Individual Paper

Anonymous
timer Asked: Jul 5th, 2018
account_balance_wallet $30

Question description

You will conduct an interview with one person who functions in a leadership role. This interview focuses on a particular leadership practice/process/activity(i.e., decision making, strategic planning, leadership development, program launch, ect.) and is informed by one of the leadship perspectives discussed in the textbook or extant literature(i.e., transformative leadership, situational leadership, servant leadership, participative leadership, positive leadership, ect.). Students should capture the essence of their responses in a 2-3 page paper which shares the insights gained by talking to a leader about leadership role and then analyzing their responses using a particular contemporary leadship theory.

(Please see the attached document and texrbook)

Organizational Behavior Human Behavior at Work Fourteenth Edition John W. Newstrom, Ph.D. University of Minnesota Duluth ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR: HUMAN BEHAVIOR AT WORK, FOURTEENTH EDITION Published by McGraw-Hill Education, 2 Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10121. Copyright © 2015 by McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. Previous editions © 2011, 2007, and 2002. No part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education, including, but not limited to, in any network or other electronic storage or transmission, or broadcast for distance learning. Some ancillaries, including electronic and print components, may not be available to customers outside the United States. This book is printed on acid-free paper. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 QVS/QVS 1 0 9 8 7 6 5 4 ISBN 978-0-07-811282-9 MHID 0-07-811282-6 Senior Vice President, Products & Markets: Kurt L. Strand Vice President, Content Production & Technology Services: Kimberly Meriwether David Managing Director: Paul Ducham Brand Manager: Michael Ablassmeir Development Editor: Laura Hurst Spell Marketing Manager: Elizabeth Trepkowski Director, Content Production: Terri Schiesl Content Project Manager: Jessica Portz Buyer: Susan K. Culbertson Media Project Manager: Shawn Coenen Cover Design: Studio Montage, St. Louis, MO Cover Image: © Lawerence Manning/Corbis RF Compositor: Cenveo® Publisher Services Typeface: 10/12 Times LT Std Roman Printer: Quad/Graphics All credits appearing on page or at the end of the book are considered to be an extension of the copyright page. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Newstrom, John W. Organizational behavior : human behavior at work / John W. Newstrom, Ph.D., University of Minnesota Duluth. — 14 Edition. pages cm ISBN 978-0-07-811282-9 1. Organizational behavior. 2. Industrial sociology. I. Title. HD58.7.D36 2013 302.3’5—dc23 2013039478 The Internet addresses listed in the text were accurate at the time of publication. The inclusion of a website does not indicate an endorsement by the authors or McGraw-Hill Education, and McGraw-Hill Education does not guarantee the accuracy of the information presented at these sites. www.mhhe.com This edition is dedicated to my grandchildren—Ruth, Axel, and Pearl— whose admirable qualities (innocence, inquisitiveness, careful observation, hunger for learning, enthusiasm for life, unconditional love, and all-around sweetness) give me great confidence for the future. My hope is that our families will enjoy many more special “cabin moments” together at our Finnishheritage “Hevosenkenkä Jarvi Tupa” (Horseshoe Lake Cottage) in northern Minnesota. About the Author John W. Newstrom University of Minnesota Duluth John W. Newstrom is a respected teacher, widely published author, and consultant to organizations in the areas of training and supervisory development. He is a Professor Emeritus of Management in the Management Studies Department of the Labovitz School of Business and Economics at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). While there, he taught courses in managing change, training and development, organizational behavior and management, and interpersonal and group relations for nearly 30 years. He was previously on the faculty at Arizona State University (ASU), and he also worked at Honeywell Company. He holds bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Minnesota. He has conducted training programs on a wide range of topics for organizations in the health care, steel, taconite mining, consumer products, gas transmission, public utility, and paper products industries as well as for city governments and federal agencies. Dr. Newstrom has published more than 60 professional and practitioner articles in periodicals such as Academy of Management Executive, Academy of Management Journal, Workforce, Personnel Journal, Human Resource Planning, Business Horizons, Training and Development, Journal of Management Development, California Management Review, S.A.M. Advanced Management Journal, Training, Supervisory Management, Journal of Management, Journal of Occupational Behavior, and Supervision. He has served on the editorial review boards for several management journals, and he is the co-author of more than 45 books in various editions and languages, including The Manager’s Bookshelf, Organizational Behavior, Supervision, Transfer of Training, Games Trainers Play, Leaders and the Leadership Process, The Big Book of Team Building Games, Leading with a Laugh, and his newest, The Fun Minute Manager. His administrative experiences include being chairperson of UMD’s Business Administration Department, director of the Center for Professional Development, acting director of ASU’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, and chairperson of the Management Education and Development (MED) division of the Academy of Management. He has also served on (or as a strategic consultant to) the boards of directors of several organizations, such as the American Society for Training & Development, St. Louis County Heritage and Arts Center, United Developmental Achievement Center, Duluth-Superior Community Foundation, Riverwood Healthcare Center, Riverwood Foundation, and Arrowhead Food Bank. He has held memberships in the Academy of Management, Organizational Behavior Teaching Society, and the Society for Advancement of Management. Dr. Newstrom has received many awards in recognition of his innovative teaching and dedicated service to students and the community. He was the recipient of an Outstanding Reviewer Award from the MED division of the Academy of Management, the Outstanding Faculty Award from the UMD Student Association, the campus Outstanding Adviser Award, and several “favorite professor” recognition awards at UMD. His highest honor occurred when he was named a recipient of the Horace T. Morse–University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education. Dr. Newstrom is also a member of the University of Minnesota’s prestigious Academy of Distinguished Teachers. On the personal side, John is married (to Diane, for 50 years!) and is the father of two college graduates (Scott and Heidi). He loves to hunt, work crossword puzzles, bake Scandinavian pastries, play with his grandchildren, drive his red sportscar, play golf and pickleball, maintain contact with former students, play practical jokes, conduct genealogical research, work outdoors at his cabin in northern Minnesota, spend quality iv About the Author v time with family members, play cribbage with friends, and vacation in sunny climates. His favorite community service activities have included being a frequent blood donor, certified pickleball trainer and referee, co-leader of a Paint-A-Thon team for painting the houses of low-income persons, hospice volunteer, and “big brother” to a young boy. John has also sung bass in several barbershop quartets. He and his wife divide their time between Aitkin, Minnesota, and The Villages, Florida, where he practices the fine art of “neoteny” (energetic and joyful living). Contents in Brief Preface xv PART FIVE Group Behavior 313 PART ONE Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior 1 12 Informal and Formal Groups 314 13 Teams and Team Building 346 1 The Dynamics of People and Organizations 2 PART SIX 2 Models of Organizational Behavior 28 Change and Its Effects 373 3 Managing Communications 52 14 Managing Change 374 4 Social Systems and Organizational Culture 84 15 Stress and Counseling 404 PART SEVEN PART TWO Motivation and Reward Systems 113 5 Motivation 114 6 Appraising and Rewarding Performance 146 PART THREE Leadership and Empowerment 177 7 Leadership 178 8 Empowerment and Participation 204 PART FOUR Emerging Aspects of Organizational Behavior 435 16 Organizational Behavior across Cultures 436 PART EIGHT Case Problems 461 GLOSSARY 512 REFERENCES 528 NAME INDEX 543 Individual and Interpersonal Behavior 229 9 Employee Attitudes and Their Effects 230 10 Issues between Organizations and Individuals 258 11 Conflict, Power, and Organizational Politics 286 vi SUBJECT INDEX 545 Contents Preface xv PART ONE FUNDAMENTALS OF ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR 1 Chapter 1 The Dynamics of People and Organizations 2 CHAPTER OBJECTIVES 2 Understanding Organizational Behavior 4 Chapter 2 Models of Organizational Behavior Definition 4 Goals 5 Forces 5 Positive Characteristics of the Organizational Behavior Field 7 Fundamental Concepts Elements of the System The Nature of People 9 The Nature of Organizations 11 12 A Human Resources (Supportive) Approach 13 A Results-Oriented Approach A Systems Approach 15 14 Limitations of Organizational Behavior 17 Behavioral Bias 17 The Law of Diminishing Returns 18 Unethical Treatment of People and Use of Resources 18 Continuing Challenges 30 Models of Organizational Behavior Basic Approaches of This Book 19 Seeking Quick Fixes and Using Old Solutions 19 Varying Environments 20 Definitional Confusion 20 SUMMARY 21 Terms and Concepts for Review 21 Discussion Questions 21 Assess Your Own Skills 22 Incident: The Transferred Sales Representative 23 28 CHAPTER OBJECTIVES 28 An Organizational Behavior System 30 9 A Contingency Approach Experiential Exercise: Ethics in Organizational Behavior 24 Generating OB Insights 25 Nurturing Your Critical Thinking and Reflective Skills 26 Facebook Page 3 Engaging Your Brain 4 What Managers Are Reading 8 What Managers Are Reading 12 On the Job: Microsoft Corporation 16 On the Job: U.S. Navy 18 Advice to Future Managers 20 13 The Autocratic Model 36 The Custodial Model 37 The Supportive Model 39 The Collegial Model 40 The System Model 41 Conclusions about the Models 33 43 SUMMARY 45 Terms and Concepts for Review 45 Discussion Questions 45 Assess Your Own Skills 45 Incident: The New Plant Manager 47 Experiential Exercise: The Rapid Corporation 48 Generating OB Insights 48 Nurturing Your Critical Thinking and Reflective Skills 49 Facebook Page 29 Engaging Your Brain 30 On the Job: IKEA Corporation 31 On the Job: IBM and 3M Co. 38 On the Job: The Calvert Group 39 On the Job: Nashville Bar Association 41 vii viii Contents On the Job: Starbucks Coffee Co. Advice to Future Managers 44 Chapter 3 Managing Communications 43 Chapter 4 Social Systems and Organizational Culture 84 CHAPTER OBJECTIVES 84 Understanding a Social System 86 52 Social Equilibrium 86 Functional and Dysfunctional Effects 87 Psychological and Economic Contracts 87 CHAPTER OBJECTIVES 52 Communication Fundamentals 54 The Importance of Communication 54 The Two-Way Communication Process 55 Potential Problems 58 Communication Barriers 59 Communication Symbols 61 Pictures 63 The Impact of Barriers on the Communication Process 64 Downward Communication 65 Prerequisites and Problems Communication Needs 66 65 Upward Communication Social Culture Role Other Forms of Communication Status Features of the Grapevine Rumor 76 68 Organizational Culture 71 99 Characteristics of Cultures 100 Measuring Organizational Culture 101 Communicating and Changing Culture 102 75 76 SUMMARY 77 Terms and Concepts for Review 78 Discussion Questions 78 Assess Your Own Skills 79 Incident: A Breakdown in Communications Experiential Exercise: Communication Style 81 Generating OB Insights 81 Nurturing Your Critical Thinking and Reflective Skills 82 Facebook Page 53 Engaging Your Brain 54 On the Job: Montana Log Homes 57 What Managers Are Reading 58 On the Job: Lake Superior Paper Industries 63 On the Job: Diamond Tool 67 On the Job: McDonnell Douglas 68 On the Job: Haworth Company 70 Advice to Future Managers 78 96 Status Relationships 96 Status Symbols 97 Sources of Status 98 Significance of Status 98 Lateral Communication 71 Social Networking and Electronic Communication 72 Informal Communication 92 Role Perceptions 93 Mentors 93 Role Conflict 95 Role Ambiguity 96 67 Difficulties 67 Upward Communication Practices 89 Cultural Diversity 89 Social Culture Values 90 80 Fun Workplaces 105 SUMMARY 107 Terms and Concepts for Review 107 Discussion Questions 107 Assess Your Own Skills 108 Incident: Liberty Construction Company 109 Experiential Exercise: Role Perceptions of Students and Instructors 109 Generating OB Insights 110 Nurturing Your Critical Thinking and Reflective Skills 111 Facebook Page 85 Engaging Your Brain 86 On the Job: Ford Motor Company 87 On the Job: Wipro Limited 92 On the Job: Creative Training Techniques 97 On the Job: National Bank of Georgia, Home Box Office, and Lake Superior Paper Industries 99 On the Job: General Mills Co. 100 On the Job: Motorola Company 104 On the Job: Zappos, Inc. 105 Advice to Future Managers 106 Contents ix PART TWO MOTIVATION AND REWARD SYSTEMS 113 Chapter 5 Motivation 114 CHAPTER OBJECTIVES 114 A Model of Motivation 116 Motivational Drives 118 Achievement Motivation 118 Affiliation Motivation 119 Power Motivation 119 Managerial Application of the Drives 120 Human Needs 120 Types of Needs 120 Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs 121 Herzberg’s Two-Factor Model 122 Alderfer’s E-R-G Model 124 Comparison of the Maslow, Herzberg, and Alderfer Models 124 Behavior Modification 125 Law of Effect 125 Alternative Consequences 126 Schedules of Reinforcement 128 Interpreting Behavior Modification Goal Setting 128 The Expectancy Model 130 131 The Three Factors 132 How the Model Works 133 Interpreting the Expectancy Model The Equity Model 134 135 Interpreting the Equity Model 137 Interpreting Motivational Models 138 SUMMARY 138 Terms and Concepts for Review 139 Discussion Questions 140 Assess Your Own Skills 140 Role-Play: The Downsized Firm 142 Incident: The Piano Builder 142 Experiential Exercise: Are Grades Motivators? 143 Generating OB Insights 144 Nurturing Your Critical Thinking and Reflective Skills 144 Facebook Page 115 Engaging Your Brain 117 What Managers Are Reading 119 129 Chapter 6 Appraising and Rewarding Performance 146 CHAPTER OBJECTIVES 146 A Complete Program 148 Money as a Means of Rewarding Employees 149 Application of the Motivational Models 149 Additional Considerations in the Use of Money 153 Organizational Behavior and Performance Appraisal 154 Appraisal Philosophy 155 The Appraisal Interview 156 Performance Feedback 157 Economic Incentive Systems 129 Elements of Goal Setting On the Job: Ladies Professional Golf Association 126 On the Job: Blandin Paper Co., PfeifferHamilton Publishers, and Grandma’s Restaurants 127 On the Job: Collins Food International On the Job: Ripple River Motel 131 Advice to Future Managers 139 164 Purposes and Types 164 Incentives Linking Pay with Performance Wage Incentives 166 Profit Sharing 167 Gain Sharing 168 Skill-Based Pay 169 164 SUMMARY 170 Terms and Concepts for Review 171 Discussion Questions 171 Assess Your Own Skills 172 Incident: Plaza Grocery 173 Experiential Exercise: Performance Appraisal/Reward Philosophy 174 Generating OB Insights 175 Nurturing Your Critical Thinking and Reflective Skills 176 Facebook Page 147 Engaging Your Brain 148 On the Job: Lincoln Electric Company 149 What Managers Are Reading 152 On the Job: Wells Fargo Bank 153 On the Job: HCL Technologies 159 What Managers Are Reading 160 On the Job: Nucor Steel Co. 166 On the Job: The Andersen Corporation 168 x Contents On the Job: Turner Brothers Trucking Advice to Future Managers 170 169 PART THREE LEADERSHIP AND EMPOWERMENT 177 Chapter 8 Empowerment and Participation 204 Chapter 7 Leadership 178 CHAPTER OBJECTIVES 204 The Nature of Empowerment and Participation 206 CHAPTER OBJECTIVES 178 The Nature of Leadership 179 What Is Empowerment? 206 What Is Participation? 207 Why Is Participation Popular? Management and Leadership 180 Traits of Effective Leaders 181 Leadership Behavior 182 Situational Flexibility 184 Followership 184 How Participation Works Positive and Negative Leaders 185 Autocratic, Consultative, and Participative Leaders 187 Leader Use of Consideration and Structure 187 Contingency Approaches to Leadership Style 188 Fiedler’s Contingency Model 188 Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership Model 190 The Path-Goal Model of Leadership 191 Vroom’s Decision-Making Model 193 194 Neutralizers, Substitutes, and Enhancers for Leadership 195 Coaching 196 An Integrative Model of Leadership Behaviors 197 Other Approaches 209 210 The Participative Process 210 The Impact on Managerial Power 211 Prerequisites for Participation 212 Contingency Factors 213 Behavioral Approaches to Leadership Style 185 Alternative Perspectives on Leadership On the Job: Mackay Envelope Company 181 On the Job: Southwest Airlines 183 What Managers Are Reading 186 Advice to Future Managers 198 197 SUMMARY 198 Terms and Concepts for Review 198 Discussion Questions 199 Assess Your Own Skills 199 Incident: The Work Assignment 200 Experiential Exercise: Application of Leadership Models 201 Generating OB Insights 201 Nurturing Your Critical Thinking and Reflective Skills 202 Facebook Page 179 Engaging Your Brain 180 Programs for Participation 217 Suggestion Programs 217 Quality Emphasis 218 Rapid-cycle Decision Making 219 Self-Managing Teams 219 Employee Ownership Plans 220 Flexible Work Arrangements 220 Important Considerations in Participation 221 Benefits of Participation 221 Limitations of Participation 221 A New Role for Managers 223 Concluding Thoughts 223 SUMMARY 223 Terms and Concepts for Review 224 Discussion Questions 224 Assess Your Own Skills 225 Incident: Joe Adams 226 Experiential Exercise: Empowerment through Participation 227 Generating OB Insights 227 Nurturing Your Critical Thinking and Reflective Skills 228 Facebook Page 205 Engaging Your Brain 206 On the Job: Xerox Corporation 209 On the Job: University of Minnesota Duluth 211 On the Job: Avon Products 215 On the Job: AK Steel 221 Advice to Future Managers 224 Contents xi PART FOUR INDIVIDUAL AND INTERPERSONAL BEHAVIOR 229 Chapter 9 Employee Attitudes and Their Effects 230 CHAPTER OBJECTIVES 230 The Nature of Employee Attitudes CHAPTER OBJECTIVES 258 Areas of Legitimate Organizational Influence 232 Effects of Employee Attitudes 238 Employee Performance 239 Turnover 240 Absences and Tardiness 242 Theft 244 Violence 245 Other Effects 245 246 Benefits of Job Satisfaction Studies 246 Use of Existing Job Satisfaction Information 247 Critical Issues 247 Using Survey Information 248 Using the Company Intranet 249 Changing Employee Attitudes 250 SUMMARY 251 Terms and Concepts for Review 251 Discussion Questions 251 Assess Your Own Skills 252 Incident: Barry Niland 253 Experiential Exercise: Attitudes in the Classroom 254 Generating OB Insights 254 Nurturing Your Critical Thinking and Reflective Skills 255 Facebook Page 231 Engaging Your Brain 232 What Managers Are Reading 236 On the Job: Valero Energy, GE, Home Depot, SAS Institute, Genentech, NetApp, Boston Consulting Group 242 On the Job: Drakenfeld Colors 243 On the Job: Jeno’s Pizza 244 Advice to Future Managers 250 260 A Model of Legitimacy of Organizational Influence Off-the-Job Conduct 261 Rights of Privacy Job Satisfaction 233 Job Involvement 235 Organizational Commitment 236 Work Moods 237 Employee Engagement 238 Studying Job Satisfaction Chapter 10 Issues between Organizations and Individuals 258 262 Policy Guidelines Relating to Privacy 262 Surveillance Devices 263 Honesty Testing 264 Health Issues and Privacy Treatment of Alcoholism Drug Abuse 265 Genetic Testing 266 Discrimination 267 Discipline 268 Quality of Work Life 264 264 269 A Rationale 269 Job Enlargement vs. Job Enrichment 270 Applying Job Enrichment 271 Core Dimensions: A Job Characteristics Approach 272 Enrichment Increases Motivation 274 Social Cues Affect Perceptions 274 Contingency Factors Affecting Enrichment 275 The Individual’s Responsibilities to the Organization 276 Organizational Citizenship 276 Dues-Paying 277 Blowing the Whistle on Unethical Behavior Mutual Trust 279 277 SUMMARY 279 Terms and Concepts for Review 280 Discussion Questions 281 Assess Your Own Skills 281 Incident: Two Accounting Clerks 283 Experiential Exercise: The Enriched Student 283 Experiential Exercise: Practicing Organizational Citizenship 284 Generating OB Insights 284 Nurturing Your Critical Thinking and Reflective Skills 285 Facebook Page 259 Engaging Your Brain 260 On the Job: Google 264 On the Job: Atlas Powder Company 266 On the Job: R. F. White Company 267 On the Job: St. Regis Paper Company 273 261 xii Contents What Managers Are Reading 278 Advice to Future Managers 280 Chapter 11 Conflict, Power, and Organizational Politics 286 CHAPTER OBJECTIVES 286 Conflict in Organizations 288 324 Committees 325 Systems Factors to Consider 325 Structured Approaches 330 Potential Outcomes of Formal Group Processes Consensus: A Key Issue in Decision-Making Groups 334 Weaknesses of Committees 336 298 Facilitating Smooth Relations 299 Stroking 299 Power and Politics 301 Types of Power 301 Effects of Power Bases 302 Organizational Politics 302 Influence and Political Power 303 SUMMARY 306 Terms and Concepts for Review 307 Discussion Questions 308 Assess Your Own Skills 308 Incident: The Angry Airline Passenger 309 Experiential Exercise: Assessing Political Strategies 310 Generating OB Insights 310 Nurturing Your Critical Thinking and Reflective Skills 311 Facebook Page 287 Engaging Your Brain 288 What Managers Are Reading 289 On the Job: Southwest Airlines 293 On the Job: Merrill Lynch 300 Advice to Future Managers 307 PART FIVE Chapter 13 Teams and Team Building 346 CHAPTER OBJECTIVES 346 Organizational Context for Teams Teamwork Chapter 12 Informal and Formal Groups CHAPTER OBJECTIVES Group Dynamics 316 Types of Groups 317 314 350 Life Cycle of a Team 350 Potential Team Problems 352 Ingredients of Effective Teams 354 313 314 333 SUMMARY 339 Terms and Concepts for Review 340 Discussion Questions 340 Assess Your Own Skills 341 Incident: The Excelsior Department Store 342 Experiential Exercise: Choosing Your Leader 342 Experiential Exercise: Examining Social Networks 343 Generating OB Insights 343 Nurturing Your Critical Thinking and Reflective Skills 344 Facebook Page 315 Engaging Your Brain 316 What Managers Are Reading 326 On the Job: Unilever and KeyGene 327 Advice to Future Managers 339 Classical Concepts 348 Matrix Organization 349 GROUP BEHAVIOR 317 Comparison of Informal and Formal Organizations 317 How Does the Informal Organization Emerge? 