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Organizational studies, organizational behaviour, and organizational theory is the systematic study and careful application of knowledge about how people - as individuals and as groups - act within organizations. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organizational_studies).
Organisation behaviour is a chief component of any business school core curriculum because it sets out to help students comprehend how human beings deal with being part of organisations, large or small, working in teams and so forth. It is, fundamentally, the study of the 'soft' end of business.Â The theories derive from a diversity of disciplines including sociology and psychology. It disquiets itself with the problematical patterns of individual and group working. Thus the apparent aim of the study of organisational behaviour is to understand why people work in positive ways and then working out how to use this knowledge to improve the use of resources.Â
The history of the study of organisational behaviour is often broken down into different phases, beginning with both Scientific Management and the study of bureaucracy in the early-twentieth century. Both of these schools of thought were attempts to analyse human activity at work. The first looked at human beings as though they were part of a machine and sought to break activities down into discrete actions. The study of bureaucracy instead looked at the whole organisations and sought to define them through the varying levels of authority within the whole. The role of the manager in all this was also considered as the topic grew in scope.Â Â
As the study of psychology and psycho-analysis became more prevalent and more sophisticated, these rather mechanistic views eventually gave way to a more humanistic period in which it was seen that the workplace was also structured around mutually interactive groups of people who could not be defined in the earlier simplistic terms. Later on these ideas became even more sophisticated as it seemed that the work place was somewhere, if the conditions were right, people would find positive experiences, and where they could seek fulfilment and become creative.
Organisational behaviour, perhaps because it is about human beings, that generally defy categorisation, is home to many theories. Because it is about people and the way they react to and interact with each other, it is an ideal topic for teaching through fiction. Once again fiction provides endless opportunities to describe the conflicts and allegiances that are constantly being formed and re-formed in the work place. The fact that most novels are in some way or other about relationships and the ways in which people deal with negative and positive experiences within groups, and how alliances can shift over time and through internal or external pressures, means that they are rich in examples to be used in illustrating the various theories that make up the study of organisational behaviour. The fact that psychology, sociology and anthropology feature so strongly in the topic offers a variety of approaches in interpreting the scenarios, just as in real life.
Challenges faced by minority employees at Draper Manufactures
Draper Manufacturing is a small family-owned company that manufactures mattresses. It employees 90 people full time including African, American, Asian and Hi Spanish and about 75% of work force is female. The company also hire part time workers (most of them females).
a. Required Tools For Managing Diversity:
Effective managers are aware that certain skills are necessary for creating a successful, diverse workforce. Firs, managers must understand discrimination and its consequences. Second, managers must recognize their own cultural biases and prejudices (Koonce, 2001). Diversity is not about differences among groups, but rather about differences among individuals. Each individual is unique and does not represent or speak for a particular group.
Finally managers must be willing to change the organisation if necessary (Koone, 2001). Organisation need to learn how to manage diversity in the workplace to be successful in the future. Unfortunately, there is no single recipe for success. It mainly depends on the manager's ability to understand what is best for the organisation based on teamwork and the dynamics of the workplace. According to Roosevelt (2001), managing diversity is a comprehensive process for creating a work environment that includes everyone. When creating a successful diverse workforce, an effective manager should focus on personal awareness. Both managers and associates need to be aware of their personal biases. Therefore, organisations need to help, implement, and maintain ongoing training because a one-day session of training will not change people's behaviour, managers must also understand that fairness is not necessarily equality. There are always exceptions to the rules.
b. Understanding Crucial:
Hence, the understanding and managing of diversity have thus become crucial to the viability of contemporary organisations. So what can managers do to respond to these Challenges?
Of a number of strategies that can be adopted by managers seeking to benefit from diversity, the most prevalent are leadership and organisational policy, organisational Research on diversity; and training and development n diversity.
