between the members of a group who work together under the conditions that allow an open communication, so that each member feel that he has the possibility to influence the decision. When a decision is taken as a result of the consensus all members of the group understand the decision and are ready to support it. Frequently, it is considered that obtaining consensus takes a long time. In fact, a broader approach should be made: consensus means time spent for a decision, but one can save time and other resources, later, when the decision will "sell" and will be implemented.

In our opinion, we can talk about a real group decision-making only when consensus is used as a modality of making a decision, but not without having some reservations. In order to clarify these reservations we have to make the distinction between consensus and compromise. In this respect, we will present P. Oberlé and J. Beauvois (1995) points of view that consider that as regards consensus, it should be regarded as a result of confrontation by which different positions are balanced. This doesn't suppose the suppression of different points of view but a negotiation process between relatively equal parties. Consensus is a stable and solid agreement which usually doesn't lead to the accumulation of latent tensions.

Compromise is an agreement obtained by pressure and manipulation (this situation can be found sometimes in the case of unanimities). Compromise takes place mostly when within a group there are persons with a certain power by virtue of which they succeed to impose their opinions. The word power has to be considered with a broader meaning not only in the sense of hierarchical authority, but also in the terms of information, knowledge and skills held by someone, one's own communication style, and the socio-material situation of each individual outside the organizational framework. Though, compromise is a situation of unstable balance because it usually generates hidden tensions.

Finally, we will discuss briefly about he distribution of responsibility between the members of the decisional group. I believe that the unique responsibility of the leader for a certain decision adopted at the level of the group is an outdated issue. Moving from the hierarchical organization managed according to Taylorist principles to a flattened or a network type organization involves mutations in the way responsibility is approached within the organization. Responsibility does not disappear in this type of organization, it does not collectivized, it remains individual and it has to be regarded as an assumed role. Responsibility is internalized so that it should allow self-organization and self-management (Fukuyama, 2003, p.238).

F. Fukuyama explains this new approach by a metaphor, the famous power brake present at each working point on the Takaoko conveyer line of Toyota, which allows each worker to stop the whole conveyer line if he observes any irregularity in the manufacturing process. By this any worker can sabotage the efforts of the entire group, or on the contrary can prevent a disaster.

In conclusion, we believe that the four conditions are rarely simultaneously and totally fulfilled, and this makes us repeat our hypothesis that the group decision-making is purely theoretical.

3. Involvement Of The Romanian Smes Employees In The Decision-Making

In the Romanian SMEs group decision/making (not only in its narrow meaning as we previously defined but also with a broader meaning - the multi-personal decision) is not very frequent. In what follows we will try to argue as solidly as possible this fact by analyzing the discourses of some successful Romanian entrepreneurs. For this reason we will focus on an ample aspect, i.e. the involvement of the employees in the decisional processes which also includes group decision.

In the majority of the papers on the SMEs, the manager is the central element in the management processes, a decisional quasifactotum. The management style of SMEs is usually considered as very centralized, sometimes exclusively detained by only one person, the owner-manager. Torres (1999) uses in this sense the term "ego firm", in order to define the small business. Thus, Torres proposes three characteristics for the SMEs:

â-"The butterfly effect" supposes that any apparently minor problem can lead to a series of consequences in the inside of a SME because of its economic vulnerability. W. Torres quotes the following situations that might affect the existence of the firm: a new competitor enters the market; the bankruptcy of a supplier, the refuse of a bank loan. Also, the actual management is frequently confronted with emergency situations which can turn into real crisis.

â- "micro-cosmos effect" supposes that the manager be concerned with short-term problems, strictly referring to micro-environment of the firm.

â- "egocentrism effect" highlights the hypertrophy of the manager's ego. As the manager is very concerned about himself, he cannot authorize (correctly) decision taking.

A vicious circle bounds these three characteristics: "the egocentrism effect" and the "micro-cosmos" one alter the lucidity of the owner-manager. This increases the vulnerability of the company and set off/ accentuates the "butterfly effect" thus determining the owner-manager to involve in the company functioning (increasing the "egocentrism effect"). By increasing the work volume, the owner-manager obviously takes more decisions (which can lead to an "effect of micro-cosmos").

Nevertheless, there are authors (Kalika, 1984) who consider that the degree of centralization varies from one company to another being influenced by the company largeness, by the manager's personality and by the employees' value.

Another idea (a preconception? an outdated idea?) very present in most papers on SMEs mentions that the manager is like a "solitary wolf" (he sees what the others cannot see, he does what the others cannot do) and, more than that, the entrepreneurial action cannot be performed as long as it is individual.