318 Informal Leaders 318 Benefits of Informal Organizations 320 Problems Associated with Informal Organizations 322 Monitoring Informal Organizations 323 Influencing Informal Organizations 324 Formal Groups The Nature of Conflict 288 Levels of Conflict 289 Sources of Conflict 290 Effects of Conflict 293 A Model of Conflict 293 Assertive Behavior The Nature of Informal Organizations Team Building 356 The Need for Team Building 357 The Process 357 Specific Team-Building Issues 357 Skills Useful in Team Building 358 348 Contents xiii Characteristics of Mature Teams 360 Individual Territories vs. Team Spaces 361 Self-Managing Teams 362 Virtual Teams 364 SUMMARY 365 Terms and Concepts for Review 366 Discussion Questions 366 Assess Your Own Skills 367 Incident: Conflict in the Division 368 Experiential Exercise: Readiness for Self-Managing Teams 368 Experiential Exercise: Team Building 369 Generating OB Insights 369 Nurturing Your Critical Thinking and Reflective Skills 370 Facebook Page 347 Engaging Your Brain 348 On the Job: General Electric 360 On the Job: Orpheus Chamber Orchestra 362 On the Job: Accenture 365 Advice to Future Managers 366 CHANGE AND ITS EFFECTS 373 374 CHAPTER OBJECTIVES Change at Work 376 374 The Nature of Change 376 Responses to Change 377 Costs and Benefits 380 Resistance to Change Chapter 15 Stress and Counseling CHAPTER OBJECTIVES Employee Stress 406 PART SIX Chapter 14 Managing Change Discussion Questions 398 Assess Your Own Skills 398 Incident: The New Sales Procedures 400 Experiential Exercise: The Industrial Engineering Change 400 Experiential Exercise: Applying Force-Field Analysis 401 Generating OB Insights 401 Nurturing Your Critical Thinking and Reflective Skills 402 Facebook Page 375 Engaging Your Brain 376 On the Job: Johnsonville Foods 387 On the Job: Delphi Corporation’s Oak Creek Plant 391 On the Job: Roadway Express 396 Advice to Future Managers 397 420 What Counseling Is 420 Need for Counseling 420 What Counseling Can Do 421 The Manager’s Counseling Role Nature and Effects 381 Reasons for Resistance 382 Types of Resistance 383 Possible Benefits of Resistance 384 Implementing Change Successfully 404 What Stress Is 406 Extreme Products of Stress 407 A Model of Stress 411 Job-Related Causes of Stress 411 Nonwork Stressors 413 Frustration 413 Stress and Job Performance 415 Stress Vulnerability 416 Approaches to Stress Management 417 Employee Counseling 381 404 Types of Counseling 385 Transformational Leadership and Change 385 Three Stages in Change 387 Manipulating the Forces 388 Building Support for Change 389 Understanding Organization Development 392 Foundations of OD 392 Characteristics of Organization Development 394 Interventions at Many Levels 395 The Organization Development Process 396 SUMMARY 397 Terms and Concepts for Review 398 423 423 Directive Counseling 423 Nondirective Counseling 424 Participative Counseling 426 A Contingency View 426 SUMMARY 427 Terms and Concepts for Review 428 Discussion Questions 428 Assess Your Own Skills 429 Incident: Unit Electronics Company 430 Experiential Exercise: Assessment of Stress-Related Behaviors 431 Generating OB Insights 431 xiv Contents Nurturing Your Critical Thinking and Reflective Skills 432 Facebook Page 405 Engaging Your Brain 406 What Managers Are Reading 409 On the Job: Rhino Foods and QuaintanceWeaver Restaurants 410 On the Job: U.S. Postal Service 411 On the Job: Polaroid Corporation 420 Advice to Future Managers 427 Experiential Exercise: Adaptability to a Multicultural Assignment 457 Generating OB Insights 458 Nurturing Your Critical Thinking and Reflective Skills 459 Facebook Page 437 Engaging Your Brain 438 On the Job: Fluor Corporation 443 On the Job: Air France 444 On the Job: Toyota–General Motors’ Fremont Plant 445 Advice to Future Managers 453 PART SEVEN EMERGING ASPECTS OF ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR 435 CASE PROBLEMS Chapter 16 Organizational Behavior across Cultures 436 CHAPTER OBJECTIVES 436 Understanding the Context of International OB Individual-Difference Factors 439 Social Conditions 441 Legal and Ethical Environment 442 Political Conditions 443 Economic Issues 444 Cultural Contingencies 445 Developing Managers for International Assignments 446 Barriers to Cultural Adaptation 446 Overcoming Barriers to Cultural Adaptation Cross-Cultural Communication Transcultural Managers 452 453 SUMMARY 454 Terms and Concepts for Review 454 Discussion Questions 455 Assess Your Own Skills 455 Incident: The Piedmont Company 456 PART EIGHT 438 461 INTRODUCTION 463 1. The Virtual Environment Work Team 464 2. The Teaching Hospital 467 3. Creative Toys Company 472 4. Eastern International Food Service Corporation 475 5. The Goodman Company 478 6. Falcon Computer 484 7. Consolidated Life 486 8. Video Electronics Company 491 9. Elite Electric Company 494 10. The Patterson Operation 500 11. TRW—Oilwell Cable Division 504 449 Glossary 512 References 528 Name Index Subject Index 543 545 Preface A ROADMAP FOR READERS: INVITATION TO A JOURNEY OF BEHAVIORAL LEARNING Have you had at least part-time experience in some form of business or voluntary organization? If so, you have quickly learned that not all behavior—whether your own, your manager’s, or that of your associates—is entirely rational. And you may have pondered a series of questions about what you saw and felt: • Why do people behave as they do at work? • How can individuals, groups, and whole organizations work together more effectively within the increasing pace of corporate change, dramatic restructurings and downsizings, global recessions, and intense competition? • What can managers do to motivate employees toward greater levels of performance? • What responsibility do managers have for ensuring employee satisfaction? • What can you learn from theory, research, and the experiences of other managers to help you become an effective future manager? These and many other questions provide the background for this fourteenth edition of Organizational Behavior: Human Behavior at Work. In the next few paragraphs I will guide you on your journey through this book by providing you with a “roadmap”—an introduction to some of the key topics and methods that form the critical pathway for your learning journey. Great progress has been made in the field of organizational behavior (OB) in recent years. One long-time observer, after conducting an extensive study, concluded that “a consensus regarding the theoretical knowledge possessed by the field seems to be emerging.”1 New theories have appeared on the scene, others have been validated, and some have begun to fade into oblivion. Organizational behavior, while recording great progress, still faces many questions and opportunities for improvement. This book pulls together the best and most current knowledge and provides rich insights into people at work in all kinds of situations and organizations. One criticism of the OB field is that it has largely ignored the needs of practitioners. By contrast, this book makes a major effort to include numerous examples of real-life work situations, and dozens of these are identified by name. In addition, the chapter-closing “Advice to Future Managers” sections provide extensive lists of practical suggestions that can guide managers for years into the future. The book is characterized by its applied orientation, including a variety of end-of-chapter experiential approaches that encourage readers to reflect on what they have read and engage in self-examination. The text is designed to be kept as a reference guide, and it includes 160 action prescriptions for practical guidance (see the summary of managerial prescriptions in Appendix B). These rules form one powerful basis for a critical managerial skill—that of deductive reasoning. Once you grasp the rule and understand the underlying rationale (theory) for it, you can then derive useful observations and conclusions in a specific situation on your own. (This is a process of moving from the general to the particular.) You can also develop the complementary skill of inductive reasoning, which is combining an observation of an event with a relevant explanation to infer new rules (action prescriptions) for yourself. (This is a process of moving from the particular to the general.) These scientific processes are aided by four skills, as discussed below. xv xvi Preface FOUR LIFELONG SKILLS This book is written in part to encourage and promote the development of four distinct but complementary thought processes by students—insights, causal analysis, critical thinking, and reflection. Insights are basically those “Ah-ha!” moments when the metaphoric light bulb goes on in your brain and you reach a meaningful conclusion (new perception) about something. You are asked to search for and generate these via the “Generating Organizational Behavior (OB) Insights” exercise at the end of each chapter. A second major objective is to encourage you to think about logical and research-based connections between relevant variables. This causal thinking involves the capacity to identify an independent factor that, when present or introduced, results in a predictable consequence (good or bad). Business leaders continually admonish younger managers to engage in critical thinking3— to ask penetrating questions, examine underlying assumptions, search for probable unintended consequences, detect inconsistencies in arguments, be sensitive and alert to the agendas and motivations of others, objectively appraise the merits of positions held by others, balance the needs of different stakeholders, and even challenge the mental models and theories espoused by others. Useful practice in critical thinking can be gained while reading this book as you search for behavioral insights, derive conclusions from material read, and challenge the utility of various concepts. Reflection suggests pondering an idea, probing its meaning, reconsidering a position, or engaging in careful thought. Despite its possible connotation as a passive process, it is best viewed as an active mental activity in which you think deeply about something, relate it to previous experiences or relevant material, explore reasons for observed phenomena, review and analyze what you have encountered, and reach new insights into the material. Reflection requires that you open your mind and become receptive to the new ideas and different perspectives offered by others.4 Throughout this book, I encourage you to develop your critical thinking and reflection skills by asking many “Why?” and “How” questions. You are given an opportunity to demonstrate these skills in the end-of-chapter exercises, “Nurturing Your Critical Thinking and Reflective Skills.” Earlier editions of this book have been tested on the firing line in university classrooms and in organizations for many years, and revised substantially over time to reflect new developments. Many ideas—both for additions and deletions of material—offered by long-time users of previous editions and other insightful reviewers are incorporated into this new edition. Many topical ideas, figures, and applied examples have been provided by professors and managers from around the country and around the world. I actively solicit comments to help make this book even more useful in the future. I listen, I care about your input, and I strive to produce a high-quality, well-documented, useful product. I invite you to contact me via the Internet (jnewstro@d.umn.edu) with any comments, ideas, or questions you may have. THE AUTHOR’S ROLE How is a book like this created and updated? I begin by continuously immersing myself in the thinking, research, and practice of organizational behavior to gain an in-depth understanding of hundreds of concepts. I keep abreast of new developments by regularly reading dozens of journals and books, as well as interacting with managers in a variety of organizations. Then, I develop a logical and engaging organizational framework and proceed to identify the most important elements for inclusion. Finally, I organize and present the information in ways that will help readers learn and retain the ideas. Preface xvii My primary objective is to produce a book that is accurate, useful, up-to-date, and engaging. Content and substance are emphasized, and I present the material in an organized and provocative fashion that will enable readers to integrate the various parts of this discipline into a whole philosophy of organizational behavior. The fourteenth edition has been upgraded with thorough citations to recent research and practice, which indicate the basis for my conclusions and advice. Where appropriate, I include alternative viewpoints on a subject or express the weaknesses inherent in a particular model or concept. There are no simple answers to complex behavioral issues. I encourage readers to do their own thinking and to integrate a variety of perspectives. Consequently, I believe this book will serve as a valuable foundation of behavioral knowledge. I hope it will stimulate readers to enrich their understanding through continued study of organizational behavior. Many prior students have chosen to retain their copy of Organizational Behavior, and they refer to it as a valuable reference manual when they encounter real-world problems and issues. FEATURES OF THE BOOK Many features of Organizational Behavior: Human Behavior at Work stand out in the eyes of its users. The most notable is its careful blending of theory with practice, so that its basic theories come to life in a realistic context. Readers learn that concepts and models do apply in the real world and help build better organizations for a better society. The ideas and skills learned in organizational behavior can help readers cope better with every aspect of their lives. Another popular feature is the large number of examples of real organizational situations. These real-life vignettes show how actual organizations operate and how people act (sometimes unexpectedly!) in specific situations. Most of the major concepts in this book are illustrated with one or more of these true examples. A feature highly appreciated by both faculty and students is the book’s readability. I have maintained a moderate vocabulary level, manageable sentence length, and a readable style to present a complex field in understandable language. Variety—provided by figures, practical illustrations, margin notes, and research results—enhances the readability by presenting a refreshing change of pace from content discussions. I have also woven into the text a wide variety of rich analogies (e.g., “People are like snowflakes; no two are alike”) to help you “see” a concept from a more common perspective. Other features of the book include: • A detailed table of contents to locate major topics • Provocative quotes at the beginning of each chapter to stimulate thought and in-class discussion, and margin notes to highlight key concepts • A “Facebook” page provides a glimpse into the chapter topics via the exchanges between two or more students • Chapter-opening illustrations preceding every chapter to engage the reader in a real-life issue • “Engaging Your Brain” questions get you to think about some of the chapter material before you have even read the content. • A widely accepted, and specially updated, presentation of five models of organizational behavior that provides an integrating framework throughout the book • Strong, and early, coverage of employee communication • A comprehensive chapter on motivational theories and another on their application to reward systems in organizations xviii Preface • A chapter on empowerment and participation that is unique among organizational behavior books in capturing this highly contemporary approach • Discussion of international issues in organizational behavior so students can later examine how selected concepts might require adaptation to other cultures • A unique discussion of the limitations of organizational behavior to provide yet another balanced perspective • At least one behavioral incident for analysis and one experiential exercise to involve students in their own learning, at the end of every chapter • A comprehensive glossary of terms at the end of the book, providing a concise definition-at-a-glance for about 400 key organizational behavior terms • A 16-chapter structure that accents the issues of greatest importance in organizations today—motivation, leadership, conflict and power, groups and teams, and the nature of change and its effects • Substantial coverage of teams—their organizational context, factors that make them successful, and team-building processes that help members work together more effectively • A distinctive in-chapter exercise, called “Critical Thinking Exercise,” that encourages students to identify the likely positive and negative effects of a variety of behavioral concepts • A unique feature, called “What Managers Are Reading” that provides concise summaries of recent best-selling books related to the chapter content • Boxes within each chapter that focus on ethical questions in organizational behavior or real company examples • Special emphasis on practicality, as evidenced by the inclusion of “Advice to Future Managers” to guide managers toward improved practice of organizational behavior • An end-of-chapter exercise, “Nurturing Your Critical Thinking and Reflection Skills,” designed to facilitate your development in this area • The inclusion of Appendix A, which encourages students to insert their scores from the “Assess Your Own Skills” exercise, compare their own assessments with those of others, and develop a personalized self-improvement plan • The development of a “Generating OB Insights” exercise at the end of each chapter, in which students are encouraged to review the text material and create a set of 10 key insights gained that will help them build a strong base of OB knowledge You are about to embark on a journey of learning about key behavioral concepts that have been proven to be useful to managers at every level of an organization. I sincerely hope this “roadmap” helps you get started and guides you successfully to your chosen destination! John W. Newstrom Preface for Instructors I encourage you to read my open “letter” to students in the preceding four pages, and to embrace and reinforce the themes I have presented there. Now I will briefly highlight the learning aids I have used in this book, the instructional aids available to you, and provide well-earned acknowledgments to a variety of people. Major features included in each chapter are chapter objectives, introductory quotations and incidents, a chapter summary, terms and concepts for review, and true case incidents for analysis in terms of chapter ideas. All chapters contain thorough and both classical and up-to-date references that provide a rich source of additional information for the interested reader. These come from a wide variety of sources, covering both academic and practitioner-related publications, to demonstrate that useful knowledge and illustrations can be found in many places. I encourage students to refer to these references regularly, since they not only indicate the source of information but often provide an interesting historical perspective on an issue or a counter vailing viewpoint. There are also numerous discussion questions, many of which require thought, encourage insight, or invite readers to analyze their own experiences in terms of the ideas in the chapter. Other questions suggest appropriate group projects. Each chapter also contains an experiential exercise to involve students in the application of a chapter concept. A wide array of new material is incorporated into the fourteenth edition of this book. New topics covered include sustainability, paradigm shifts, transparency, work–family conflict, countercultures, reverse mentoring, high-energy (vs. fatigued) workers, positive contagion, perceptual distortion, workplace bullying, face time, emotional contagion, employee engagement, social screening, care and compassion, incivility/abusive supervision, social norms, crowdsourcing, red-teaming, shared mental models, champions, accelerators of change, nonwork stressors, and mindfulness. INSTRUCTIONAL AIDS Online Learning Center The following supplements for instructors are available from the Online Learning Center: www.mhhe.com/newstrom14e. The Instructor’s Manual is designed to save instructors time. It includes sample assignment sheets for quarter and semester schedules; chapter synopses; teaching suggestions; a detailed analysis for each of the end-of-chapter case incidents; and suggested answers to the end-of-chapter discussion questions and cases in the last part of the text. The Test Bank contains multiple-choice and true-false questions for each of the text’s chapters, with solutions for each. PowerPoint slides are available to help instructors demonstrate key principles and concepts during their lectures. Slides consist of key points and figures from the text. Student Resources are also available from the Online Learning Center, including practice quizzes and chapter review material. Access to the Manager’s Hot Seat Videos (www .mhhe.com/mhs) can also be purchased through a link on the website. Organizational Behavior Video DVD, Vol. 2 Videos are available for instructors to enhance their lectures. xix xx Preface for Instructors ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Keith Davis, a former president and fellow of the Academy of Management and recipient of its Distinguished Educator award, was the creator of the predecessor to this book. It was originally called Human Relations at Work: Dynamics of Organizational Behavior, and he was the sole author through the first six editions as he laid a powerful foundation for its subsequent evolution and development. Keith was my admired co-author, gentle coach, and thoughtful friend who gave me the opportunity and assistance vital to establishing a highly successful book-publishing career. I am deeply grateful for his many contributions and the opportunity to continue in his successful publishing footsteps. Many other scholars, managers, and students have contributed to this book, and I wish to express my appreciation for their aid. In a sense, it is their book, for I am only the agent who prepared it. I am especially grateful for the thorough, insightful, and highly useful review of the book by Dr. Kristina Bourne (my first-ever undergraduate student to obtain her Ph.D.!), who also provided useful assistance in revising Chapter 16. Dr. Bourne’s comments and suggestions have been carefully studied, found to be of substantial merit, and incorporated into the text wherever possible. Many of my academic associates at the University of Minnesota Duluth and elsewhere have directly or indirectly provided valuable insights, collegial support, and ongoing encouragement, and for that I wish to thank them. In particular, Jon L. Pierce—my wise academic mentor, highly productive co-author on other writing projects, and long-time close personal friend—has provided wise counsel, intellectual stimulus, and staunch support across three decades of collaboration. I also appreciate the help and support of the many McGrawHill employees—especially Michael Ablassmeier and Laura Spell—who took a sincere and professional interest in improving the quality of the book. Last (but certainly not least), my wife (Diane) has provided unwavering strength, support, freedom, encouragement, and love in the pursuit of my interests, goals, and dreams. I am extremely grateful to her. John W. Newstrom Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior 1 Chapter One The Dynamics of People and Organizations A primary goal of management education is to develop students into managers who can think ahead, exercise good judgment, make ethical decisions, and take into consideration the implications of their proposed actions. Jane Schmidt-Wilk1 (Management students) must develop systemic thinking skills that will enable them to develop a richer understanding of the complexity they will face on a daily basis. J. Brian Atwater, et al.2 CHAPTER OBJECTIVES AFTER READING THIS CHAPTER, YOU SHOULD UNDERSTAND 2 1–1 The Meaning of Organizational Behavior 1–2 The Key Goals and Forces with Which It Is Concerned 1–3 The Basic Concepts of Organizational Behavior 1–4 Major Approaches Taken in This Book 1–5 How Organizational Behavior Affects Organizational Performance 1–6 The Limitations of Organizational Behavior Facebook Page Student A: Hey, I just registered for this college course. Student B: What’s it called? Student A: Something like “Organizational Behavior,” or OB for short. Student C: I didn’t think organizations behaved. What’s OB about? Student A: The course description says OB is “the systematic study and careful application of knowledge about how people—as individuals and as groups—act in organizations, and how they can do so more effectively.” Student B: Sounds interesting, but a bit intimidating. Student C: What do you think you’ll learn? Student A: By the end of the first chapter, I’m expected to understand Organizational Behavior, know its goals and some forces it’s concerned about, identify some basic concepts in OB, understand the four major approaches taken in the book, see how OB affects organizational performance, and also recognize the limitations of OB. Student C: That’s a mouthful. I think you’d better get started right now, dude. Student D: Like. Student A: I’m on it already. Wait until you hear some of the new terms I’m expected to learn—behavioral bias, contingency approach, evidence-based management, law of diminishing returns, selective perception, and more. Student B: What ever happened to one- and two-syllable words? Chris Hoffman graduated from college and was excited to begin her new job as a sales representative with IBM. The first few months at work were extremely hectic for her. She attended numerous formal training sessions, learned about the wide array of products she was to sell, and tried hard to understand the complex and fluid nature of her new employer. Returning to her home late one night, she was too confused to fall asleep immediately. Many questions raced through her mind, based on her observations at work in recent weeks: “Why are some of my colleagues more successful than others? How can we act as a team when we are working out of our homes and interacting primarily through our laptop computers? How will I ever learn to handle the stress of meeting my sales quotas? Why doesn’t my colleague Carrie cooperate with me when I ask her for assistance? Why does my manager ask me for suggestions, and then go ahead without using my input? How is the new ‘IBM culture’ different from the old one? And why is it constantly changing, anyway?” Chris is already learning some key facts about life at work. Organizations are complex systems. If Chris wishes to be an effective employee and later a manager, she’ll need to understand how such systems operate. Organizations like IBM effectively combine people and science—humanity and technology. With the rapid discoveries and improvements that science has provided in the past century, mastering technology itself is difficult enough. When you add people to the mix you get an immensely complex sociotechnical system that almost defies understanding. However, the progress of society in the twenty-first century depends heavily on understanding and managing effective organizations today. 