Envisioning change in cultural diverse organisation and driving its implementation is the primary responsibility of mangers in organisations. Mangers should take strong personal stands on the need for change, role model the behaviours required for change and assist with the work of moving the organisation forward. Past research has identified characteristics of leaders which are also important in managing diversity. These characteristics include personal openness, approachability, emotional intelligence, empathy, strategic thinking, strong internal locus of control, capacity to trust, being prepared to challenge and inspiring others. Diversity should form part of corporate strategy. Human resources practices such as recruitment, training, performance management and compensation should be adopted to respond to diversity related issues.
c. Building Effective Teams:
Workforces groups need to be productive, profitable, collaborative and harmonious in order to perform most effectively. Additionally the ability to create and maintain an effective work group is impacted by the diverse values, approaches and needs of individual members. This team building workshop focuses on how to build feelings of belonging, respects, and trust among team members. This course may be offered to existing work teams, or as a group session for management development.
d. Cross Cultural Communication:
Cross cultural communication is most important for every organisation that how to communicate with the other peoples of a different organisation. Participants in this class identify ways to reduce misperceptions and increase communication effectiveness with others in work environment: superiors, peers, subordinates, and the customers. Participants assess their own values and styles and those of the organisation, and learn tools to improve multicultural communication across differences.
Social Class is a major source of Cultural differences
Social class understood as social relations of ownership and control over productive assets taps into parts of the social variation in health that are not captured by conventional measures of social stratification.
Cultural psychologists have consistently found different patterns of thinking and perception in different societies, with some cultures demonstrating a more analytic pattern and others a more holistic pattern. Analytic cognition is characterized by taxonomic and rule-based categorization of objects, a narrow focus in visual attention, dispositional bias in causal attribution, and the use of formal logic in reasoning. In contrast, holistic cognition is characterized by thematic and family-resemblance-based categorization of objects, a focus on contextual information and relationships in visual attention, an emphasis on situational causes in attribution, and dialecticism (Nisbett, Peng, Choi, & Norenzayan, 2001).
a. Social Structure:
In China the social structure is formal and hierarchical.Â You know where you fit in the structure and you abide by the rules there.Â There is no crossing into other areas.Â In America, it is much more loose and informal.Â It is not uncommon to see those of various social levels socializing and knowing each other.Â There are very few lines that socially are not allowed to be crossed.Â This can cause problems in business relationships if the visiting culture is unaware of it.
b. Confrontation / Conflict:
If you are planning on conducting business in China or expecting an extended stay, it might be useful to know that the direct way that most Americans approach issues is not the way to go in China.Â Direct conflict or confrontation over issues is highly frowned upon.Â Doesn't matter that the "truth" needs to be spoken, respect and honor to each person supersedes that.Â To prove a point and show yourself in the right even over business issues is considered shameful and should be avoided.
The Chinese looks more at the group collective than at individualism.Â America has become known for its push of individualism which has been a source of conflict with other cultures that look collectively.Â A person from China is more prone to look at how their acts affect the whole instead of how it affects them personally.Â They are more willing to give up and sacrifice for the greater good.Â America's individualism has been its backbone and the reason for its success as a world power, but when visiting China it needs to be reined in.
Reputation of the individual is very important in China.Â If an action will humiliate someone or ruin a reputation, it is avoided.Â When shame occurs, the person sacrifices their job or whatever it is that will heal the shame.Â In America, reputations come and go overnight and in the end usually does not matter.Â The end result is more of the focus.Â A person is more likely to overlook a reputation to get the job done.
Organisation associated with monoculture
Monoculture describes systems with low diversity and can be used in several contexts.
In agriculture, it describes the practice of relying on a small number of genetic variants of a food crop for cultural commercial agriculture in forestry; it refers to the planting of only a single species of trees.
Lawns and most field crops can also be defined as monocultures as is the situation where a single species of farm animal is raised in large-scale production operations
Monoculture means literally a single shared integrated pattern. It has several meaning is specific fields (which follow below).
Australia is often hailed as one of the world's most successful examples of multiculturalism. The most recent Census data reveals over 200 different ancestries reported (with Italian, German, Chinese and Greek in the top eight); 22% of the population born overseas (11.2% born in Europe, 5% born in Asia and 1% born in the middle east or north Africa). Italian is the most popular language other than English spoken at home, followed by Greek, Cantonese, Arabic and Vietnamese.