Hatchuel (2000) argues that, in fact, in order to create a company, the manager is not and could not be by himself. In this direction, in the recent years it has been developed a reach literature talking about equipreneurship, team entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial teams (see Ben Hafaïedh, 2006).

In what follows, taking into account these elements, which can serve as the framework for analyzing the existence/development of the group decisional processes in a SME, and also the theoretical aspects exposed in the first part of the paper, we will try to identify some aspects regarding the use of group decisions in the Romanian SMEs (rather prerequisites and barriers).

The first direction of study aims at drafting the characterization of the Romanian owner-manager, and identifying those qualities which could offer us some clues in terms of his position towards the group decisional process.

Silviu Hotăran, ex-CEO of Microsoft Romania, presently general manager of GKTI Semper Human makes the following statements: "I believe that lack of trust is a 'chronic disease' in the entire Romanian society, individualism, the inability to delegate and to work in team is, unfortunately, the elements of the management culture in our country. In this context, many Romanian companies suffer from the syndrome 'one man show', where the control is held by only one person who controls the access to information instead of delegating and limits the company growth. This syndrome appears firstly at entrepreneurs, those who started the business by themselves. In their behavior one can observe the lack of trust. In the case of the one who had courage and invested in the business (the entrepreneur), lack of trust can increase especially in times of 'storm'" (www.profesiionline.ro).

The same entrepreneur adds: "Beyond the syndrome 'one man show' which characterizes the Romanian entrepreneur who started doing business in the '90 and who has not courage to delegate, Romanian managers do not know how to communicate and they forget that the most important aspect of communication is listening. We do not know how to motivate people and to self-motivate, we focus on what does not function and we forget to appreciate the things done well. We do not know to give and receive feedback or to say when problems occur and we postpone them. Someone working at Microsoft said 'problems do not age in a beautiful way'. We do not know how to trust someone. These are not specific only to Romanian managers, but in Romania they are exaggerated." (www.profesiionline.ro)

Unfortunately, this point of view is not singular. "I believe that 99% of the entrepreneurs and managers of Romania do not have a clear system of delegation, not because they were not capable but because they don not have the skills levels established for the company. We are in a worse situation than our neighbors. Unlike Romania, in the neighbor countries there is a procedure and standardization culture which force people to establish tasks, responsibilities, objectives and competency limits", considers Petre Nicolae, general manager of CBC Romania, consultancy and strategic management company (www.businessstandard.ro).

"The pathological distrust (everybody steals from me) and the impression that they know everything better than anyone determine the managers to become the first obstacle for their business", says Octavian Radu, founder and president of the RTC group (www.businessstandard.ro).

Returning to the theoretical elements, it is considered that, for the majority of the SMEs, the first years of functioning require a micro-management and manager's total involvement in the current problems even insignificant ones (Mazzarol, 2003). In the first years, companies are dependent of their owner-manager in order to survive. As far as the business grows, the owner-manager must build a team management with whom to consult and learn to delegate. Formicheli (1997) notifies the danger of nano-management and the risk that the owner cannot give up the specific (and necessary) management style in the first stages of a small business.

We are also interested in analyzing the aspect of the Romanian employee and in explaining the quasi-absence of group decisions within the Romanian SMEs. The psychologist Ion Bucur makes a tough description of this aspect: "The more distant from a leadership position the Romanian employee is, the lesser they identify with the objectives of the organization. The lower he is in the company hierarchy, the lower is his motivation." The same expert, after realizing a study about motivation, in a number of sales companies, identified the following elements: the motivation of avoiding the failure prevails - 80%; adaptive, conservative persons prevail - 80%; good executers prevail - 95%; pragmatic, shot-term oriented person prevail - 80%; defensive attitudes prevail - 70%; the adaptation motivation prevails despite the motivation regarding change motivation - 75% (www.wall-street.ro).

Such attitudes might have older causes (deep-rooted mentalities) but the behavior of the owner-manager may also be a tripping factor.

In what follows we will present another relevant example regarding Romanian entrepreneur's mentality and the manner in which they understand to involve their employees in the decisional process.