3 Engaging Your Brain 1. Do you think that most managers, upon studying OB, will likely use that knowledge for the benefit of employees, the organization, or themselves? 2. You hear a lot about the need for increased productivity in the economy. What important factors do you think lead to productivity? 3. Do you think it is likely that managers will become overly biased toward the use of OB knowledge to guide their efforts? Organizational behavior is needed Chris also sees that human behavior in organizations is sometimes unpredictable. The behavior of her colleagues, manager, and customers arises from their deep-seated needs, lifetime experiences, and personal value systems. However, human behavior in an organization can be partially understood by studying and applying the frameworks of behavioral science, management, and other disciplines. Exploring the various facets of such behavior is the objective of this book. There are no perfect solutions to organizational problems, as Chris will soon discover. However, employees can increase their understanding and skills so that work relationships can be substantially upgraded. The task is challenging, but the results are worthwhile. On occasion, Chris may become so frustrated that she will be tempted to withdraw from her job. The uncooperative colleague may limit Chris’s effectiveness; the behavior of her manager may sometimes be difficult to understand. Whether she likes the behavior of these individuals or not, Chris does not have the luxury of not working with or relating to other people. Therefore, it is imperative that she learn about human behavior, explore how to improve her interpersonal skills, and begin to manage her relationships with others at work. These are areas where knowledge of organizational behavior can make a significant contribution to her effectiveness. UNDERSTANDING ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR To provide an understanding of what goes on at the workplace, it is useful to begin with the definition, goals, forces, and major characteristics of organizational behavior (OB). Later in the chapter we introduce the key concepts that OB deals with, lay out the four basic approaches taken in this book, and identify some factors that limit or even undermine the success of OB. Definition Five levels of analysis 4 Organizational behavior is the systematic study and careful application of knowledge about how people—as individuals and as groups—act within organizations. It strives to identify ways in which people can act more effectively. Organizational behavior is a scientific discipline in which a large number of research studies and conceptual developments are constantly adding to its knowledge base. It is also an applied science, in that information about effective practices in one organization is being extended to many others. Organizational behavior provides a useful set of tools at many levels of analysis. For example, it helps managers look at the behavior of individuals within an organization. It also aids their understanding of the complexities involved in interpersonal relations, when two people (two co-workers or a superior–subordinate pair) interact. At the next level, organizational behavior is valuable for examining the dynamics of relationships within small groups, both formal teams and informal groups. When two or more groups need to coordinate their efforts, such as engineering and sales, managers become interested in the intergroup relations that emerge. Finally, organizations can also be viewed, and managed, as whole systems that have interorganizational relationships (e.g., mergers and joint ventures). Chapter 1 The Dynamics of People and Organizations 5 Goals Four goals of OB are to describe, understand, predict, and control human behavior at work Most sciences have four major thrusts, and these are also the goals of organizational behavior. • The first objective is to describe, systematically, how people behave under a variety of conditions. Achieving this goal allows managers to communicate about human behavior at work using a common language. For example, one benefit from the study of this book is the acquisition of a new vocabulary about organizational behavior (see, for example, the Glossary at the end of this book). • A second goal is to understand why people behave as they do. Managers would be highly frustrated if they could only talk about the behaviors of their employees and not understand the reasons behind those actions. Therefore, inquisitive managers learn to probe for underlying explanations. • Predicting future employee behavior is another goal of organizational behavior. Ideally, managers would have the capacity to predict which employees might be dedicated and productive or which ones might be absent, tardy, or disruptive on a certain day (so that managers could take preventive actions). • The final goal of organizational behavior is to control, at least partially, and develop some human activity at work. Since managers are held responsible for performance outcomes, they are vitally interested in being able to make an impact on employee behavior, skill development, team effort, and productivity. Managers need to be able to improve results through the actions they and their employees take, and organizational behavior can aid them in their pursuit of this goal. Some people may fear that the tools of organizational behavior will be used to limit their freedom, manipulate their thoughts and actions, and take away their rights. Although that scenario is possible, it is not likely, for the actions of most managers today are subject to intense scrutiny. Managers need to remember that organizational behavior is a human tool for human benefit. It applies broadly to the behavior of people in all types of organizations, such as businesses, government, schools, and service organizations. Wherever organizations are, there is a need to describe, understand, predict, and control (better manage) human behavior. Forces Four key forces A complex set of forces affects the nature of organizations today. A wide array of issues and trends in these forces can be classified into four areas—people, structure, technology, and the environment in which the organization operates. Each of the four forces affecting organizational behavior, and some illustrations of each, is considered briefly in the following sections. People People make up the internal social system of the organization. That system consists of individuals and groups, and large groups as well as small ones. There are unofficial, informal groups and more official, formal ones. Groups are dynamic. They form, change, and disband. People are the living, thinking, feeling beings who work in the organization to achieve their objectives. We must remember that organizations should exist to serve people, rather than people existing to serve organizations. The human organization of today is not the same as it was yesterday, or the day before. In particular, the workforce has become a rich melting pot of diversity, which means that employees bring a wide array of educational and ethnic and cultural and religious and gender and economic backgrounds, talents, and perspectives to their jobs. Occasionally, this diversity presents challenges for management to resolve, as when some employees 6 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior express themselves through alternative dress or jewelry, while others present unique challenges through their unique lifestyles and recreational interests. Other employees have examined their values and are determined to put their personal goals ahead of total commitment to the organization. Managers need to be tuned in to these diverse patterns and trends, and be prepared to adapt to them. Some of the changes in the labor force are as follows: There has been a decline in the work ethic and a rise in emphasis on leisure, self-expression, fulfillment, and personal growth. The automatic acceptance of authority by employees has decreased, while desires for participation, autonomy, and control have increased. At the same time, several major factors are affecting the workforce. Skills become obsolete as a result of technological advances, and manual workers must either be retrained for knowledge-oriented jobs or be displaced. Security needs become foremost in the minds of millions of workers (and loyalty diminishes) because of the threat or the reality of downsizings and outsourcings. And even in eras of controlled inflation, the absence of meaningful salary growth for many employees has placed renewed emphasis on money as a motivator. Indeed, a new labor force has emerged, and management’s leadership practices must change to match the new conditions. These fast-moving developments have given new emphasis to leadership ability. Some companies are discovering that demonstrating a sense of caring, really listening to employees, and being concerned with both competence and relationships are among the keys to motivating the present workforce. Other companies are urging their managers to respond to a diverse workforce by building pride without devaluing others, empowering some without exploiting others, and demonstrating openness, confidence, authentic compassion, and vulnerability.3 Structure Structure defines the formal relationship and use of people in organizations. To accomplish all of an organization’s activities, different jobs are required, such as managers and employees, accountants and assemblers. These people must be related in some structural way so their work can be effectively coordinated. These relationships create complex problems of cooperation, negotiation, and decision making. Technology Technology provides the resources with which people work and affects the tasks they perform. The great benefit of technology is that it allows people to do more and better work, but it also restricts people in various ways. It has costs as well as benefits. Examples of the impact of technology include the increasing use of robots and automated control systems in assembly lines, the dramatic shift from a manufacturing to a service economy, the impressive advances in computer hardware and software capabilities, the widespread use of the Internet, and the need to respond to societal demands for improved quality of goods and services at acceptable prices. Each of these technological advancements, in its own way, places increased pressure on OB to maintain the delicate balance between technical and social systems. Environment Environments can be internal or external, and all organizations operate within them. Any organization is part of a larger system that contains many elements, such as government, the family, and other organizations. Numerous changes in the environment create demands on organizations. Citizens expect organizations to be socially responsible; new products and competition for customers come from around the globe; the direct impact of unions (as measured by the proportion of the labor force that is unionized) diminishes; the dramatic pace of change in society quickens. All these factors—but especially the rapid globalization of the marketplace, whose impact on OB is discussed in Chapter 16—influence one another in a complex system that creates a dynamic (even chaotic) context for a group Chapter 1 The Dynamics of People and Organizations 7 of people. The external environment influences the attitudes of people, affects working conditions, and provides competition for resources and power. It must be considered in the study of human behavior in organizations. Positive Characteristics of the Organizational Behavior Field Interdisciplinary Three keys to success One major strength of organizational behavior is its interdisciplinary nature. It draws from the fields of psychology (the study of cognitive functions and behaviors), sociology (the study of human society and institutions), social psychology (the study of how people’s thoughts, feelings, and actions are influenced by the presence of others), group dynamics (the study of behaviors within or between groups), and anthropology (the study of the evolution of humans and their cross-cultural relationships). OB integrates relevant knowledge from these behavioral science disciplines with other social sciences that can contribute to the subject. It applies from these disciplines any ideas that will improve the relationships between people and organizations. Its interdisciplinary nature is similar to that of medicine, which applies knowledge from the physical, biological, and social sciences into a workable medical practice. Another strength of organizational behavior is its emerging base of research knowledge, theories, models, and conceptual frameworks. The field of organizational behavior has grown in depth and breadth, and it will continue to mature. The keys to its past and future success revolve around the related processes of theory development, research, and managerial practice. Theories (see additional arguments for theories in What Managers Are Reading) offer explanations of how and why people think, feel, and act as they do. Theories identify important variables and link them to form tentative propositions that can be tested through research. Good theories are also practical—they address significant behavioral issues, they contribute to our understanding, and they provide guidelines for managerial thought and action.4 You will be introduced to several practical and interesting theories in this book, presented in a straightforward fashion. Research is the process of gathering and interpreting relevant evidence that will either support a behavioral theory or help change it. Research hypotheses are testable statements connecting the variables in a theory, and they guide the process of data collection. Data are generated through various research methods, such as case studies, field and laboratory experiments, and surveys. The results of these research studies, as reported in various journals, can affect both the theory being examined and future managerial practices. Research is an ongoing process through which valuable behavioral knowledge is continually uncovered. Examining a stream of research is like exploring the Mississippi River from its gentle source in northern Minnesota to its powerful ending in the Gulf of Mexico. Just as a trip down the entire river allows us to better appreciate its growth and impact, so does a review of research help us better understand how the major ideas in organizational behavior evolved over time. Consequently, the highlights of dozens of relevant research studies are briefly presented to you in appropriate places in this text. Neither research nor theory can stand alone and be useful, however. Managers apply the theoretical models to structure their thinking; they use research results to provide relevant guides to their own situations. In these ways, theory and research form a natural and healthy foundation for practice, which is the conscious application of conceptual models and research results in order to improve individual and organizational performance at work. This is similar to the application of evidence-based management, which asks managers to set aside some of the things they think they know (conventional wisdom) and become totally committed to a rigorous collection of facts and combine these with relevant research. Evidence-based management depends heavily on the explicit use of four pillars What Managers Are Reading LEARNING TO BECOME GOOD CONSUMERS OF THEORY Two best-selling authors and Harvard Business School professors argue that executives should care deeply about management theory (causal connections between variables). Despite the widespread misconception that theories are impractical, they are shown to be valuable in two key ways: They help make predictions, and they help interpret and understand present situations and explain why they occurred. As social psychologist Kurt Lewin once said, “There’s nothing so practical as a good theory.” Since every action that managers take and every decision they make is based on some theory (implicit or explicit; valid or not), accepting and embracing theory, using it constructively, and helping improve it are important for managers. Managers are strongly urged to learn which theories will help them most and to differentiate between good and bad theories. In essence, managers should learn to become discerning consumers of theory. Source: Clayton M. Christensen and Michael E. Raynor, The Innovator’s Solution, Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 2003. of information: (1) immersion in, and critical evaluation of, existing research evidence on “best organizational practices”; (2) in-depth information unique to the organization and its local context; (3) input and reactions from various persons affected by it (similar to the patient in a clinical setting); and (4) the wisdom, expertise, and practiced judgment of the manager. This, needless to say, is a rather monumental task.5 Managers also have a vital role to play in the other direction—the testing and revision of theory and conducting research. Feedback from practitioners can suggest whether theories and models are simple or complex, realistic or artificial, and useful or useless. Organizations serve as research sites and provide subjects for various studies. As shown in Figure 1.1, there is a two-way interaction between each pair of processes, and all three processes are critical to the future of organizational behavior. Better models must be developed, theory-based research must be conducted, and managers must be receptive to both sources and apply them to their work. FIGURE 1.1 The Interaction of Theory, Research, and Practice in Organizational Behavior, and Sample Sources for Each Practice Theory Research Sample Sources Theory Information Research Information Practice Information Academy of Management Review Human Relations Administrative Science Quarterly Psychological Bulletin Academy of Management Journal Journal of Applied Psychology Journal of Management Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes Journal of Organizational Behavior Academy of Management Discoveries Sloan Management Review Organizational Dynamics Harvard Business Review Business Horizons Annual Review of Psychology 8 California Management Review Workforce Management Chapter 1 The Dynamics of People and Organizations 9 Increased acceptance Researchers have identified key questions, designed appropriate studies, and reported the results and their conclusions. Others have examined related studies, and used them to construct models and theories that explain sets of findings and help guide future studies. As a result, organizational behavior has progressed substantially, and will continue to be vitally important throughout the twenty-first century. Sample sources of OB theory, research, and practice information are shown in Figure 1.1. FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS Every field of social science, or even physical science, has a philosophical foundation of basic concepts that guide its development. In accounting, for example, a fundamental concept is that “for every debit there will be a credit.” The entire system of double-entry accounting was built on this equation when that system replaced single-entry bookkeeping many years ago. In physics, a basic belief is that elements of nature are uniform. The law of gravity operates uniformly in Tokyo and London, and an atom of hydrogen is identical in Moscow and Washington, D.C. Even though such uniformity cannot be applied to people, certain basic concepts regarding human behavior do exist. As shown in Figure 1.2, organizational behavior starts with a set of fundamental concepts revolving around the nature of people and organizations. These concepts are the enduring principles that form a strong foundation for OB. A summary of these ideas follows, and they are woven into later chapters. The Nature of People Law of individual differences FIGURE 1.2 Fundamental Concepts of Organizational Behavior Six basic concepts exist in regard to people: individual differences, perception, a whole person, motivated behavior, desire for involvement, and the value of the person. Individual Differences People have much in common (they become excited by an achievement; they are grieved by the loss of a loved one), but each person in the world is also individually unique. The idea of individual differences is supported by science. Each person is different from all others, just as each person’s DNA profile is different. And these differences are usually substantial rather than meaningless. Think, for example, of a person’s billion brain cells and the billions of possible combinations of connections and bits of experience stored there. All people are different, and this diversity should be recognized and viewed as a valuable asset to organizations. The idea of individual differences comes originally from psychology. From the day of birth, each person is unique (the impact of nature), and individual experiences after birth tend to make people even more different (the influence of nurture). Individual differences mean that management can motivate employees best by treating them differently. If it were not for individual differences, some standard across-the-board way of dealing with employees could be adopted, and minimum judgment would be required thereafter. Individual differences require The Nature of People • Individual differences • Perception • A whole person • Motivated behavior • Desire for involvement • Value of the person The Nature of Organizations • Social systems • Mutual interest • Ethics 10 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior Selective perception that a manager’s approach to employees be individual, not statistical. This belief that each person is different from all others is typically called the law of individual differences. Perception People look at the world and see things differently. Even when presented with the same object, two people may view it in two different ways. Their view of their objective environment is filtered by perception, which is the unique way in which each person sees, organizes, and interprets things. People use an organized framework that they have built out of a lifetime of experiences and accumulated values. Having unique views is another way in which people act like human beings rather than rational machines. Employees see their work worlds differently for a variety of reasons. They may differ in their personalities, needs, demographic factors, and past experiences, or they may find themselves in different physical settings, time periods, or social surroundings. Whatever the reasons, they tend to act on the basis of their perceptions. Essentially, each person seems to be saying, “I react not to an objective world, but to a world judged in terms of my own beliefs, values, and expectations.” This way of reacting reflects the process of selective perception, in which people tend to pay attention to those features of their work environment that are consistent with or reinforce their own expectations. Selective perceptions can not only cause misinterpretations of single events at work but also lead to future rigidity in the search for new experiences. Managers must learn to expect perceptual differences among their employees, accept people as emotional beings, and manage them in individual ways. A Whole Person Although some organizations may wish they could employ only a person’s skill or brain, they actually employ a whole person rather than certain characteristics. Different human traits may be studied separately, but in the final analysis they are all part of one system making up a whole person. Skill does not exist apart from background or knowledge. Home life is not totally separable from work life, and emotional conditions are not separate from physical conditions. People function as total human beings. For example, a supervisor wanted to hire a new telemarketer named Anika Wilkins. She was talented, experienced, and willing to work the second shift. However, when Anika was offered the job, she responded by saying that she would need to start a half hour late on Wednesdays because her child care service was not available until then. Also, since she had a minor handicap, her workstation required a substantial adjustment in height. So her supervisor had to consider her needs as a whole person, not just as a worker. Better person When management applies the principles of organizational behavior, it is trying to develop a better