Recent interest from the Council of the National Library, now including four members who have a strong personal interest in cultural diversity, led to my surveying members of the Council of Australian State Libraries last year asking them to report on archival holdings documenting cultural diversity - in this case 'archival materials' being considered inclusive of pictures and oral histories and only excluding publications. I particularly sought information about formal collecting partnerships with ethnic communities. Let's start with the National Library's collection. The Library's only formal collecting partnership is with the Polish Historical Institute in Australia. Through an agreement with the Institute the Library accepts collections of manuscript and pictorial material, as well as publications of Australian interest in Polish or English, and undertakes a series of oral history interviews with Polish Australians.
Cracking the Self-Amplifications:
The longer the self-amplification cycle lasts, the more ingrained it becomes. This argues for attacking it as early as possible. If the organization is reasonably healthy, "diversity" hiring has powerful side-effects that tend to disrupt the worst aspects of self-amplification.
Diversity hiring too frequently is a checkmark item, and in most workplaces, managers go through checkmark tasks in neutral and do a half-axed job of them.
A woman in an all-male shop, a man in an all-woman department, an African-American in an all-"white" bastion has the probability of bringing in a different cluster of life experiences or ways of seeing, and solving, challenges. People tend to want to hire someone more like themselves or their existing successes, and this natural tendency can undermine the value of the diversity hires.
Unless both H.R. and the hiring leads are determined to hire someone who is truly adding to diversity, they are likely to choose the woman whose operant behaviours most closely resemble their existing talent pool's individuals, and feel the diversity candidates who are least like the incumbents are "too different.
An Organisation can successfully compete with diversity today
Many companies persist in acknowledging diversity only as it pertains to affirmative action programs or selection and hiring practices. However, organizations are increasingly using diversity initiatives to develop an environment of cooperation and communication that encourages members to value and express differing ideas and viewpoints.
a. Why diversity matters:
Today's organizations have discovered that diversity is not only good for people it's also good for business. Companies that successfully adopt diversity as a strategic initiative are likely to experience the following benefits:
Improved quality and acceptance of decisions
Increased efficiency and productivity
Improved product and service quality
These outcomes alone should convince any organization that teaching members to value differences is well worth the time and money. Yet, with such a strong business case for diversity, why aren't more organizations reaping its rewards?
b. The culture connection:
Ultimately, creating an environment that supports diversity requires an organization's leadership to view human resource differences not as idiosyncrasies to be managed, but as assets to be nurtured and developed. For this form of diversity to "work," it must become an organizational value that members are encouraged to demonstrate through their collective behaviour. In short, the degree to which an organization can embrace and support diversity is largely a function of its culture the behavioural norms or "styles" that identify the shared beliefs, values, and expectations that guide how members interact with one another and approach their work.
c. Constructive Culture:
Organizations with Constructive cultures encourage members to work to their full potential, resulting in high levels of motivation, satisfaction, teamwork, service quality, and sales growth. Members must balance expectations for taking initiative and thinking independently with those for consensus and power sharing.
Glass Ceiling has proved to be such a barrier to women and minorities
An invisible barrier that determines the level to which a woman or other member of a demographic minority can rise in an organization an unofficial policy regarded as being imposed on women and minorities that prevents them from advancing to higher positions in business, government, etc.
The term glass ceiling refers to the transparent but real and strong barrier which prevent women from moving up in the management hierarchy in an organisation (Morrison and Glinow 1990).the minorities of women has led many researches to investigate whether the glass ceiling barriers such as
Gender wage gap,
Lack of family-friendly workplace policies
In the organisation are at play and how these barriers effect the performance of female employees in the organisation (Jevons and Sevas Tos 2002).
It is clear that glass ceiling is affecting and stopping the women from reaching the top management position. The problem of glass ceiling persists in the other countries of the world as it is clear from the previous researcher but this problem is more evident in Pakistan. This is because despite the boom in education sector, the society still remains the conservative and negative feelings and stereotypes do exist against women employees. As a result of glass ceiling the problem of women employees is also being affected. This cause of concern and it is happening because women managers feel that they are not treated equality. They develop the feeling that their efforts are not being properly rewarded due to presence of pre-define rules and regulations for promotions women working in public sector are not being affected a great deal by glass ceiling.
a. Gender Stereotype:
There are number of factors that keep the glass ceiling in effects One of them is gender stereotype. Over the last three decades, Sachein 2005 found the Gender Stereotyping of the managerial position has continued to be major barrier to women's progress in management, worldwide. He also shown that on international level, the view of women has less likely then men to process requits management characteristics is commonly hled belief among male in the USA, the UK, Germany, China and Japan.
