Function and dysfunction within an organisation
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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016
Based on a case study of your choice and drawing on theories and concepts from across the module, provide a report with recommendations that critically evaluates why some teams and groups within the organisation function effectively whilst others are dysfunctional?
a) The contribution, motivation, rewards and roles of individuals within these groups and teams.
b) Management and leadership relating to both groups and teams.
c) Group structures, goals and objectives.
Based on my case study which I chose explained the contribution, motivation, rewards and roles of individuals within the organizations. How management and leadership relating to both, groups and teams, Group structures, goals and objectives are affected in the performance of organization. Let see different aspects of organizational behaviour.
Organizational Behavior (OB) is the study and application of knowledge about how people, individuals, and groups act in organizations. It does this by taking a system approach. That is, it interprets people-organization relationships in terms of the whole person, whole group, whole organization, and whole social system. Its purpose is to build better relationships by achieving human objectives, organizational objectives, and social objectives.
As you can see from the definition above, organizational behavior encompasses a wide range of topics, such as human behavior, change, leadership, teams, etc. Since many of these topics are covered elsewhere in the leadership guide, this paper will focus on a few parts of OB: elements, models, social systems, OD, work life, action learning, and change.
Elements of Organizational Behavior
The organization’s base rests on management’s philosophy, values, vision and goals. This in turn drives the organizational culture which is composed of the formal organization, informal organization, and the social environment. The culture determines the type of leadership, communication, and group dynamics within the organization. The workers perceive this as the quality of work life which directs their degree of motivation. The final outcome are performance, individual satisfaction, and personal growth and development. All these elements combine to build the model or framework that the organization operates from.
Models of Organizational Behavior
There are four major models or frameworks that organizations operate out of, Autocratic, Custodial, Supportive, and Collegial:
Autocratic – The basis of this model is power with a managerial orientation of authority. The employees in turn are oriented towards obedience and dependence on the boss. The employee need that is met is subsistence. The performance result is minimal
Custodial – The basis of this model is economic resources with a managerial orientation of money. The employees in turn are oriented towards security and benefits and dependence on the organization. The employee need that is met is security. The performance result is passive cooperation.
Supportive – The basis of this model is leadership with a managerial orientation of support. The employees in turn are oriented towards job performance and participation. The employee need that is met is status and recognition. The performance result is awakened drives.
Collegial – The basis of this model is partnership with a managerial orientation of teamwork. The employees in turn are oriented towards responsible behavior and self-discipline. The employee need that is met is self-actualization. The performance result is moderate enthusiasm.
Social Systems, Culture, and Individualization
A social system is a complex set of human relationships interacting in many ways. Within an organization, the social system includes all the people in it and their relationships to each other and to the outside world. The behavior of one member can have an impact, either directly or indirectly, on the behavior of others. Also, the social system does not have boundaries… it exchanges goods, ideas, culture, etc. with the environment around it.
Culture is the conventional behavior of a society that encompasses beliefs, customs, knowledge, and practices. It influences human behavior, even though it seldom enters into their conscious thought. People depend on culture as it gives them stability, security, understanding, and the ability to respond to a given situation. This is why people fear change. They fear the system will become unstable, their security will be lost, they will not understand the new process, and they will not know how to respond to the new situations.
Individualization is when employees successfully exert influence on the social system by challenging the culture.
The quadrant shown below shows how individualization affects different organizations (Schein, 1968):
Organization Development (OD) is the systematic application of behavioral science knowledge at various levels, such as group, inter-group, organization, etc., to bring about planned change (Newstrom, Davis, 1993). Its objectives is a higher quality of work-life, productivity, adaptability, and effectiveness. It accomplishes this by changing attitudes, behaviors, values, strategies, procedures, and structures so that the organization can adapt to competitive actions, technological advances, and the fast pace of change within the environment.
There are seven characteristics of OD (Newstrom, Davis, 1993):
Humanistic Values: Positive beliefs about the potential of employees (McGregor’s Theory Y).
Systems Orientation: All parts of the organization, to include structure, technology, and people, must work together.
Experiential Learning: The learners’ experiences in the training environment should be the kind of human problems they encounter at work. The training should NOT be all theory and lecture.
Problem Solving: Problems are identified, data is gathered, corrective action is taken, progress is assessed, and adjustments in the problem solving process are made as needed. This process is known as Action Research.
Contingency Orientation: Actions are selected and adapted to fit the need.
Change Agent: Stimulate, facilitate, and coordinate change.
Levels of Interventions: Problems can occur at one or more level in the organization so the strategy will require one or more interventions.
Quality of Work Life
Quality of Work Life (QWL) is the favorableness or unfavorableness of the job environment (Newstrom, Davis, 1993). Its purpose is to develop jobs and working conditions that are excellent for both the employees and the organization. One of the ways of accomplishing QWL is through job design. Some of the options available for improving job design are:
Leave the job as is but employ only people who like the rigid environment or routine work. Some people do enjoy the security and task support of these kinds of jobs.
Leave the job as is, but pay the employees more.
Mechanize and automate the routine jobs.
And the area that OD loves – redesign the job.
When redesigning jobs there are two spectrums to follow – job enlargement and job enrichment. Job enlargement adds a more variety of tasks and duties to the job so that it is not as monotonous. This takes in the breadth of the job. That is, the number of different tasks that an employee performs. This can also be accomplished by job rotation.
Job enrichment, on the other hand, adds additional motivators. It adds depth to the job – more control, responsibility, and discretion to how the job is performed. This gives higher order needs to the employee, as opposed to job enlargement which simply gives more variety. The chart below illustrates the differences (Cunningham & Eberle, 1990):
The benefits of enriching jobs include:
Growth of the individual
Individuals have better job satisfaction
Self-actualization of the individual
Better employee performance for the organization
Organization gets intrinsically motivated employees
Less absenteeism, turnover, and grievances for the organization
Full use of human resources for society
Society gains more effective organizations
There are a variety of methods for improving job enrichment (Hackman and Oldham, 1975):
Skill Variety: Perform different tasks that require different skill. This differs from job enlargement which might require the employee to perform more tasks, but require the same set of skills.
Task Identity: Create or perform a complete piece of work. This gives a sense of completion and responsibility for the product.
Task Significant: This is the amount of impact that the work has on other people as the employee perceives.
Autonomy: This gives employees discretion and control over job related decisions.
Feedback: Information that tells workers how well they are performing. It can come directly from the job (task feedback) or verbally form someone else.
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