employee, but it also wants to develop a better person in terms of growth and fulfillment. Jobs shape people somewhat as they perform them, so management must care about the job’s effect on the whole person. Employees belong to many organizations other than their employer, and they play many roles inside and outside the firm. If the whole person can be improved, then benefits will extend beyond the firm into the larger society in which each employee lives. Motivated Behavior From psychology, we learn that normal behavior has certain causes. These may relate to a person’s needs or the consequences that result from acts. In the case of needs, people are motivated not by what we think they ought to have but by what they themselves want. To an outside observer, a person’s needs may be unrealistic, but they are still controlling. This fact leaves management with two basic ways to motivate people. It can show them how certain actions will increase their need fulfillment, or it can threaten decreased need fulfillment if they follow an undesirable course of action. Clearly, a path toward increased need fulfillment is the better approach, and this illustrates that motivation is essential to the operation of organizations. Chapter 1 The Dynamics of People and Organizations 11 Desire for Involvement Many employees today are actively seeking opportunities at work to become involved in relevant decisions, thereby contributing their talents and ideas to the organization’s success. They hunger for the chance to share what they know and to learn from the experience. Consequently, organizations need to provide opportunities for meaningful involvement. This can be achieved through employee empowerment—a practice that will result in mutual benefit for both parties (see Chapter 8). Value of the Person People deserve to be treated differently from other factors of production (land, capital, technology) because they are of a higher order in the universe. Because of this distinction, they want to be treated with caring, respect, and dignity—and they increasingly demand such treatment from their employers. They refuse to accept the old idea that they are simply economic tools or a “pair of hands.” They want to be valued for their skills and abilities, be provided with opportunities to develop themselves, and be given reasonable chances to make meaningful contributions—now. The Nature of Organizations The three key concepts of organizations are that they are social systems, they are formed on the basis of mutual interest, and they must treat employees ethically. Superordinate goal Social Systems From sociology, we learn that organizations are social systems; consequently, activities therein are governed by social laws as well as psychological laws. Just as people have psychological needs, they also have social roles and status. Their behavior is influenced by their group as well as by their individual drives. In fact, two types of social systems exist side by side in organizations. One is the formal (official) social system, and the other is the informal social system. The existence of a social system implies that the organizational environment is one of dynamic change rather than a static set of relations as pictured on an organization chart. All parts of the system are interdependent, and each part is subject to influence by any other part. Everything is related to everything else. The idea of a social system provides a framework for analyzing organizational behavior issues. It helps make organizational behavior problems understandable and manageable. Mutual Interest Organizations need people, and people need organizations. Organizations have a human purpose. They are formed and maintained on the basis of some mutuality of interest among their participants. Managers need employees to help them reach organizational objectives; people need organizations to help them reach individual objectives.6 If mutuality is lacking, trying to assemble a group and develop cooperation makes no sense, because there is no common base on which to build. As shown in Figure 1.3, mutual FIGURE 1.3 Mutual Interest Provides a Superordinate Goal for Employees, the Organization, and Society Employee goals Ethics Superordinate goal of mutual interest Organizational goals Employee Mutual accomplishment of goals Organization Society What Managers Are Reading THE FOUR ELEMENTS OF MORAL INTELLIGENCE Two management consultants, Doug Lennick and Fred Kiel, define moral intelligence as “the ability to differentiate right from wrong as defined by universal principles.” A combination of behavior and smarts, moral intelligence builds on universal virtues to help leaders achieve personal and business goals. The authors argue that behaving morally is not only right, but also good for business. With a premise that people are “born to be moral,” Lennick and Kiel suggest that four key elements underlie moral intelligence: • Integrity (acting consistently with one’s values) • Responsibility (willingness to accept accountability for the consequences of our actions and admit mistakes and failures) • Compassion (caring about others) • Forgiveness (recognizing that others will make mistakes, and accepting them) These four elements can become competencies if managers proceed through a three-step process encompassing self-awareness, self-disclosure, and the discovery of strengths and weaknesses in others. Source: Doug Lennick and Fred Kiel, Moral Intelligence: Enhancing Business Performance and Leadership Success, Philadelphia: Wharton School Publishing, 2005. Ethics is the use of moral principles and values to affect the behavior of individuals and organizations with regard to choices between what is right and wrong interest provides a superordinate goal—one that can be attained only through the integrated efforts of individuals and their employers. Ethics In order to attract and retain valuable employees in an era in which good workers are constantly recruited away, organizations must treat employees in an ethical fashion. More and more firms are recognizing this need and are responding with a variety of programs to ensure a higher standard of ethical performance by managers and employees alike. Companies have established codes of ethics, publicized statements of ethical values, provided ethics training, rewarded employees for notable ethical behavior, publicized positive role models, and set up internal procedures to handle misconduct. They have begun to recognize that since organizational behavior always involves people, ethical philosophy is involved in one way or another in each action they take. (See, for example, the argument for moral intelligence in “What Managers Are Reading.”) Because of the importance of ethics, this theme will be addressed periodically throughout the text. When the organization’s goals and actions are ethical, it is more likely that individual, organizational, and social objectives will be met. People find more satisfaction in work when there is cooperation and teamwork. They are learning, growing, and contributing. The organization is also more successful because it operates more effectively. Quality is better, service is improved, and costs are reduced. Perhaps the greatest beneficiary is society itself, because it has better products and services, more capable citizens, and an overall climate of cooperation and progress. This creates a three-party win–win–win result in which there need not be any losers. BASIC APPROACHES OF THIS BOOK Organizational behavior seeks to integrate the four elements of people, structure, technology, and environment. It rests on an interdisciplinary foundation of fundamental concepts about the nature of people and organizations. The four basic approaches—human 12 Chapter 1 The Dynamics of People and Organizations 13 FIGURE 1.4 Basic Approaches of This Book Human resources (supportive) Contingency Results-oriented Systems Employee growth and development are encouraged and supported. Different managerial behaviors are required by different environments for effectiveness. Outcomes of organizational behavior programs are assessed in terms of their efficiency. All parts of an organization interact in a complex relationship. resources, contingency, results-oriented, and systems—are interwoven throughout subsequent chapters (see Figure 1.4). A Human Resources (Supportive) Approach The human resources approach is developmental. It is concerned with the growth and development of people toward higher levels of competency, creativity, and fulfillment, because people are the central resource in any organization and any society. The nature of the human resources approach can be understood by comparing it with the traditional management approach of the early 1900s. In the traditional approach, managers decided what should be done and then closely controlled employees to ensure task performance. Management was directive and controlling. The human resources approach, on the other hand, is supportive. It helps employees become better, more responsible people, and then it tries to create a climate in which they may contribute to the limits of their improved abilities.7 It assumes that expanded capabilities and opportunities for people will lead directly to improvements in operating effectiveness. Work satisfaction also will be a direct result when employees make fuller use of their abilities. Essentially, the human resources approach means that better people achieve better results. It is somewhat illustrated by the ancient proverb that follows: Give a person a fish, and you feed that person for a day; Teach a person to fish, and you feed that person for life. Supportive approach Another name for the human resources approach is the supportive approach, because the manager’s primary role changes from control of employees to active support of their growth and performance. The supportive model of organizational behavior is more fully discussed in Chapter 2. A CONTINGENCY APPROACH Traditional management searched for principles to provide “one best way” of managing. There was presumed to be a correct way to organize, to delegate, and to divide work. The correct way applied regardless of the type of organization or situation involved. Management principles were considered to be universal. As the field of organizational behavior developed, many of its followers initially supported the concept of universality. Behavioral ideas were supposed to apply in any type of situation. One example was the belief that employee-oriented leadership should consistently be better than task-oriented leadership, whatever the circumstances. An occasional exception might be admitted, but in general early ideas were applied in a universal manner. 14 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior Prior analysis is required The more accepted view in the twenty-first century is that few across-the-board concepts apply in all instances. Situations are much more complex than first perceived, and the different variables may require different behavioral approaches. The result is the contingency approach to organizational behavior, which means that different situations require different behavioral practices for greatest effectiveness. The key question is when to use a specific approach, which is a point often overlooked in a discussion of contingency OB. Solid theory and careful use of research findings can help move managers beyond the glib statement of “it all depends.” The whole point of becoming familiar with OB research findings and relevant OB models is to help managers find the answers to the “when” question. Managers need to know under what conditions they should choose one behavioral approach over another, and the contingency framework can help them do this. No longer is there one best way. Each situation must be analyzed carefully to determine the significant variables that exist in order to establish the kinds of practices that will be most effective. The strength of the contingency approach is that it encourages analysis of each situation prior to action while at the same time discouraging habitual practice based on universal assumptions about people. The contingency approach also is more interdisciplinary, more system-oriented, and more research-oriented than the traditional approach. Thus it helps managers use in the most appropriate manner all the current knowledge about people in organizations. A Results-Oriented Approach Productivity Multiple inputs and outputs All organizations need to achieve some relevant outcomes, or results. A dominant goal for many is to be productive, so this results orientation is a common thread woven through organizational behavior. Productivity, at its simplest, is a ratio that compares units of output with units of input, often against a predetermined standard. If more outputs can be produced from the same amount of inputs, productivity is improved. Or if fewer inputs can be used to produce the same amount of outputs, productivity has increased. The idea of productivity does not imply that one should produce more output; rather, it is a measure of how efficiently one produces whatever output is desired. Consequently, better productivity is a valuable measure of how well resources are used in society. It means that less is consumed to produce each unit of output. There is less waste and better conservation of resources—a result increasingly valued by many in society. Productivity often is measured in terms of economic inputs and outputs, but human and social inputs and outputs also are important. For example, if better organizational behavior can improve job satisfaction, then a beneficial human output or result occurs. In the same manner, when employee development programs lead to a by-product of better citizens in a community, a valuable social result occurs. Organizational behavior decisions typically involve human, social, or economic issues, and so a number of results-oriented outcomes of effective organizational behavior are discussed throughout this book. For example, highquality products and service and high customer satisfaction can be created through listening carefully to customers, building partnerships with suppliers, searching for continuous improvements in operational methods, training employees in the understanding and use of statistical tools, and meaningfully involving employees in team-based systems. A Formula The role that organizational behavior plays in creating organizational results is illustrated by a set of factors and the relationships between the factors (Figure 1.5). Let us look first at a worker’s ability. It is generally accepted that the product of knowledge and one’s skill in applying it constitute the human trait called ability (see A, in equation 1). Abilities can be improved through hiring better workers (e.g., those with a high potential Chapter 1 The Dynamics of People and Organizations 15 FIGURE 1.5 1. 2. 3. 4. Equations Showing the Role of Organizational Behavior in Work Systems Formula for results Knowledge 3 skill Attitude 3 situation Ability 3 motivation Potential performance (PP) 3 resources (R) 3 opportunity (O) 5 5 5 5 ability (A) motivation (M) potential human performance (PP) organizational results (OR) for learning, greater previous experience, and a desire to succeed) or providing existing employees with job-related training. Motivation results from a person’s attitudes reacting in a specific situation (see M, in equation 2). This book emphasizes employee attitudes (covered in depth in Chapter 9) and how they are affected by situational factors (such as leadership, discussed in Chapter 7) to determine motivation. The interaction of motivation and ability determines a person’s potential performance in any activity (see PP, in equation 3). Of course, organizational behavior also plays a part in motivating workers to acquire the other factor, ability. The potential for human performance has to be mixed with resources (R), and a worker must be given the opportunity (O) to perform to get organizational results (as indicated by OR, in equation 4). Resources, such as tools, power, and supplies, relate primarily to economic, material, and technical factors in an organization. Organizational behavior plays a key role in providing the opportunity to perform, as we discuss in the need for empowerment in Chapter 8. Overall, then, PP 3 R 3 O 5 OR. Despite having the requisite ability, motivation, and opportunity to perform, employee productivity is sometimes stifled. Why is this so? Aside from the predicted factors of cell phone use and social networking, research shows that the following factors create detrimental distractions at work: • • • • • • Personal relationships Chatty co-workers Dysfunctional work relationships Personal financial or legal problems Child-related or caregiving issues Personal health problems Illustrating the significance of these factors, one study found that employees often are interrupted from their work every fifteen minutes, and half the respondents admitted that they lose an hour each day to various distractions.8 A Systems Approach Treating an organization as a system is critically important to its success. The 10 fundamental elements of the systems approach9 include: 1. Many variables operate within a complex social system. 2. The parts of a system are interdependent and causally related (one part affects many other parts and is affected by many others in a complex way). 3. Many subsystems are contained within larger systems. 4. Systems generally require inputs, engage in some dynamic process, and produce outputs. 5. The input-process-output mechanism is cyclical and self-sustaining (it is ongoing, repetitive, and uses feedback to adjust itself to changes in the environment so as to achieve some equilibrium). On the Job: Microsoft Corporation Microsoft Corporation has established its “People and Organization Capability” function to guide its leadership development program. Through internal research, they identified 11 leadership competencies that distinguish highly effective leaders of today and tomorrow. One of the most unique capacities, which is a reflection of the systems approach and integrative view, is called deep insight. This is the “capacity to see systems, patterns, and connections beyond the obvious information contained in data.”10 6. Systems may produce both positive and negative results. 7. Systems often produce both intended and unintended consequences. 8. The consequences of systems should be examined on both a short-term and long-term basis. 9. Often, multiple ways can be used to achieve a desired objective (equifinality). 10. Systems can be understood, changed, and managed if members focus on problem causes instead of symptoms. Thus, the systems approach compels managers to take a holistic and synthesizing view of the subject. As a result, managers need to interpret people–organization relationships in terms of the whole person, whole group, whole organization, and whole social system. A systems approach takes both an analytic and an integrative view of people in organizations in an effort to understand as many of the factors as possible that influence people’s behavior. Issues are analyzed in terms of the total situation affecting them rather than in terms of an isolated event or problem (see “On the Job: Microsoft Corporation”). The Microsoft example reminds us that a systems viewpoint should be the concern of every person in an organization. The clerk at a service counter, the machinist, and the manager all work with people and thereby influence the behavioral quality of life in an organization and the organization’s outputs. Managers, however, tend to have a larger responsibility, because they are the ones who make more of the decisions affecting human issues, and most of their daily activities are people-related. The role of managers, then, is to use organizational behavior to help achieve individual, organizational, and societal goals. Managers help build an organizational culture in which talents are utilized and further developed, people are motivated, teams become productive, organizations achieve their goals, and society reaps the rewards. However, negative effects as well as positive effects sometimes result from the behavioral actions of managers (see element 6 of the systems approach). A cost-benefit analysis is needed to determine whether potential actions will have a net positive or net negative effect (see Figure 1.6). Managers need to ask themselves what they might gain from rigid adherence to a policy, from a new reward system, or from different methods of organizing work. At the same time, they need to recognize that any actions they take may incur both direct and indirect costs. These costs can include work slowdowns, higher absenteeism rates, or other consequences of worker dissatisfaction. The process of creating a cost-benefit analysis also forces managers to look beyond the immediate implications of Critical Thinking Exercise Identify the likely effects of taking a systems approach Question: What positive and negative results? can you safely predict for that? 16 Chapter 1 The Dynamics of People and Organizations 17 FIGURE 1.6 Potential costs Cost-Benefit Analysis of Organizational Behavior Options Proposed OB actions Compare Decide Potential benefits their actions. The Critical Thinking Challenge box invites you to explore the dual effects of using the systems approach in organizational behavior. The systems approach applies especially to the social system and the idea of organizational culture discussed in Chapter 4. LIMITATIONS OF ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR Problems exist in OB’s nature and use This book is written from a specialized point of view that emphasizes primarily the human side of organizations and the kinds of benefits that attention to that side can bring. We continually report research results identifying payoffs in the areas of absenteeism, turnover, stress levels, and employee performance. Nevertheless, we also recognize the limitations of organizational behavior. It will not abolish conflict and frustration; it can only reduce them. It is a way to improve—it is not an absolute answer to problems. We can discuss organizational behavior as a separate subject, but to apply it, we must tie it to the whole of reality. Improved organizational behavior will not (by itself) solve unemployment. It will not make up for our own deficiencies. It cannot substitute for poor planning, inept organizing, or inadequate controls. It is only one of many systems operating within a larger social system. This section is designed to alert you to three major limitations of OB (behavioral bias, diminishing returns, and unethical manipulation), as well as some other problems. Behavioral Bias Managers who lack system understanding and become superficially infatuated with OB may develop a behavioral bias, which gives them a narrow viewpoint that emphasizes satisfying employee experiences while overlooking the broader system of the organization in relation to all its publics. Concern for employees can be so greatly overdone that the original purpose of bringing people together—productive organizational outputs for society—is lost. Sound organizational behavior should help achieve organizational purposes, not replace them. The manager who ignores the needs of people as consumers of organizational outputs while championing employee needs is misapplying the ideas of organizational behavior. To assume that the objective of OB is simply to create a satisfied workforce is a mistake, for that goal will not automatically translate into new products and outstanding customer service. Moreover, the manager who pushes production outputs without regard for employee needs is misapplying or ignoring organizational behavior. Sound organizational behavior recognizes a social system in which many types of human needs are served in many ways. Behavioral bias can be so misapplied that it harms employees as well as the organization. Some managers, in spite of their good intentions, so overwhelm others with care that the recipients of such care are emotionally smothered and reduced to dependent—and unproductive—indignity. The employees become content, not fulfilled. They find excuses for failure rather than take responsibility for progress. They lack self-discipline and self-respect. Concern for people can be misapplied by overeager partisans until it becomes harmful. On the Job: U.S. Navy The diminishing returns associated with various incentives for enlisting in the U.S. Navy were studied in interviews with 1,700 civilian males. Substantially different levels of incentives were offered: $1,000 versus $3,000 bonuses, two years versus four years of free college, and 10 versus 25 percent of base pay for exceptional performance. None of the three larger incentives produced more favorable dispositions to enlist. In fact, the respondents found the 10 percent bonus more attractive, leading the researchers to conclude that not only is more not necessarily better but it “can be worse.”11 The Law