b. Gender Wage:
Apart from gender stereotyping, gender wage gap also plays its role in the organizations. Across a sample of eleven European Union countries in 1995-2001 Booth & Bryan (2007) found that women were paid less than men and this wage gap typically widened toward the top of the wage distribution (the "glass ceiling" effect), and in a few cases it also widened at the bottom (the "sticky floor" effect). In recent studies of promotion to partner process, Kumra & Vinnicombe (2008) concluded that the disadvantages women face in organizations in relation to the promotion to partner process arise from a combination of firm-based and societal based factors.
c. Discrimination and Harassment
Discussing the relationship between discrimination, harassment and glass ceiling (Bell, McLaughlin & Sequeira, 2002), glass ceiling was referred as one of the form of sex discrimination. In the study it was concluded that because all three have some common antecedents, steps to reduce one of them will likely affect the others. Apart from that they suggested that measures designed to increase numbers of women in higher level positions will reduce sexual harassment.
As a result of this glass ceiling there is an inclination of women to entrepreneurship as a result of barriers to women's advancements in corporation (Mattis, 2004). Mattis showed that lack of flexibility continued to be a feature of the corporate culture that lead to the attrition of high potential women and contributed to the dramatic increase in entrepreneurship among women in the US glass ceiling affects the performance of women at managerial level.
Breaking through the Glass Ceiling:
Imagine a world that is fair and offers equal opportunities to anyone who pursues improvements in life. Women and other minorities have been discriminated against since the beginning of time. In modern day society minorities are striking back. Women now run companies such as Carleton S. Fiorina, CEO of Hewlett Packard.
We have seen powerful women like Hillary Clinton enter high political positions. Janet Reno was elected as the first woman Attorney General. Women, such as Oprah Winfrey dominate the entertainment industry. Oprah has overcome many discriminations being a strong black woman. These women are all very successful and have seemed to break through the "glass ceiling", but we still have a long way to go. In the business world women can be just as qualified as men but something always seems to hold them back. The invisible barrier that holds women back from achieving their goals is called the glass ceiling.
An organisation need to change its Structure and Policies to accept diversity
Companies need to evolve in order to survive in the 21st Century and diversity presents one of the biggest challenges. It requires a huge shift in the way companies run. Companies need to accept difference, respect difference, work with difference and live with difference.
The profile of the labour market is changing. Women now make up more than half of the workforce and 60% of families with children have both parents in employment. The structure of families is also changing. The arrangement for care of dependants is becoming more complex. Increasing numbers of employees are also caring for elderly relatives. These workers are often in the age range of 45-64 and may be your most experience workforce. In today's rapidly changing world, providing terms and conditions. Providing new working patterns and equality of opportunity as part of your employment package can enable you to manage your staff in such as way as to achieve significant improvements for your business.
Over 6.2 million disabled people are of working age which represents 17% of the working population.Â
Less than 5% of people with disabilities use wheelchairs
Disabled people in employment tend to work in a similar range of jobs to non-disabled people and can offer employers exactly the same range of skills and talents as anyone else. They often have additional problem-solving skills developed from managing their everyday life. Yet unemployment rates among people with disabilities are around two-and -a-half times those for non-disabled people.
In 2006 for the first time ever there wereÂ more 55-64 year olds than 16-24 year olds.
Life expectancy increases one more year approximately every four years.
There are 1 million fewer people in their 20's than ten years ago.
Minority ethnic groups now account for 10% of Britain's population.
12% of the UK's university undergraduates are young people from black and other ethnic minorities communities
Ethnic monitors in the UK represent a younger, growing marketplace - 80% are under 25 years old.
b. What action does managing diversity require?
The management of diversity requires action to ensure organisations have an open workplace culture based on trust and mutual respect. In such as culture people value each other and treat each other with dignity. Likewise, differences in personal backgrounds and characteristics do not prejudice decisions about the suitability of individuals for employment or training. Different views and ideas are welcomed.
Managing diversity, like equal opportunities requires organisation to ensure that all decisions about the employment and training of people are objective, based on merit, relate to individual personal development criteria and support business goals. This can be achieved through the continuous review of workplace policies, practices and behaviour to check that these are helping all employees to give their best.
c. How are equal opportunities activities moved on by managing diversity?