Radu Timis is the owner of Cristim (an important player on the Romanian market of cold meats), a business of 120 million and over 2000 employees (is not anymore a small or medium business, but elements that will be presented overlap up to the theoretical elements presented by Torres). In 2005 he separated from the company management returning in 2009 ("economic recession forced us to open our eyes"). This interval was characterized by repeated changes at the management level. The reasons of this fact are presented below, in the words of the entrepreneur:

"Because they did not adapt to the vision, the ideas, the rhythm and the CrisTim company style, we weren't able to remain together. They did not believe in my vision of a 40% growth annually. That is why, at present we work only with the second echelon." (www.zf.ro)

"I consider that it is still dangerous that people in a company wait for a decision and do not action in this respect. And here I refer to all levels. For dour years any decision had had to reach the CEO who analyzed it and decide whether was good or bad. Nothing was delegated. Actually, I gave more freedom than the freedom given after I left the executive. This my first reproach: lack of delegation. People got used to that and now I have to break them of this habit. I say to them: "Is it good what you want to do? If you think it is, go for it. We will analyze the results after month and we will see whether was good or not." (http://moneyexpress.money.ro)

"A fantastic thing happened: my 'third eye' opened. Now, I see all things 'just in time'. For any problem which may occur, I have the solution immediately; I know what I have to do. I am the one who knows best the business I run. A manager is nothing but an employee who risks to lose his bonus if he makes the wrong decision, while I risk to lose the business and to affect, in this way, the jobs of 2000 people." (http://moneyexpress.money.ro)

Are we talking again about a phenomenon specific to Romania? It may be exaggerated but not specific. The specialized literature is our witness in this respect. For the majority of the first-generation firms a centralized decisional process, dominated by the founder is specific (Alderson 2009). The second generation of entrepreneurs may become more collaborative under the influence of the family pressure and conflicts, but also because of the lack of experience and even competence, or because of the fear of failure.

In what follows we will try to point out some elements on information sharing within SMEs. The small dimension of possible decisional groups which can be formed in a SME might be a favorable factor. The same might be the informal and non-bureaucratic framework of the communication. But there are also some inhibitors (probably with a stronger influence in most cases). Sharing information is, theoretically, stimulated by the leader and by the organization's culture. The owner-manager, at least at the beginning of a business, is very suspicious and accepts with difficulty to share information about his business (Balachandra, Briggs, 2009). At his turn, the organizational culture of the company is a reflection of the personality and wishes of the manager. As long as this one does not agree with sharing information, the organizational culture is not a favorable factor.

Regarding these issues we have to make another mention. Under the pressure of harmonizing the acquis communautaire (the framework Directive 2000/14/EC), was adopted Law NO 467/2006 regarding the establishment of a general framework for consulting employees ( the text of the law makes references also to informing not only consulting). The law applies to companies with more than 20 employees (thus to a number of SMEs). Among the aims of an informing and consulting process should be included the aim that employees have a greater influence on the decisional process (Wilkinson, 2007). Unfortunately, we are very afraid of talking about "a new form without substance", as long as the necessity to inform and consult employees is not internalized by the manager.

We will finish this discussion by reproducing some ideas from the personal blog of Radu Georgescu (the owner of GECAD, founder of RAV, sold by Microsoft), probably not by chance the Romanian entrepreneur whose success was validated internationally also:

"I know that it might sound odd, but I know that many friends of mine ask the same question: trust their own team or trust a stranger? Does the team have no hidden interests? Does the team think subjectively? May the stranger bring an idea out of box? Yes - I say - but for this we have some choices that we can deal with separately, correspondingly weighted: for the subjectivism of those inside we can use audits and for 'airy' perspectives we can use different consultants. But all their opinions have to be weighted - as I said earlier- by the advisory team.

In conclusion, I highlight that in business especially in the entrepreneurial zone people can take wrong decisions. But it is well that they be taken by the team responsible for the phenomenon, not by someone for outside it. The role of the external consultant exists; it is important but limited and purely informative. I always strongly believed that those who work with me support me 100% and statistically speaking it was proved that I was right to think like that." (www.radugeorgescu.ro)

4. Conclusions

Although group decision-making valences are obvious (and largely perceived correctly by all participants in the economic life), they seem to "penetrate" with difficulty to the Romanian organizations and especially in small and medium enterprises. Attitudes are to blame, both owners-managers and employees, the negative experiences of each of the two categories in relation to other. The short time passed from the revolution is also to be blamed - when the first private initiatives and the early entrepreneurial culture appeared. Any solutions? A (small) part of the Romanian people with small business will become aware (or have already become aware) that they will not be successful from the position of a 'one man show'. A safer solution (implemented on the long term) is the training of the future generations of entrepreneurs and employees by using different (new) models to which should add the formation of original healthy entrepreneurial cultures.