of Diminishing Returns Can there be too much of a good thing? How does the law of diminishing returns work in organizational behavior? Overemphasis on a valid organizational behavior practice may produce negative results, as indicated by the law of diminishing returns.12 It is a limiting factor in organizational behavior the same way it is in economics. In economics, the law of diminishing returns refers to a declining amount of extra outputs when more of a desirable input is added to an economic situation. After a certain point, the output from each unit of added input tends to become smaller. The added output eventually may reach zero and even continue to decline when more units of input are added. The law of diminishing returns in organizational behavior works in a similar way. It states that at some point, increases of a desirable practice produce declining returns, eventually zero returns, and then negative returns as more increases are added. The concept implies that for any situation there is an optimum amount of a desirable practice, such as recognition or participation. When that point is exceeded, a decline in returns occurs. In other words, the fact that a practice is desirable does not mean more of it is more desirable. More of a good thing is not necessarily good (see “On the Job: U.S. Navy”). Why does the law of diminishing returns exist? Essentially, it is a system concept. It applies because of the complex system relationships of many variables in a situation. When an excess of one variable develops, although that variable is desirable, it tends to restrict the operating benefits of other variables so substantially that net effectiveness declines. For example, too much security may lead to less employee initiative and growth. Although the exact point at which an application becomes excessive will vary with the circumstances, an excess can be reached with nearly any practice. This relationship shows that organizational effectiveness is achieved not by maximizing one human variable but by combining all system variables together in a balanced way. Unethical Treatment of People and Use of Resources Ethical managers will not manipulate people 18 A significant concern about organizational behavior is that its knowledge and techniques can be used to manipulate people unethically as well as to help them develop their potential. People who lack respect for the basic dignity of the human being could learn organizational behavior ideas and use them for selfish ends. They could use what they know about motivation or communication in the manipulation of people without regard for human welfare. People who lack ethical values could use people in unethical ways. The philosophy of organizational behavior is supportive and oriented toward human resources. It seeks to improve the human environment and help people grow toward their potential. However, the knowledge and techniques of this subject may be used for negative as well as positive consequences. This possibility is true of knowledge in almost any field, so it is no special limitation of organizational behavior. Nevertheless, we must be cautious so that what is known about people is not used to manipulate them. The possibility of manipulation means that people in power in organizations must maintain high ethical and moral integrity and not misuse their power. Without ethical leadership, the new knowledge Chapter 1 The Dynamics of People and Organizations 19 learned about people becomes a dangerous instrument for possible misuse. Ethical leadership will recognize such principles as the following: • Social responsibility Responsibility to others arises whenever people have power in an organization. • Open communication The organization will operate as a two-way open system, with open receipt of inputs from people and open disclosure of its operations to them. • Cost-benefit analysis In addition to economic costs and benefits, human and social costs and benefits of an activity will be analyzed in determining whether to proceed with the activity. As the general population learns more about organizational behavior and becomes more vigilant, it will be more difficult to manipulate people, but the possibility is always there. That is why society desperately needs ethical leaders. On a topic related to social responsibility (but more comprehensive), the ideas of global stewardship, conservation, and responsible management and consumption of resources have rapidly emerged in recent years. Sustainability—the capacity of a system to endure across time—presents a difficult challenge to organizations, which must balance environmental, social, and economic demands. These demands are often referred to as the three P’s of the triple bottom line—or planet, people, and profit. Through the pressure from Greenpeace International and others, many organizations have initiated efforts to operate in a more environmentally friendly manner. Some firms have cut energy consumption, used renewable power, developed recycling programs, used green building materials, or switched to sustainable agriculture. For example, Walmart has cut its energy use, McDonald’s and Cargill have helped to stop the widespread cutting of Amazon rainforests, and Hewlett-Packard (HP) has made its computers 100-percent recyclable. These examples illustrate that it is possible—and good business—to be sensitive to societal values and ecological needs.13 CONTINUING CHALLENGES Seeking Quick Fixes and Using Old Solutions Immediate expectations are not realistic One problem that has plagued organizational behavior has been the tendency for business firms to have short time horizons for the expected payoff from behavioral programs. This search for a quick fix sometimes leads managers to embrace the newest fad, to address the symptoms while neglecting underlying problems, or to fragment their efforts within the firm. In the early twentieth century, managers often searched for the “holy grail” of simplicity in the mistaken belief that they could identify universal prescriptions for their practice. Consequently, when they found something that appeared to work for them once, they clung to it tenaciously and attempted to repeat their success. However, you may have heard the tongue-in-cheek definition of insanity, which is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results—especially as conditions change (and they do). Noted business author Clay Christensen has concluded that “If you only do what worked in the past, you will wake up one day and find that you’ve been passed by.”14 The emergence of organizational development programs that focus on systemwide change (see Chapter 14) and the creation of long-term strategic plans for the management of human resources has helped bring about more realistic expectations concerning employees as a productive asset. Some management consultants and writers have even been labeled “witch doctors” because of their blind advocacy of a single approach as a way to solve an entire organization’s problems. Some of the management concepts that have been blindly Advice to Future Managers 1. Remember that your managerial actions have implications at one or more levels of OB: individual, interpersonal, group, intergroup, and whole system. Therefore, try to increase your skills by predicting the results and monitoring the consequences of your decisions. 2. Discipline yourself to read at least one item from the literature in OB theory, research, and practice each month. Search for applications from each. 3. Create an inventory of the observed differences you see across your employees, and then state the implications of those differences. (How will you treat them based on what you know about them?) 4. Identify the ethical issues you face. Share these with your employees so they understand them. 5. Analyze the organizational results you are currently responsible for. Identify which of the major contributing factors (knowledge, skill, attitude, situation, or resources) is most under your control, and develop a plan for improving that one. 6. Examine a potential change you are considering making. Identify its costs and benefits, both direct and indirect, and use that information to help determine your decision. 7. When an employee problem or issue emerges, discipline yourself to focus briefly on describing the undesirable behavior before attempting to understand it or change it. 8. Force yourself to take a systems approach to organizational problems by rigorously differentiating the consequences of actions as positive versus negative, intended versus unintended, and short-term versus long-term. 9. As your study of OB progresses, create an inventory of your favorite behavioral concepts and practices. Then, caution yourself to avoid becoming overly biased in favor of these approaches. 10. When the pressure for rapid solutions to complex problems rises, resist the tendency to search for quick fixes or to blindly repeat old solutions. promoted by one or more authors are management by objectives, job enlargement, sensitivity training, quality circles, visioning, and strategic planning. Unfortunately, these quick fixes have often been promoted on the basis of only interesting stories and personal anecdotes. Managers are urged to be cautious consumers of these perspectives.15 Varying Environments Can organizational behavior adapt to change? Another challenge that confronts organizational behavior is to see whether the ideas that have been developed and tested during periods of organizational growth and economic plenty will endure with equal success under new conditions. Specifically, the environment in the future may be marked by shrinking demand, scarce resources, and more intense competition. When organizations stagnate, decline, or have their survival threatened, there is evidence that stress and conflict increase. Will the same motivational models be useful in these situations? Are different leadership styles called for? Will the trend toward participative processes be reversed? Since these and many other questions have no easy answers, tremendous room for further development of organizational behavior still clearly exists. Definitional Confusion Organizational behavior, early in its history, experienced some difficulty emerging as a clearly defined field of study and application. There was a lack of consensus regarding its unit of analysis (individual, group, or total organization), its greatest need (as a source of empirical data and integrating theory, or as a basis for applied information), its major focus (micro or macro issues), and its major contributions to date. This lack of clear definition was compounded by the multiple criteria that can be used to assess its effectiveness. Issues here include identification of the relevant stakeholders, short or long time frames to wait for results, and reliance on soft or hard data (perceptions or records). All these issues have subsequently received useful attention and clarification. 20 Chapter 1 The Dynamics of People and Organizations 21 Summary Organizational behavior is the systematic study and careful application of knowledge about how people—as individuals and groups—act in organizations. Its goals are to make managers more effective at describing, understanding, predicting, and controlling human behavior. Key elements to consider are people, structure, technology, and the external environment. Organizational behavior has emerged as an interdisciplinary field of value to managers. It builds on an increasingly solid research foundation, and it draws upon useful ideas and conceptual models from many of the behavioral sciences to make managers more effective. Fundamental concepts of organizational behavior relate to the nature of people (individual differences, perception, a whole person, motivated behavior, desire for involvement, and value of the person) and to the nature of organizations (social systems, mutual interest, and ethics). Managerial actions should be oriented to attain superordinate goals of interest to employees, the organization, and society. Effective management can best be attained through the understanding and use of the human resources, contingency, results-oriented, and systems approaches. A behavioral bias, the law of diminishing returns, and unethical use of behavioral tools can all limit the effectiveness of organizational behavior. Managers must guard against using OB as a quick fix, using old solutions, and failing to recognize the impact of different environments. If these factors are overcome, OB should produce a higher quality of life in which harmony within each person, among people, and among the organizations of the future is enhanced. Speaking OB: Terms and Concepts for Review Behavioral bias, 17 Contingency approach, 14 Cost-benefit analysis, 16 Diversity, 5 Ethical leadership, 19 Evidence-based management, 7 Goals of organizational behavior, 5 Human resources approach, 13 Discussion Questions Individual differences, 9 Law of diminishing returns, 18 Law of individual differences, 10 Manipulation of people, 18 Mutuality of interest, 11 Organizational behavior, 4 Perception, 10 Practice, 7 Productivity, 14 Quick fix, 19 Research, 7 Results orientation, 14 Selective perception, 10 Supportive approach, 13 Sustainability, 19 Systems approach, 15 Theories, 7 Triple bottom line, 19 1. Define organizational behavior in your own words. Ask a friend outside of class or a work associate to do the same. Identify and explore the nature of any differences between the two definitions. 2. Assume that a friend states, “Organizational behavior is selfish and manipulative because it serves only the interests of management.” How would you respond? 3. As you begin to understand organizational behavior, why do you think it has become a popular field of interest? 4. Consider the statement “Organizations need people, and people need organizations.” Is this assertion true for all types of organizations? Give examples of where it is and where it probably isn’t true. 5. Review the fundamental concepts that form the basis of organizational behavior. Which concepts do you think are more important than the others? Explain. 22 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior 6. Select one of your work associates or friends. Identify the qualities that make that person substantially different from you. In what ways are you basically similar? Which dominates, the differences or the similarities? 7. Discuss the major features of the social system in an organization where you have worked. In what ways did that social system affect you and your job performance, either positively or negatively? 8. Review the four approaches to organizational behavior. As you read this book, keep a list of the ways in which those themes are reflected in each major topic. 9. Examine the formulas leading to effective organizational productivity. Which factors do you think have the greatest potential for making a difference between organizations? What can be done to affect the other ones? 10. Are behavioral bias and diminishing returns from organizational behavior practices the same or different? Discuss. Assess Your Own Skills How well do you understand organizational behavior? Read the following statements carefully. Circle the number on the response scale that most closely reflects the degree to which each statement accurately describes you. Add up your total points, and prepare a brief action plan for self-improvement. Be ready to report your score for tabulation across the entire group. Good description 1. I thoroughly understand the nature and definition of organizational behavior. 2. I can list and explain the four primary goals of organizational behavior. 3. I feel comfortable explaining the interaction between theory, research, and practice in organizational behavior. 4. I am fully aware of the ways in which people act on the basis of their perceived world. 5. I believe that most employees have a strong desire to be involved in decision making. 6. I feel comfortable explaining the role of ethics in organizational behavior. 7. I can easily summarize the basic nature of the contingency approach to organizational behavior. Poor description 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Chapter 1 The Dynamics of People and Organizations 23 8. I can list and explain each of the factors in the formula for producing organizational results. 10 9. I can explain why a systems approach to organizational behavior is appropriate. 10 10. I understand the relationship among the systems viewpoint, behavioral bias, and the law of diminishing returns in organizational behavior. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Scoring and Interpretation Add up your total points for the 10 questions. Record that number here, and report it when it is requested. Finally, insert your total score into the “Assess and Improve Your Own Organizational Behavior Skills” chart in Appendix A. • If you scored between 81 and 100 points, you appear to have a solid understanding of organizational behavior basics. • If you scored between 61 and 80 points, you should take a close look at the items with lower self-assessment scores and review the related material again. • If you scored under 60 points, you should be aware that a weaker understanding of several items could be detrimental to your future success as a manager. We encourage you to review the entire chapter. Identify your three lowest scores and write the question numbers here: _____, _____, _____. Write a brief paragraph, detailing to yourself an action plan for how you might sharpen each of these skills. Incident The Transferred Sales Representative Harold Burns served as district sales representative for an appliance firm. His district covered the central part of a Midwestern state, and it included about 100 retail outlets. He had been with the company for 20 years and in his present job and location for 5 years. During that time he met his district sales quota each year. One day Burns learned through local friends that the wife of a sales representative in another district was in town to try to rent a house. She told the real estate agency that her family would be moving there in a few days because her husband was replacing Burns. When Burns heard this news, he refused to believe it. Two days later, on January 28, he received an express mail letter, postmarked the previous day, from the regional sales manager. The letter read: Dear Harold: Because of personnel vacancies we are requesting that you move to the Gunning district, effective February 1. Mr. George Dowd from the Parsons district will replace you. Will you please see that your inventory and property are properly transferred to him? I know that you will like your new district. Congratulations! Sincerely yours, (Signature) In the same mail, he received his 20-year service pin. The accompanying letter from the regional sales manager read: 24 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior Dear Harold: I am happy to enclose your 20-year service pin. You have a long and excellent record with the company. We are honored to give you this recognition, and I hope you will wear it proudly. Our company is proud to have many long-service employees. We want you to know that we take a personal interest in your welfare because people like you are the backbone of our company. Sincerely yours, (Signature) Harold Burns checked his quarterly sales bulletin and found that sales for the Gunning district were running 10 percent below those in his present district. Questions 1. Comment on the positive and negative events in this case as they relate to organizational behavior. 2. Was a human resources approach to Burns applied in this instance? Discuss. Experiential Exercise Ethics in Organizational Behavior Examine the following statements. Assess each situation according to the degree to which you believe a potential ethical problem is inherent in it. After recording your answers, meet in small groups (three to five persons) and discuss any significant differences you find among answers given by members of your group. No ethical problem 1. A manager, following the law of individual differences, allows her six employees to establish their own starting times for work each day. 2. A supervisor finds that members of a certain minority group are faster workers than whites, and thereafter hires only those minorities for particular jobs. 3. An organization, frustrated over continual complaints about its appraisal system and pay, decides that “equal pay for all employees” (despite differences in their performance) will work best. 4. An organization is faced with a possible union certification election. To find out what employees are thinking, top management installs electronic eavesdropping equipment in the cafeteria. Ethical problem 0 1 2 3 4 0 1 2 3 4 0 1 2 3 4 0 1 2 3 4 Chapter 1 The Dynamics of People and Organizations 25 5. A company hires a consulting firm to conduct an attitude survey of its employees. When the consultants suggest that they could code the questionnaires secretly so that responses could be traced back to individuals, the company agrees that it would be “interesting.” Generating OB Insights 0 1 2 3 4 An insight is a new and clear perception of a phenomenon, or an acquired ability to “see” clearly something that you were unaware of previously. It is sometimes simply referred to as an “ah-ha! moment,” in which you have a minirevelation or reach a straightforward conclusion about a topic or issue. Insights need not necessarily be dramatic, for what is an insight to one person may be less important to another. The critical feature of insights is that they are relevant and memorable for you; they should represent new knowledge, new frameworks, or new ways of viewing things that you want to retain and remember over time. Insights, then, are different from the information you find in the “Advice for Future Managers” boxes within the text. That advice is prescriptive and action-oriented; it indicates a recommended course of action. A useful way to think of OB insights is to assume you are the only person who has read the current chapter. You have been given the assignment to highlight, in your own words, the major concepts (but not just summarize the whole chapter) that might stand out for a naive audience who has never heard of the topic before. What 10 insights would you share with them? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. (Example) Astute managers need to study, appreciate, and use OB theory and research. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 26 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior Nurturing Your Critical Thinking and Reflective Skills Take a few minutes to review the discussion in the Roadmap for Readers of critical thinking and reflection. Remind yourself that if you can hone these abilities now, you will have a substantial competitive advantage when you apply for jobs and are asked what unique skills you can bring to the position and the organization. Critical Thinking Think back on the material you read in this chapter. What are three unique and challenging critical questions you would like to raise about the material? (These might identify something controversial about which you have doubts, they may imply that you suspect that a theory or model has weaknesses, they could examine the legitimacy of apparent causal relationships, or they might assess the probable value of a suggested practice.) Be prepared to share these questions with class members or your instructor. 1. ________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 2. ________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 3. ________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Reflection This process often involves answering the parallel questions of “What do you think about the material you have read?” and “How do you feel about that material?” Therefore, express your personal thoughts and feelings (reactions) to any of the ideas or topics found in this chapter, and be prepared to share these reflections with class members or your instructor. 