Managing diversity requires equality to be dealt with in a strategic, co-ordinated way. It broadens the concept of equal opportunities beyond the issues just covered by law. It welcomes the difference and seeks to avoid bias on the basis of issues which unfairly block personal development. It recognises that people have different abilities to contribute to organisational goals and performance and that action might be needed to give everyone a chance to contribute to organisational goals and performance and that action might be needed to give everyone a chance to contribute and compete on equal terms. It acknowledges that organisational cultures may need to become more flexible and adaptable in order to realise the full potential of a diverse workforce.
An example, business benefits will result from reducing the turnover rate of females employees. This can be achieved by having better maternity provisions and employment break opportunities. Likewise, employing ethnic minority workers and people with disabilities can help organisations to access rich pools of talent and to develop closer links with broader customer base. Trust and commitment between an employer and employees may also result from successfully embedding continuously improving diversity policies into the organisation. Business benefits will follow in the wake of trust and commitment. Evidence indicates that organisations which are serious about diversity show better overall financial performance.
Diversity impact on an organisation within its own country and international diversity
The attempt to globalize the cultures of the world is not new. This phenomenon has its roots in the history of humankind. Nations around the globe attempted to "market" their civilizations and cultures through violent means, such as wars or peaceful means, such as education and trade. However, the history of humankind tells us that those attempts have never been successful; cultures tended to interact but never replaced one another. Therefore, in the current great debate over globalization, this phenomenon should be regarded as a means of allowing more interaction among nations and more dialogue among civilizations and cultures.
This view of globalization is dictated by the common environmental, health and economic risks that have begun to face the world since the beginning of the twentieth century. Today, nations of the world realize that they are facing common risks and dangers that urgently require shared solutions. Such solutions can be reached and shared through establishing networks of serious dialogue among nations and cultures around the world: a role that UNESCO successfully fulfils in today's world.
The UNESCO Declaration on Cultural Diversity (2002) defines Culture "as the set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of society or a social group, that encompasses, in addition to art and literature, lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, traditions and beliefs." Cultural diversity is considered to encompass "all communities in the world, each of them with their own identity determined by ethnicity, history, language, religion and art". It "widens the range of options open to everyone; it is one of the roots of development, understood not simply in terms of economic growth, but also a means to achieve a more satisfactory intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual existence." Cultural diversity may be understood as, but not limited to, diversity in:
Practices (rituals, production systems and knowledge transmission systems);
Ways of living together (social systems including institutions, legal systems, leadership and tenure systems);
Value systems (religion, ethics, spirituality, beliefs and worldviews);
Knowledge (know-how and skills);
Artistic expressions (art, architecture, literature and music).
Multiculturalism is the acceptance or promotion of multiple ethnic cultures, applied to the demographic make-up of a specific place, usually at the organizational level, e.g. schools, businesses, neighbourhoods, cities or nations. In this context, multiculturalists advocate extending equitable status to distinct ethnic and religious groups without promoting any specific ethnic, religious, and/or cultural community values as central.
a. Leadership behaviour:
Effective leadership is one of the most powerful competitive advantages an organisation can have. Whenever we meet a success or failure of any organisation, we automatically think of its leadership.
Although leadership may transcend cultural boundaries, what constitutes effective leadership is nonetheless cultural specific. An authoritarian and force full leader may be very well regarded in one culture but not in another. Another leader who is getting on in years may command greater respect in a culture that respects age but be seen as a past his or her prime in another.
b. Communicating the Global vision across cultures:
Once a vision is created, it has to be communicated. Communicating is more than telling. To communicate a vision, global leaders must reach out to local followers in such a way that enables the local's to internalize the leader's dream. Some culture particularly collectivistic cultures such as India's prefer personal, face to face modes of communications.
8). Diversity lead to better problem solving and greater creativity in an organization
Diversity can be defined from a policy and legal perspective across 6 clear demographic strands: gender, age, race & ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion & beliefs, and disability.
Organizations have enormous power to focus efforts on collective goals, objectives, issues, problems, and results, if they so choose. It's the power of an organization's convergent effect -- people coming together in a planned way to accomplish something mutually beneficial for all involved. That's the theory of organization.