1. ________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 2. ________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 3. ________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Chapter Two Models of Organizational Behavior Companies are often unaware of the management models they’re using. Julian Birkinshaw and Jules Goddard1 I’ve always thought that having a simple set of values for a company was also a very efficient and expedient way to go. Herb Kelleher (former CEO of Southwest Airlines)2 CHAPTER OBJECTIVES AFTER READING THIS CHAPTER, YOU SHOULD UNDERSTAND 2-1 The Elements of an Organizational Behavior System 2-2 The Role of Management’s Philosophy and Paradigms 2-3 Alternative Models of Organizational Behavior and Their Effects 2-4 Trends in the Use of These Models 28 Facebook Page Student A: I survived the first week of my OB class and read the first chapter of the book. Then it was playtime all weekend! Student B: You’re off to a good start. What are you supposed to read now? Student A: It’s a chapter on OB models. Student B: What are models? I always thought that they were “small imitations of the real thing.” Student A: That’s probably true in architecture and astronomy, but here they are defined as “belief systems that dominate managerial thought and actions.” Student C: That’s pretty broad. How many of them are there—just one or millions? Student A: The author suggests that there are five major ones—Autocratic, Custodial, Supportive, Collegial, and System. Student D: Hey, pal, take my advice. That sounds like a readymade multiple-choice question in the offing. Better pay close attention to those. Student A: Have no fear; I will. Student D: What are models supposed to produce? Student A: I guess the intended outcomes fall into three categories—organizational performance, employee satisfaction, and personal growth and development. Student B: Are there any more new terms in the chapter? Better take a glance ahead. Student A: There are a few terms. I’ll bet you’ve never heard of some of these— paradigms, micromanagement, social intelligence, psychological ownership, or positive organizational behavior! Student B: You’re absolutely right. It’s still not too late to drop the course, you know. Student A: No way. It’s just starting to get interesting! The author boarded a plane on a winter day in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and flew to Phoenix, Arizona. The differences between the weather conditions in the two geographical areas were easily apparent. The place of departure was cold, damp, and windy; the arrival location was warm, dry, and calm. In fact, the temperature differential between the two cities was over 100 degrees! The differences between organizations can sometimes be just as extreme as the weather contrasts between two cities. In addition, organizations have undergone tremendous changes during the past two centuries. Although employers in the early days had no systematic program for managing their employees, their simple rules still exerted a powerful influence on the organization. Many of the old rules are now out of date, and increasing numbers of organizations today are experimenting with exciting new ways to attract and motivate their workers. A century from now, though, people may look back on these practices and consider them outdated, too. Clearly, approaches to managing people vary across organizations, time, and cultures. Continuing the major themes introduced in Chapter 1 (human resources, contingency, results-oriented, and systems approaches), this chapter presents five alternative models of organizational behavior. Some of these reflect more progressive approaches that are well adapted to contemporary issues and trends. We see that even the words used to refer to 29 Engaging Your Brain 1. In this chapter, the text discusses values (belief, ideals, or ethical principles), vision (desirable futures), mission (reason for existence), and goals (intended achievements). What are your values, your personal vision and mission, and your goals? 2. One author (Douglas McGregor) has argued that much of managerial behavior is premised upon assumptions (implicit or explicit) made about the nature of employees. What do you believe is descriptively true about a “typical” employee today? 3. The text suggests that managers often embrace one out of several alternative models of organizational behavior. Each of those models implicitly or explicitly follows a contingency format (e.g., “If I do this, then the following result will happen.”) What do you currently believe would be the consequences of various approaches to managing people? employees (such as “subordinates,” as contrasted to the use in some organizations of terms like “associates” or “partners” to convey equality) tell a lot about the underlying model in use. This chapter builds on the fundamental concepts presented in Chapter 1 by showing how all behavioral factors can be combined to develop an effective organization. The interrelated elements of an organizational behavior system are offered as a road map for where these elements appear in this book. Then five alternative models of organizational behavior and several conclusions about the use of these models are presented. AN ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR SYSTEM Purposely created and used Three outcome criteria Organizations achieve their goals by creating, communicating, and operating an organizational behavior system, as shown in Figure 2.1. Major elements of a good organizational behavior system are introduced on the following pages and presented in detail throughout the book. These systems exist in every organization, but sometimes in varying forms. They have a greater chance of being successful, though, if they have been consciously created and regularly examined and updated to meet new and emerging conditions. Updating is done by drawing upon the constantly growing behavioral science base of knowledge mentioned in the previous chapter. The primary purposes of organizational behavior systems are to identify and then help manipulate the major human and organizational variables that affect the results organizations are trying to achieve. For some of these variables, managers can only be aware of them and acknowledge their impact; for others, managers can exert some control over them. The outcomes, or end results, are typically measured in various forms of three basic criteria: performance (e.g., quantity and quality of products and services; level of customer service), employee satisfaction (often exhibited through lower absenteeism, tardiness, or turnover), or personal growth and development (the acquisition of lifelong knowledge and skills leading to continued employability and career advancement). The effect of organizational behavior practices on these outcomes is discussed throughout this book. Elements of the System The system’s base rests on the fundamental beliefs and intentions of those who join to create it (such as owners) and of the managers who currently administer it. The philosophy (model) of organizational behavior held by management consists of an integrated set of assumptions and beliefs about the way things are, the purpose for these activities, and the way they should be. These philosophies are sometimes explicit, and occasionally implicit, 30 Chapter 2 Models of Organizational Behavior 31 FIGURE 2.1 An Organizational Behavior System Management’s Philosophy • Values • Vision • Mission • Goals Formal organization Organizational culture Social environment Informal organization Leadership • Communication • Group dynamics Quality of work life (QWL) Motivation Outcomes: • Performance • Employee satisfaction • Personal growth and development in the minds of managers. Five major organizational behavior philosophies—autocratic, custodial, supportive, collegial, and system—and their implications are discussed later in this chapter. Figure 2.2 presents some typical elements of a philosophy statement. The philosophy of organizational behavior held by a manager stems from two sources— fact premises and value premises. Fact premises represent our descriptive view of how the world behaves. They are drawn from both behavioral science research and our personal experiences FIGURE 2.2 Selected Elements of a Philosophy Statement • • • • • We are committed to quality, cost-effectiveness, and technical excellence. People should treat each other with consideration, trust, and respect. Each person is valuable, unique, and makes a contribution. All employees should be unfailingly committed to excellent performance. Teamwork can, and should, produce far more than the sum of individual efforts. Team members must be reliable and committed to the team. • Innovation is essential. • Open communications are important for attaining success. • Decisions should be reached participatively. On the Job: IKEA Corporation Swedish retailing giant IKEA’s North American division is one of the fastest-growing in its market segment. Despite a strong drive for profits and market share, the firm embraces progressive and supportive employment practices (health care benefits, flexible schedules, and opportunities for advancement), an Fact and value premises Vision Mission Goals 32 emphasis on racial and ethnic diversity, and distinctive values (freedom, lack of hierarchy, individual respect). Results show up in dramatically reduced turnover, rising sales revenues, and “off the charts” employee satisfaction.3 (important things we have learned). For example, you would not throw your iPod from a 10-story building, because you believe gravity would pull it downward uncontrollably and crush it against the ground, and you don’t want this to happen. Fact premises, then, are acquired through direct and indirect lifelong learning and are very useful in guiding our behavior. Value premises, on the other hand, represent our view of the desirability of certain goals and activities. If you are very unhappy with the iPod’s performance, then you might choose to throw it from the 10-story building. You still accept the fact premise of gravity, but now your value premises have changed (at least momentarily!). As “On the Job: IKEA Corporation” shows, value premises are variable beliefs we hold and are therefore under our control. We can choose, modify, discard, or replace them (although they are often deeply entrenched). Managers also have primary responsibility for instilling three other elements into the organizational behavior system—vision, mission, and goals. Vision represents a challenging portrait of what the organization and its members can be—a possible, and desirable, future. Leaders need to create exciting projections about where the organization should go and what major changes lie ahead. Once the vision is established, persistent and enthusiastic communication is required so employees will embrace it with commitment. An organization also typically creates a mission statement, which identifies the business it is in, the market niches it tries to serve, the types of customers it is likely to have, and the reasons for its existence. Many mission statements even include a brief listing of the competitive advantages, or strengths, that the firm believes it has. In contrast to visions, mission statements are more descriptive and less future-oriented. They are still rather broad, and need to be converted to goals to become operational and useful. Goals are relatively concrete formulations of achievements the organization is aiming for within set periods of time, such as one to five years. Goal setting is a complex process, for top management’s goals must be merged with those of employees, who bring their psychological, social, and economic needs with them to an organization. Further, goals may exist at the individual, group, and larger organization level, so substantial integration is required before a working social system can emerge. Elements of effective goals are discussed in Chapter 5. Philosophy feeds into value premises, which help shape vision. Vision is a stretching version of mission, and goals provide a way to pinpoint targets for achieving that mission. Together, philosophy, values, vision, mission, and goals exist in a hierarchy of increasing specificity (philosophy is most general; goals are most specific). They all help create a recognizable organizational culture, which is discussed in Chapter 4. This culture is also a reflection of the formal organization with its formal policies, structures, and procedures, and the existing social and cultural (global) environment (Chapter 16). Managers also must be aware of the informal organization (discussed in Chapter 12) and must work with its members to create positive norms. Together, the formal and informal organizations provide the glue that binds the varied elements of the institution into an effective working team. Managers are then expected to use a leadership style (Chapter 7), communication skills (Chapter 3), and their knowledge of interpersonal and group dynamics (Chapters 11 and 12) to create an appropriate quality of work life for their employees (Chapter 10). When this Chapter 2 Models of Organizational Behavior 33 task is done properly, employees will become motivated toward the achievement of organizational goals (Chapter 5). Their motivation, however, is also a product of their underlying attitudes and specific situational factors at a certain point in time. If any of the previous factors in the organizational system are changed, motivation will also be different. Because of this interaction, leaders must learn to manage employee motivation contingently. Numerous examples of this cause-and-effect relationship exist, as illustrated in the following report: Contrasting effects of organizational behavior systems were seen in some of the efforts to revitalize airline companies in the past decade. In the face of financial crises, employees in some firms willingly accepted the necessity of drastic costsaving actions and responded with increased (and successful) efforts to save their companies and jobs. Employees in other firms, such as Northwest Airlines, fearful for their jobs and resentful of management’s previous autocratic actions, strongly resisted attempts to reduce their pay and outsource their jobs. As a consequence, labor strife, bankruptcy, and a merger with Delta Airlines followed. The result of an effective organizational behavior system is motivation which, when combined with employee skills and abilities, results in the achievement of performance goals (as we saw in the formulas in Chapter 1) as well as individual satisfaction. It builds two-way relationships that are mutually supportive, meaning that manager and employee are jointly influencing each other and jointly benefiting. Supportive OB systems are characterized by power with people rather than power over them, which is consistent with present human values regarding how people wish to be treated (with dignity). Alternatively, if goals are not being achieved, managers need to use this information to examine and revise their organizational behavior system. MODELS OF ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR Theory X assumptions Organizations differ in the nature of the systems they develop and maintain and in the results they achieve. Varying results predictably follow from different models of organizational behavior. These models constitute the belief system that dominates management’s thought and affects management’s actions in each organization. It is highly important that managers recognize the nature, significance, and effectiveness of their own models, as well as the models of others around them. Douglas McGregor was one of the first writers to call attention to managerial models. In 1957, he presented a convincing argument that most management actions flow directly from whatever theory of human behavior the managers hold.4 He suggested that management philosophy controls practice. Management’s human resource policies, decisionmaking styles, operating practices, and even organizational designs flow from key assumptions about human behavior. The assumptions may be implicit rather than explicit, but they can be inferred from observing the kinds of actions that managers take. Theory X is a traditional set of assumptions about people. As shown in Figure 2.3, it assumes that most people dislike work and will try to avoid it if they can. Workers are seen as being inclined to restrict work output, having little ambition, and avoiding responsibility if at all possible. They are believed to be relatively self-centered, indifferent to organizational needs, and resistant to change. Common rewards cannot overcome this natural dislike for work, so management is almost forced (under Theory X assumptions and subsequent logic) to coerce, control, and threaten employees to obtain satisfactory performance. Though managers may deny that they hold this view of people, many of their historical actions suggest that Theory X was a typical management view of employees. 34 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior FIGURE 2.3 McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y, Alternative Sets of Assumptions about Employees Theory X • The typical person dislikes work and will avoid it if possible. • The typical person lacks responsibility, has little ambition, and seeks security above all. • Most people must be coerced, controlled, and threatened with punishment to get them to work. Theory Y • Work is as natural as play or rest. • People are not inherently lazy. They have become that way as a result of experience. • People will exercise self-direction and self-control in the service of objectives to which they are committed. • People have potential. Under proper conditions they learn to accept and seek responsibility. They have imagination, ingenuity, and creativity that can be applied to work. With these assumptions the managerial role With these assumptions the managerial is to coerce and control employees. role is to develop the potential in employees and help them release that potential toward common objectives. Theory Y assumptions Theory X is deficient Four major contributions Impact of paradigms Theory Y implies a more humanistic and supportive approach to managing people. It assumes that people are not inherently lazy. Any appearance they have of being that way is the result of their experiences with less-enlightened organizations, and if management will provide the proper environment to release their potential, work will become as natural to them as recreational play or rest and relaxation. Under Theory Y assumptions, management believes that employees are capable of exercising self-direction and self-control in the service of objectives to which they are committed. Management’s role is to provide an environment in which the potential of people can be released at work. McGregor’s argument was that management had been ignoring the facts about people. It had been following an outmoded set of assumptions about people because it adhered to Theory X when the facts are that the Theory Y set of assumptions is more truly representative of most people. There will always be important differences among people, so a few individuals will fit the assumptions of the Theory X model. Nearly all employees, however, have some potential for growth in their capabilities and demonstrated performance. Therefore, McGregor argued, management needed to change to a whole new set of assumptions about people—one based on emerging behavioral science research. These new assumptions had a powerful impact on subsequent managerial actions. When seen through the lenses of history, McGregor deserves credit for a number of contributions. First, he stimulated subsequent generations of managers to think consciously about their belief systems and management models. Second, he was an early advocate of the practical value of reading and using research findings to better understand human behavior. Third, he introduced and publicized one of the early theories of motivation—the hierarchy of needs model by A. H. Maslow (explained in Chapter 5). Finally, he became a spokesman for a trend that had been developing over a long period of time—the need to bring human values into balance with other values at work. Models such as Theory X and Theory Y are also called paradigms, or frameworks of possible explanations about how things work. Any model that a manager holds usually begins with certain assumptions about people and leads to certain interpretations, implications, and even predictions of events. Underlying paradigms, whether consciously or unconsciously developed, become powerful guides to managerial behavior. Managers tend to act as they think, because they are guided by their dominant thoughts. Chapter 2 Models of Organizational Behavior 35 Managerial paradigms, according to popular author Joel Barker, act in several important ways: • • • • They influence managerial perceptions of the world around them. They define one’s boundaries and provide prescriptions for how to behave. They encourage resistance to change, since they have often worked in the past. They may either consciously or unconsciously affect one’s behavior.5 New paradigms are constantly emerging, and some of them provide managers with alternative ways of viewing the world and new ways of solving problems. When a major paradigm (a radically different way of thinking) appears it may cause a paradigm shift. This is the release of an old model and the substitution of a new one. Even though the new paradigm might be an exciting improvement, it often causes people to be uncomfortable— at least in the short term. Examples of paradigm shifts abound in the commercial world. A decade ago, throngs of citizens mobbed shopping malls across the country in the weeks and days before a major holiday; today, millions of people do some or all of their shopping via the Internet while sitting at home. In the automotive realm, internal combustion engines were the sole source of energy for many decades; now, hybrid gas–electric cars have become a reality for some buyers. In communications, U.S. citizens relied almost exclusively on the Postal Service to deliver their letters throughout much of the twentieth century; today, millions of messages are transmitted electronically every day. Paradigms are changing everywhere! Examination and adaptation needed Top management’s models are particularly important to identify, for the underlying model that exists within a firm’s chief executive officer (CEO) tends to extend throughout that firm. For this reason, models of organizational behavior are highly significant. Examples abound of the impact throughout the firm of a single executive, such as CEOs Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook, the late Steve Jobs at Apple Computer, Howard Schultz at Starbucks, Larry Ellison at Oracle, or John Mackey at Whole Foods Markets. This chapter highlights the following five models (paradigms): autocratic, custodial, supportive, collegial, and system.6 These five models are summarized in Figure 2.4. In the order mentioned, they represent an approximate historical evolution in management practice during the last 100 years or more. Although one model tends to dominate at a particular time in history, each of the other models is still applied in some organizations. Just as organizations differ among themselves, so practices may vary within the departments or branches of one organization. The production department may work within a custodial model while the supportive model is being tried in the research department. And, of course, the practices of individual managers may differ from their organization’s prevailing model because of those managers’ personal preferences or different conditions in their department. Thus, no one model of organizational behavior is sufficient to describe all that happens in an organization, but identifying a model can help distinguish one way of organizational life from another. The selection of a model by a manager is determined by a number of factors. As we discussed earlier, the prevailing philosophy, values, vision, mission, and goals of managers affect, and are affected by, their organizational behavior model. In addition, environmental conditions help determine which model will be most effective. The current turbulent conditions in the worldwide economy, for example, may drive firms toward the more collegial models, while leading others to regress toward the autocratic model. This suggests that the model used should not be static and unchanging but reexamined and adapted across time. Our discussion of five models, beginning with the autocratic, roughly follows their historical evolution. 36 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior FIGURE 2.4 Five Models of Organizational Behavior Autocratic Custodial Supportive Collegial System Basis of model Power Economic resources Leadership Partnership Trust, community, meaning Managerial orientation Authority Money Support Teamwork Caring, compassion Employee orientation Obedience Security and benefits Job performance Responsible behavior Psychological ownership Employee psychological result Dependence on boss Dependence on organization Participation Selfdiscipline Self-motivation Employee needs met Subsistence Security Status and recognition Selfactualization Wide range Performance result Minimum Passive cooperation Awakened drives Moderate enthusiasm Passion and commitment to organizational goals The Autocratic Model Power and authority are used The autocratic model has its roots in history, and certainly, it became the prevailing model of the industrial revolution. As shown in Figure 2.4, the autocratic model depends on power. Those who are in command must have the power to demand “you do this—or else,” meaning that an employee who does not follow orders will be penalized. In an autocratic environment, the managerial orientation is formal official authority. This authority is delegated by right of command over the people to whom it applies. Management believes it knows what is best and that the employee’s obligation is to follow orders. It assumes that employees have to be directed, persuaded, and pushed into performance, and such prompting is management’s task. Management does the thinking; the employees obey the orders. This conventional view of management leads to tight control of employees at work. When combined with the often brutal and backbreaking physical tasks of that era and the intolerable conditions of disease, filth, danger, and scarcity of resources, the autocratic model was intensely disliked by many employees (and still is). Under autocratic conditions, the employee orientation is obedience to a boss, not respect for a manager. The psychological result for employees is dependence on their boss, whose power to hire, fire, and “perspire” them is almost absolute. The employer pays minimum wages because minimum performance is given by employees (who may lack the qualifications for advancement). They are willing to give minimum performance—though sometimes reluctantly—because they must satisfy subsistence needs for themselves and their families. A dramatic illustration of the continued use of the autocratic model is seen in the diamond mines in underdeveloped areas, such as Namibia and Sierra Leone. Child slave labor has been a common practice, and natives work long hours for low pay under dangerous and unbearable conditions. Autocratic supervisors control workers tightly, while subjecting them to abuse and suffering.7 The autocratic model was, at one time, a useful way to accomplish work. It was not a complete failure. The description of the autocratic model just presented is an extreme one; Chapter 2 Models of Organizational Behavior 37 actually, the model exists in all shades of gray, from rather dark to rather light. This view of work built great railroad systems, operated giant steel mills, and produced the dynamic industrial civilization that developed in the United States. It does get results, but usually only moderate results. Its principal weaknesses are its high human costs and its tendency to encourage high-level managers to engage in micromanagement, which is the immersion of a manager into controlling the details of daily operations. (See the Critical Thinking Exercise.) Micromanagers tend to control and manipulate time, place their self-interest above that of employees, institute elaborate approval processes, specify detailed procedures for everything, and closely monitor results. These actions are autocratic management at its worst. Employees typically detest a micromanager, with the result being low morale, paralyzed decision making due to fear of being second-guessed, and high turnover. Charlie Ergen, founder and chairman of satellite TV provider Dish Network, has apparently practiced the autocratic model for many years. Ergen maintains tight control, makes unilateral decisions, berates employees for slight tardiness, implements quarterly “bloodbaths” (layoffs), and forces employees to work long hours and accept mandatory overtime. Described by employees as mean, condescending, tightfisted, ironhanded, and distrustful, Ergen seemingly created a culture of fear that ignores the needs of most employees.8 Autocratic model works—sometimes The autocratic model was an acceptable approach to guide managerial behavior when there were no well-known alternatives, and it still can be useful under some extreme conditions, such as organizational crises.9 However, the combination of emerging knowledge about the needs of employees and changing societal values suggests there are much better ways to manage organizational systems. A second step in the ladder of progress was needed, and it was soon forthcoming. The Custodial Model As managers began to study their employees, they soon recognized that although autocratically managed employees did not talk back to their boss, they certainly “thought back.” They wanted to say many things, and sometimes they did say them when they quit or lost their tempers. Employees were filled with insecurity, frustrations, and aggressions toward their boss. Since they could not vent these feelings directly, sometimes they went home and vented them on their families and neighbors; so the entire community might suffer from this relationship. An example of the effects of management-induced frustration on the behavior of employees occurred in a wood-processing plant. Managers treated workers crudely, sometimes even to the point of physical abuse. Since employees could not strike back directly for fear of losing their jobs, they found another way to do it. They symbolically fed their supervisor to a log-shredding machine! They did this by purposely destroying good sheets of veneer, which made the supervisor look bad when monthly efficiency reports were prepared.10 Critical Thinking Exercise Identify the likely effects of being micromanagers. Question: What positive and negative results can you safely predict for them? On the Job: IBM and 3M Co. Employee security remains a high priority for millions of workers in today’s uncertain job market where lifetime employment is seldom promised to any employee. Many firms, such as IBM, Southwest Airlines, and 3M Co., go out of their way to stabilize their workforce and preserve employee Employees become dependent Deficiencies of a custodial approach 38 jobs if at all possible. To avoid layoffs, these types of organizations constantly retrain employees, reduce overtime, freeze hiring, encourage both job transfers and relocations, provide early retirement incentives, and reduce subcontracting to adjust to slowdowns in the computer industry.11 It seemed rather obvious to progressive employers that there ought to be some way to develop better employee satisfaction and security. If the insecurities, frustrations, and aggressions of employees could be dispelled, the employees might feel more like working. In any case, they would have a better quality of work life. To satisfy the security needs of employees, a number of companies began welfare programs in the 1890s and 1900s. In their worst form, these welfare programs later became known as paternalism. In the 1930s, welfare programs evolved into a variety of fringe benefits to provide employee security. Employers—and unions and government—began caring for the security needs of workers. They were applying a custodial model of organizational behavior (see “On the Job: IBM and 3M Co.”). As shown in Figure 2.4, a successful custodial approach depends on economic resources. The resulting managerial orientation is toward money to pay wages and benefits. Since employees’ physical needs are already reasonably met, the employer looks to security needs as a motivating force. If an organization does not have the wealth to provide pensions and pay other benefits, it cannot follow a custodial approach. The custodial approach leads to employee dependence on the organization. Rather than being dependent on their employer for just their weekly paycheck, employees now depend on organizations for their security and welfare. If employees have excellent health care coverage where they work now, they cannot afford to quit even if the grass looks greener somewhere else but the new employer offers no health benefits (see “On the Job: The Calvert Group”). Employees working in a custodial environment become psychologically preoccupied with their economic rewards and benefits. As a result of their treatment, they are well maintained and reasonably contented. However, contentment does not necessarily produce strong motivation; it may produce only passive cooperation. The result tends to be that employees do not perform much more effectively than under the old autocratic approach. The custodial model is described in its extreme in order to show its emphasis on material rewards, security, and organizational dependence. In actual practice, this model also has various shades of gray, from dark to light. Its great benefit is that it brings security and satisfaction to workers, but it does have substantial flaws. The most evident flaw is that most employees are not producing anywhere near their capacities, nor are they motivated to grow to the greater capacities of which they are capable. Though employees are comfortable and cared for, most of them really do not feel fulfilled or motivated. In confirmation of this condition, a series of classic studies at the University of Michigan reported that “the happy employee is not necessarily the most productive employee.”12 Consequently, managers and academic leaders needed to set aside the myth of the happy worker and start to ask again, “Is there a better way?” The search for a better way is not a condemnation of the custodial model as a whole but rather a condemnation of the assumption that this is “the final answer”—the one best way to motivate employees. The error in reasoning occurs when managers perceive the custodial model as so appropriate that there is no need to build on it toward something better. Although the custodial model does provide employee security, it is best viewed as simply the foundation for growth to the next step. On the Job: The Calvert Group Many programs are consistent with a custodial environment at the workplace. The Calvert Group, a Maryland-based mutual funds company, provides support for physical fitness, massage therapy, wellness seminars, parental leave, dependent care time, and child care programs. Calvert reported that the turnover rate has fallen sharply from its preprogram level of 30 percent annually, the number of sick days taken is down, health care expenses are lower, and recruitment and training costs have been reduced.13 Apparently, employees become dependent on these custodial practices and then are reluctant to change employers. The Supportive Model The supportive model of organizational behavior had its origins in the “principle of supportive relationships” as stated by Rensis Likert, who said: The leadership and other processes of the organization must be such as to ensure a maximum probability that in all interactions and all relationships with the organization each member will, in the light of his [or her] background, values, and expectations, view the experience as supportive and one which builds and maintains his [or her] sense of personal worth and importance.14 Development of research Employees are helped to become productive Likert’s principle is similar to the human resources approach mentioned in Chapter 1. One key spark for the supportive approach was a series of research studies at the Hawthorne Plant of Western Electric in the 1920s and 1930s.15 Led by Elton Mayo and F. J. Roethlisberger, the researchers gave academic stature to the study of human behavior at work by applying keen insight, straight thinking, and sociological backgrounds to industrial experiments. They concluded that an organization is a social system and the worker is indeed the most important element in it. Their experiments concluded that the worker is not a simple tool but a complex personality that often is difficult to understand. The studies also suggested that an understanding of group dynamics, coupled with the application of supportive supervision, was important. The supportive model depends on leadership instead of power or money. Through leadership, management provides a climate to help employees grow and accomplish in the interests of the organization the things of which they are capable. The leader assumes workers are not by nature passive and resistant to organizational needs, but are made so by an inadequately supportive climate at work. They will take responsibility, develop a drive to contribute, and improve themselves if management will give them a chance. Management’s orientation, therefore, is to support the employee’s job performance rather than simply support employee benefit payments as in the custodial approach. Since management supports employees in their work, the psychological result is a feeling of participation and task involvement in the organization. Employees may say “we” instead of “they” when referring to their organization. They are more strongly motivated than by earlier models because their status and recognition needs are better met. Thus they have awakened drives for work. Supportive behavior is not the kind of approach that requires money. Rather, it is a part of management’s lifestyle at work, reflected in the way it deals with other people. The manager’s role is one of helping employees solve their problems and accomplish their work. The following is an example of a supportive approach: Juan Salinas, a young widower with one child, had a record of frequent tardiness as an assembler in an electronics plant. His supervisor, Helen Ferguson, attended 39 40 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior a company training program for supervisors, so she decided to try the supportive approach with Salinas. The next time Salinas was tardy, Ferguson approached him with concern about what might have caused his tardiness. Rather than scolding him, Ferguson showed a genuine interest in Salinas’s problems, asking, “How can I help?” and “Is there anything we can do at the company?” When the discussion focused on delays in getting the child ready for school early in the morning, Ferguson arranged for Salinas to talk with other parents in the department. When Salinas talked about the distance he had to walk to catch a bus, Ferguson worked with the personnel department to get him into a dependable car pool. Although the new car pool undoubtedly helped, an important point was that Salinas seemed to appreciate the recognition and concern that was expressed, so he was more motivated to come to work on time. He also was more cooperative and interested in his job. It was evident that the supportive approach influenced Salinas’s behavior. An important by-product was that Ferguson’s job became easier because of Salinas’s better performance. Are theory and practice consistent? The supportive model works well with both employees and managers, and it has been widely accepted—at least philosophically—by many managers in the United States and elsewhere. Of course, their agreement with supportive ideas does not necessarily mean that all of them practice those approaches regularly or effectively. The step from theory to practice is a difficult one. Nevertheless, reports of companies that reap the benefits of a supportive approach have appeared more and more frequently. The supportive model of organizational behavior tends to be especially effective in affluent nations because it responds to employee drives toward a wide array of emerging needs. It has less immediate application in the developing nations, where employees’ current needs and social conditions are often quite different. However, as those needs for material rewards and security become satisfied, and as employees become aware of managerial practices in other parts of the world, employees in those countries will likely demand a more supportive approach. Consequently, their progression through the models is frequently a more rapid one. The Collegial Model Teamwork is required A useful extension of the supportive model is the collegial model. The term “collegial” relates to a body of people working together cooperatively. The collegial model, which embodies a team concept, first achieved widespread applications in research laboratories and similar work environments. More recently, it has been applied in a wide range of other work situations as well. The collegial model traditionally was used less on assembly lines, because the rigid work environment made it difficult to apply there. A contingency relationship exists in which the collegial model tends to be more useful with creative work, an intellectual environment, and considerable job freedom. In other environments, the other models may be more successful. As shown in Figure 2.4, the collegial model depends on management’s building a feeling of partnership with employees. The result is that employees feel needed and useful. They sense managers are contributing also, so it is easy to accept and respect their roles in the organization. Managers are seen as joint contributors rather than as bosses (see “On the Job: Nashville Bar Association”). The managerial orientation is toward teamwork. Management is the coach that builds a better team. The employee response to this situation is responsibility. For example, employees produce quality work not because management tells them to do so or because On the Job: Nashville Bar Association The feeling of partnerships can be built in many ways. Some organizations have abolished the use of reserved parking spaces for executives, so every employee has an equal chance of finding a space close to the workplace. Some firms have tried to eliminate the use of terms like “bosses” and “subordinates,” feeling that those terms simply create perceptions of psychological distance between managers and nonman- agers. Other employers have removed time clocks, set up “fun committees” (e.g., the Nashville Bar Association), sponsored company canoe trips, or required managers to spend a week or two annually working in field or factory locations. All these approaches are designed to build a spirit of mutuality, in which every person makes contributions and appreciates those of others. the inspector will catch them if they do not, but because they feel inside themselves an obligation to provide others with high quality. They also feel an obligation to uphold quality standards that will bring credit to their jobs, themselves, and the company. The psychological result of the collegial approach for the employee is self-discipline. Feeling responsible, employees discipline themselves for performance on the team in the same way members of a football team discipline themselves to training standards and the rules of the game. In this kind of environment, employees normally feel some degree of fulfillment, worthwhile contribution, and self-actualization, even though the amount may be modest in some situations. This self-actualization will lead to moderate enthusiasm in performance. Three research laboratories The collegial model tends to produce improved results in situations where it is appropriate. One study covered scientists in three large research laboratories. Laboratories A and B were operated in a relatively traditional hierarchical manner. Laboratory C was operated in a more open, participative, collegial manner. There were four measures of performance: esteem of fellow scientists, contribution to knowledge, sense of personal achievement, and contribution to management objectives. All four were higher in laboratory C, and the first three were significantly higher.16 The System Model An emerging model of organizational behavior is the system model. It is the result of a strong search for higher meaning at work by many of today’s employees; they want much more than just a paycheck and job security from their jobs (see the box “An Ethical Issue”). Since they are being asked to spend many hours of their day at work, they want a work An Ethical Issue A new term has crept into the managerial vocabulary—spirituality. This term focuses on the desire for employees to know their deepest selves better, to grow personally, to make a meaningful contribution to society, and to demonstrate integrity in every action taken. Spirituality incorporates the principle of self-awareness and encourages people to “know themselves” while honoring and respecting the diverse moral and religious beliefs of others. As individuals search for and identify universal values—via reading, meditation, journal writing, or workshops—they presumably develop an enhanced capacity to live and act authentically, congruently, and joyfully, consistent with their own spiritual beliefs. Question: Do you believe that organizations have the obligation to provide opportunities for enhanced spirituality at work? Is it ethical to use organizational resources for such purposes and programs? 41 42 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior A positive thrust context there that is ethical, infused with integrity and trust, and provides an opportunity to experience a growing sense of community among co-workers. To accomplish this, managers must increasingly demonstrate a sense of caring and compassion, being sensitive to the needs of a diverse workforce with rapidly changing needs and complex personal and family needs. The system model reflects the values underlying positive organizational behavior, which focuses on identifying, developing, and managing psychological strengths within employees. Under this approach, managers focus their attention on helping employees develop feelings of hope, optimism, self-confidence, empathy, trustworthiness, esteem, courage, efficacy, and resiliency. These positive capacities appear to be related to the key outcomes of organizational citizenship (discussed in Chapter 9), courageous principled action (ethical behavior), objective performance, and employee satisfaction.17 Managers using the system model carefully protect and actively nurture their employees so as to develop a positive workplace culture that leads to organizational success and committed employees. Individuals at all levels need to acquire and display social intelligence (strategic social awareness for managers), which has five dimensions: • • • • • Empathy—appreciation for, and connectedness with, others. Presence—projecting self-worth in one’s bearing. Situational radar—ability to read social situations and respond appropriately. Clarity—using language effectively to explain and persuade. Authenticity—being “real” and transparent, while projecting honesty. Under the system model, managers try to convey to each worker, “You are an important part of our whole system. We sincerely care about each of you. We want to join together to achieve a better product or service, local community, and society at large. We will make every effort to make products that are environmentally friendly and contribute to sustainability.” The role of a manager becomes one of facilitating employee accomplishments through a variety of actions (see Figure 2.5). In response, many employees embrace the goal of organizational effectiveness and recognize the mutuality of company–employee obligations in a system viewpoint. They experience a sense of psychological ownership for the organization and its products or services—a feeling of possessiveness, responsibility, identity, and sense of belongingness (“at home”). Employees with a sense of ownership go beyond the self-discipline of the collegial approach until they reach a state of self-motivation, in which they take responsibility for their own goals, actions, and results. As a consequence, the employee needs that are FIGURE 2.5 Facilitator Roles for Managers in the System Model of OB • • • • • • • • • • Support employee commitment to short- and long-term goals. Coach individuals and groups in appropriate skills and behaviors. Model and foster self-esteem. Show genuine concern and empathy for people. Offer timely and acceptable feedback. Influence people to learn continuously and share that learning with others. Help individuals identify and confront issues in ethical ways. Stimulate insights through interviews, questions, and suggestions. Encourage people to feel comfortable with change and uncertainty. Build cohesive productive work teams. On the Job: Starbucks Coffee Co. Starbucks Coffee Co. is an example of a firm that is strongly committed to creating a humanized workplace that exemplifies the ideals of the system model of OB. Its CEO, Howard Schultz, has written a book (Pour Your Heart Into It [Hyperion Books, 1997]) that very publicly announces the firm’s values—employee self-esteem, self-respect, and appreciation for them. Managers there recognize outstanding achievements of the employees, honor the passion they put into their work, promote an open environment, and award stock options to every level of the organization. Results show up in effective customer service, new product ideas, employee loyalty, and low turnover rates.18 met are wide-ranging but often include the highest-order needs (e.g., social, status, esteem, autonomy, and self-actualization). Because it provides employees an opportunity to meet these needs through their work as well as understand the organization’s perspectives, this new model can stimulate employees’ passion and commitment to organizational goals. They are inspired, feel important, and believe in the usefulness and viability of their system for the common good. Their hopes and ideals are built around what the system accomplishes rather than solely what they as individuals can do (see “On the Job: Starbucks Coffee Co.”). Conclusions about the Models Effectiveness of current models Effect of satisfied needs Several conclusions can be made about the models of organizational behavior: They are, in practice, subject to evolutionary change; they are a function of prevailing employee needs; there is a trend toward the newer models; and any of the models can be successfully applied in some situations. In addition, the models can be modified and extended in a variety of ways. Evolving Usage Managerial and, on a broader scale, organizational, use of these models tends to evolve over time.19 As our individual or collective understanding of human behavior increases or as new social conditions develop, we move somewhat slowly to newer models. To assume that one particular model is a “best” model that will endure for the long run is a mistake. This mistake was made by some managers about both the autocratic model and the custodial model, with the result that they became psychologically locked into those models and had difficulty altering their practices when conditions demanded it. Eventually, the supportive model may also fall to limited use. There is no one permanently “best” model, because what is best is contingent on what is known about human behavior in whatever environment exists at that time. The primary challenge for management is to identify the model it is actually using and then assess its current effectiveness. This self-examination can be a challenge for managers, who tend to profess publicly one model (e.g., the supportive, collegial, or system) yet practice another. (This may occur in multinational firms; see “Managing across National Boundaries.”) In effect, a manager has two key tasks—to acquire a new set of values as models evolve, and to learn and apply the behavioral skills consistent with those values. These tasks can be very difficult to accomplish. Relation of Models to Human Needs A second conclusion is that the five models discussed in this chapter are closely related to human needs. New models have been developed to serve the different needs that became important at the time. For example, the custodial model is directed toward the satisfaction of employees’ security needs. It moves one step above the autocratic model, which reasonably serves subsistence needs but does not meet needs for security. Similarly, the supportive model is an effort to meet employees’ other needs, such as affiliation and esteem, which the custodial model is unable to serve. A number of people have assumed that emphasis on one model of organizational behavior is an automatic rejection of other models, but comparison suggests that each (newer) model is built upon the accomplishments of the other. For example, adoption of 43 Advice to Future Managers 1. Remind yourself to think about organizational behavior from a system perspective, envisioning how any one element of the system or action by yourself will likely impact other parts of the OB system. 