If organizations exist to unite diverse perspectives, capabilities, and talents in pursuit of common purposes and mutually beneficial results, why do they stifle diversity, seek sameness, discourage individuality, promote conformance, reward uniformity, and punish nonconformity? Because managing diversity is harder than managing uniformity -- managing diversity is more challenging, expensive, time consuming, demanding, stressful, and prone to fail.
In the recent CIPD report, Diversity: Stacking up the evidence (Anderson and Metcalf 2003), three different types of workforce diversity were identified:
Social category diversity relates to differences in demographic characteristics, such as age and race.
Informational diversity refers to diversity of background such as knowledge, education, experience, tenure and functional background.
Value diversity includes differences in personality and attitudes.
Diversity is good for business:
The Business Case for Diversity Study (2005) and many other studies have argued strongly and provided evidence that diversity is good for business. The 2008 EBTP survey further supported these arguments. Of the 188 companies with some kind of diversity agenda, 59 percent suggested it had a positive impact upon their business, while 28 percent did not know.
Across the areas surveyed, a minimum of 80% of respondents suggested that diversity had at least some significance in each area of business operation. Diversity was felt to make the most significant impact upon company image and reputation, through the attraction of higher quality employees, and improved stakeholder relationships. Diversity was felt to make the least impact upon creating a wider customer base.
a. Diversity enhanced customer relations and increases market share:
Research findings suggest that having a diverse workforce leads to increased market share and increased sales to minority-culture groups (Fernandez 1991, Cox and Blake 1991, Cox 1993). This is explained by the preference of many customers to buy from people like themselves and from organisations that promote diversity (Morrison 1992).
Diversity contributes to increased market share because it enhances an organisation's ability 'to deal more sensitively with multicultural domestic and foreign customers, thereby increasing customer satisfaction, keeping and gaining market share' (Bhadury et al 2000).
In his research on managing diversity at IBM, Thomas (2004) exemplifies the benefits of responding to customer diversity. At IBM, one of the positive business outcomes of successful diversity management has been the increase in revenue from $10 million in 1998 to $300 million in 2001, just through partnerships with a more diverse group of vendors.
b. Diversity enhances employee's relations and reduced labour cost:
Several studies indicate that employers who successfully manage diversity are better at attracting and retaining skills and talent 'because many workers are drawn to companies that embrace diversity' (Woods and Sciarini 1995).
As well as recruiting the best people in the labour market by embracing diversity, such employers can also benefit from cost savings by having a more cost-effective recruitment process. McEnroe (1993) found that the recruitment expenditure of organisations that value diversity is 40 per cent less than that of those that don't and that they suffer less from high costs of labour turnover, absenteeism and discrimination lawsuits (Fernandez 1991, Cox 1993, Morrison 1992).
c. Diversity improves workforce quality:
The effects of diversity on organisational outcomes, such as performance, creativity, teamwork and problem-solving, are the areas that attract the interest of researchers most of all. In fact, most of the diversity research focuses on these aspects, although the findings suggest mixed and conflicting results.
Advocates of diversity management argue that an inclusive diversity climate increases the performance and productivity level of employees through increased job satisfaction and commitment (Morrison 1992). They also argue that diversity fosters adaptability to environmental change and organisational flexibility
- And provides a competitive edge by doing so (Cox 1993, Cox and Blake 1991, Fernandez 1991).
d. Increased legitimacy:
Workforce diversity may not only provide the ability to understand and communicate with diverse external groups, it may also improve the image and standing of the organisation. For example, organisation seems to be ethnically diverse may be more likely to be viewed positively by member of ethnic minorities (and by those who value equality regardless of their own ethnic background) that an organisation that is predominantly white. This may likely to improve public relations and may result in positive effect on sales.
e. Better communication with customers:
Just as a workforce that reflects to characteristics of the customer base may facilitate a better understanding of it, it may also enable the business to communicate more effectively with its customers.
Diversity can be an important element of an organization's strategy for the future. It is no longer just good corporate citizenship, but also good business. Directors are responsible for setting the tone at the top and overseeing the organization's approach to diversity as it affects the strategy, risk, and performance of the company. Organizations that successfully leverage diversity may find that it becomes a contributor to profitability and improved performance in a global economy.