2. List, examine, and reevaluate your fact premises about people periodically to see if they need updating. Then, create a separate list of your value premises and share these with a colleague or friend to see if they withstand open scrutiny. 3. Show your employees the list of assumptions that underlie Theory X and Theory Y. Afterward, ask them for illustrations that indicate you are using either of the two paradigms. Invite them to help you make your actions more consistent with Theory Y. 4. Examine the five models of OB every so often. Search for ways in which you could be using features from the more advanced models (supportive, collegial, system). 5. Report to a close friend the ways in which you have actively changed your underlying OB model in the past few years. Be ready to provide specific examples. 6. Review the discussion of social intelligence. Resolve to exhibit and use more empathy, presence, situational radar, clarity, and authenticity in your interactions with others. 7. Read about spirituality and employees’ desire for the right to discuss such issues at work. Make a decision now as to how you might handle such a request should it arise. 8. Make a conscious study of your language at work. Resolve to reduce or eliminate negative language while increasing your focus on positive terms. 9. Make an inventory of the ways in which you (or others) exhibit micromanagement behaviors. Explore ways to reduce such close scrutiny and control. 10. Often managers and employees differ in their perceptions of which OB model is in use. Set aside some time to investigate employee perceptions of the OB model that is dominant in your workplace. a supportive approach does not mean abandonment of custodial practices that serve necessary employee security needs. What it does mean is that custodial practices are given secondary emphasis, because employees have progressed to a condition in which newer needs dominate. In other words, the supportive model is the appropriate model to use at that point because subsistence and security needs are already reasonably met by a suitable structure and security system. If a misdirected modern manager should abandon these basic organizational needs, the system would move back quickly to seek structure and security in order to satisfy those needs for its people. Increasing Use of Some Models A third conclusion is that the trend toward the supportive, collegial, and system models will undoubtedly continue. Despite rapid advances in computers and management information systems, top managers of giant, complex organizations cannot be authoritarian in the traditional sense and also be effective. Because they cannot know all that Managing across National Boundaries Several U.S. firms have chosen to lower their costs by setting up assembly plants in less-developed countries, such as Mexico, where the wage scale is lower. The firms ship parts to the assembly plant, use cheap labor to perform assembly operations, and then ship the finished product back to markets in the United States. While this practice helps the firms remain competitive from a price standpoint, it raises some interesting behavioral issues. For example, is it appropriate for firms to implement one model of organizational behavior (e.g., a supportive or collegial one) in their U.S. facilities and consciously choose another model (e.g., a custodial one) in Mexico? Another interesting dilemma arises when jobs in the United States are lost as a result of these foreign assembly plants. Does a firm need to revert to a custodial model in the U.S. operations when it senses that employees there fear their job security is becoming highly threatened? 44 Chapter 2 Models of Organizational Behavior 45 is happening in their organization, they must learn to depend on other centers of power nearer to operating problems. They are often forced to literally redefine the old psychological contract and embrace a newer, more participative one. In addition, many employees are not readily motivated toward creative and intellectual duties by the autocratic model. Only the newer models can offer the satisfaction of their needs for esteem, autonomy, and self-actualization. Contingent Use of All Models A fourth conclusion is that, though one model may be most used at any given time, some appropriate uses will remain for other models. Knowledge and skills vary among managers. Role expectations of employees differ, depending upon cultural history. Policies and ways of life vary among organizations. Perhaps more important, task conditions are different. Some jobs may require routine, low-skilled, highly programmed work that will be mostly determined by higher authority and will provide mostly material rewards and security (autocratic and custodial conditions). Other jobs will be creative and intellectual, requiring teamwork and self-motivation. Employees in such jobs generally respond best to supportive, collegial, and system approaches. Therefore, probably all five models will continue to be used, but the more advanced models will have growing use as progress is made and employee expectations rise. Managerial Flexibility The preceding discussion rests on a central conclusion: Managers not only need to identify their current behavioral model but also must keep it flexible and current. There is great danger in paradigm rigidity, when the changing nature of people and conditions demands new responses, but managers cling to old beliefs and practices. Managers need to read, to reflect, to interact with others, and to be receptive to challenges to their thinking from their colleagues and employees. The following analogy illustrates this process: Skydivers know that a parachute tightly packed for long periods of time might develop undesirable permanent folds in the fabric, which could keep it from opening properly when needed. To prevent this, all parachutes are periodically unpacked and hung in storage sheds to “get the kinks out.” Then they are repacked for safe usage. Similarly, wise managers benefit from occasionally sharing their organizational behavior models with others, thus opening them up to public scrutiny. Then, after making appropriate revisions to their models, the managers “pack them up” and put the improved paradigms back to work again. Summary Every firm has an organizational behavior system. It includes the organization’s stated or unstated philosophy, values, vision, mission, and goals; the quality of leadership, communication, and group dynamics; the nature of both the formal and informal organizations; and the influence of the social environment. These items combine to create a culture in which the personal attitudes of employees and situational factors can produce motivation and goal achievement. Five models of organizational behavior are the autocratic, custodial, supportive, collegial, and system. The supportive, collegial, and system models are more consistent with contemporary employee needs and, therefore, will predictably obtain more effective results in many situations. Managers need to examine the model they are using, determine whether it is the most appropriate one, and remain flexible in their use of alternative and emerging models. Communication, a major tool for expressing managerial models, provides the focus for Chapter 3. Then, the idea of organizational behavior models is extended in Chapter 4, as we discuss social systems, roles, and status. Specifically, we look at the creation and impact of organizational cultures, which help employees sense which organizational behavior model is in use. 46 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior Social intelligence, 42 Spirituality, 41 Supportive model, 39 System model, 41 Theory X, 33 Theory Y, 34 Value premises, 32 Vision, 32 Speaking OB: Terms and Concepts for Review Autocratic model, 36 Collegial model, 40 Custodial model, 38 Fact premises, 31 Goals, 32 Micromanagement, 37 Mission, 32 Models, 33 Discussion Questions 1. Interview some managers to identify their visions for their organizations. What are those visions? Where did they come from? How successfully have they been communicated to the employees, and how successfully have they been embraced by the employees? 2. Both philosophy and vision are somewhat hazy concepts. How can they be made clear to employees? Why are philosophy and vision included as early elements in the organizational behavior system? Give an example of an organizational vision you have read about or heard of. 3. What benefits do you see from allowing and encouraging spirituality at work? What are the risks of doing so? 4. Consider an organization where you now work (or where you have worked). What model (paradigm) of organizational behavior does (did) your supervisor follow? Is (was) it the same as top management’s model? 5. Discuss similarities and differences among the five models of organizational behavior. 6. What model of organizational behavior would be most appropriate in each of the following situations? (Assume that you must use the kinds of employees and supervisors currently available in your local labor market.) a. Long-distance telephone operators in a very large office b. Accountants with a small certified professional accounting firm c. Food servers in a local restaurant of a prominent fast-food chain d. Salesclerks in a large discount department store e. Circus laborers temporarily employed to work the week that the circus is in the city 7. Discuss why the supportive, collegial, and system models of organizational behavior are especially appropriate for use in the more affluent nations. 8. Interview a supervisor or manager to identify the model of organizational behavior that person believes in. Explain why you think the supervisor’s or manager’s behavior would or would not reflect those beliefs. 9. Examine the trends in the models of organizational behavior as they have developed over a period of time. Why have the trends moved in a positive direction? 10. Assume that a friend of yours contends that “the system model is obviously ‘best’ to use with all employees, or it wouldn’t have been placed on the right side of the figure.” How would you respond? Assess Your Own Skills How well do you exhibit facilitator skills? Read the following statements carefully. Circle the number on the response scale that most closely reflects the degree to which each statement accurately describes you. Add up Organizational behavior system, 30 Paradigm shift, 35 Paradigms, 34 Philosophy, 30 Positive organizational behavior, 42 Psychological ownership, 42 Chapter 2 Models of Organizational Behavior 47 your total points and prepare a brief action plan for self-improvement. Be ready to report your score for tabulation across the entire group. Good description 1. I know how to support employee commitment to short- and long-term goals. 2. I could coach individuals and groups in appropriate skills and behaviors. 3. I feel comfortable modeling and fostering self-esteem. 4. I am likely to show genuine concern and empathy for people. 5. I would feel comfortable offering timely and acceptable feedback to others. 6. I am dedicated to influencing people to learn continuously and to share that learning with others. 7. I would help individuals identify and confront issues in ethical ways. 8. I feel comfortable expressing caring and compassion to people. 9. I believe in encouraging people to feel comfortable with change and uncertainty. 10. I would work hard to build cohesive productive work teams. Poor description 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Scoring and Interpretation Add up your total points for the 10 questions. Record that number here, and report it when it is requested. Finally, insert your total score into the “Assess and Improve Your Own Organizational Behavior Skills” chart in Appendix A. • If you scored between 81 and 100 points, you appear to have a solid capability for demonstrating facilitative skills. • If you scored between 61 and 80 points, you should take a close look at the items with lower self-assessment scores and explore ways to improve those items. • If you scored under 60 points, you should be aware that a weaker skill level regarding several items could be detrimental to your future success as a manager. We encourage you to review the entire chapter and watch for relevant material in subsequent chapters and other sources. Now identify your three lowest scores, and write the question numbers here: _____, _____, _____. Write a brief paragraph, detailing to yourself an action plan for how you might sharpen each of these skills. 48 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior Incident The New Plant Manager Toby Butterfield worked his way upward in the Montclair Company until he became assistant plant manager in the Illinois plant. Finally, his opportunity for a promotion came. The Houston plant was having difficulty meeting its budget and production quotas, so he was promoted to plant manager and transferred to the Houston plant with instructions to “straighten it out.” Butterfield was ambitious and somewhat power-oriented. He believed that the best way to solve problems was to take control, make decisions, and use his authority to carry out his decisions. After preliminary study, he issued orders for each department to cut its budget 5 percent. A week later he instructed all departments to increase production 10 percent by the following month. He required several new reports and kept a close watch on operations. At the end of the second month he dismissed three supervisors who had failed to meet their production quotas. Five other supervisors resigned. Butterfield insisted that all rules and budgets should be followed, and he allowed no exceptions. Butterfield’s efforts produced remarkable results. Productivity quickly exceeded standard by 7 percent, and within five months the plant was within budget. His record was so outstanding he was promoted to the New York home office near the end of his second year. Within a month after he left, productivity in the Houston plant collapsed to 15 percent below standard, and the budget again was in trouble. Questions 1. Discuss the model of organizational behavior Butterfield used and the kind of organizational climate he created. 2. Discuss why productivity dropped when Butterfield left the Houston plant. 3. If you were Butterfield’s New York manager, what would you tell him about his approach? How might he respond? Experiential Exercise The Rapid Corporation The Rapid Corporation is a refrigeration service organization in a large city. It has about 70 employees, mostly refrigeration service representatives. For many years the company’s policies have been dominated by its president and principal owner, Otto Blumberg, who takes pride in being a “self-made man.” Recently Otto and his office manager attended an organizational behavior seminar in which the value of a written corporate philosophy for employees was discussed. Both men agreed to draft one and compare their efforts. 1. Divide the class into three types of groups. One set of groups should draft statements for the Rapid Corporation based on the autocratic model; the second set should create comparable statements of philosophy using the supportive model as a basis; the third set should use the system model. 2. Ask representatives of each group (autocratic, supportive, and system) to read their statements to the class. Discuss their major differences. Have the class debate the usefulness of philosophy statements for guiding the organizational behavior system in a firm of this type. Generating OB Insights An insight is a new and clear perception of a phenomenon, or an acquired ability to “see” clearly something you were unaware of previously. It is sometimes simply referred to as an “ah-ha! moment,” in which you have a minirevelation or reach a straightforward conclusion about a topic or issue. Chapter 2 Models of Organizational Behavior 49 Insights need not necessarily be dramatic, for what is an insight to one person may be less important to another. The critical feature of insights is that they are relevant and memorable for you; they should represent new knowledge, new frameworks, or new ways of viewing things you want to retain and remember over time. Insights, then, are different from the information you find in the “Advice for Future Managers” boxes within the text. That advice is prescriptive and action-oriented; it indicates a recommended course of action. A useful way to think of OB insights is to assume you are the only person who has read the current chapter. You have been given the assignment to highlight, in your own words, the major concepts (not just summarize the whole chapter) that might stand out for a naive audience who has never heard of the topic before. What 10 insights would you share with them? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Nurturing Your Critical Thinking and Reflective Skills (Example) It is helpful to take a broad and integrated view of an organization as a system of interdependent parts. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Take a few minutes to review the discussion in the Roadmap for Readers of critical thinking and reflection. Remind yourself that if you can hone these abilities now, you will have a substantial competitive advantage when you apply for jobs and are asked what unique skills you can bring to the position and the organization. Critical Thinking Think back on the material you read in this chapter. What are three unique and challenging critical questions you would like to raise about this material? (These might identify something controversial about which you have doubts, they may imply that you suspect that a theory or model has weaknesses, they could examine the legitimacy of apparent causal relation- 50 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior ships, or they might assess the probable value of a suggested practice.) Be prepared to share these questions with class members or your instructor. 1. 2. 3. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Reflection This process often involves answering the parallel questions of “What do you think about the material you have read?” and “How do you feel about that material?” Therefore, express your personal thoughts and feelings (reactions) to any of the ideas or topics found in this chapter, and be prepared to share these reflections with class members or your instructor. 1. 2. 3. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ This page intentionally left blank Chapter Three Managing Communications It’s important to draw a distinction between knowing lots of people (visibility) and having an effective network of people with whom you have profitable relationships. Patricia A. Muir 1 People have a channel of communication that revolves not around words but around social relations . . . even though we are largely unaware of it. Alex Pentland et al.2 CHAPTER OBJECTIVES AFTER STUDYING THIS CHAPTER, YOU SHOULD UNDERSTAND 3-1 The Two-Way Communication Process 3-2 Barriers to Communication 3-3 Factors Leading to Effective Communication 3-4 Downward and Upward Communications Problems 3-5 The Roles of Questioning and Listening 3-6 Social Networking Tools 3-7 The Impact of Electronic Communications 3-8 Organizational Grapevines and Rumors 52 Facebook Page Student A: Breaking news—I’m going to learn how to manage my communications! Student B: Big deal. Haven’t you been talking since you were two years old? Student A: Sure, but now I see that communication is broken down into seven key steps—at least when two-way exchanges are involved. In addition, a handful of barriers get in the way of success—you know, things like semantic jargon, physical barriers, and psychological distance. Student C: How about writing? We have a lot of that to do, too. Student A: I glanced ahead in the chapter, and found a bunch of guidelines that will help me there. It also presents some ideas for how to become a more effective listener, which YOU ought to read! Student C: Thanks, wise guy. Student B: What are the most engaging topics that you see in the chapter? Student A: I think that will include feedback-seeking behavior, networking, and the grapevine. And I almost forgot; there’s a section on telecommuting, which I hope to do someday. Student B: You’d better hope so; then you won’t have to worry about all those cool ”tats” and piercings you got on spring break last year. Members of a hospital’s board of directors were listening to an appeal to spend substantial capital funds to upgrade a CT scanner. “But why do we need all of these extra features?” asked one board member. “Because,” explained a physician, “it will allow us to reexamine the CT scans for a patient from a different set of perspectives after he or she is gone.” “But why would you care to analyze the scans after a patient is dead?” innocently asked another board member (who happened to be a funeral director). Only after widespread laughter did the physician realize that his use of the word “gone” had two very different meanings among his audience—departed from the health care facility versus departed from this world. Communication is the ever-present activity by which people relate to one another and combine their efforts, and is necessary to perpetuate the health of the organization. Just as people may develop arteriosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries that restricts the flow of blood and the nutrients it carries, so may an organization develop similar problems with its information arteries. The result is the same—unnecessarily reduced efficiency due to key information being blocked or restricted at various points throughout the organization. And just like the medical ailment, preventing the problem is usually easier than trying to find a cure. Today’s employees have a powerful desire to know what is going on and how they fit into the larger picture. More than ever before, managers need to engage in systematic and extensive communications in upward, downward, and lateral directions. As you will read later, listening skills that focus on the receiver—and a healthy dose of humility— remain highly important in the communication process. Further, as technology spreads ever wider, the human element of communication must not be forgotten. In this chapter, the significance of communication in the workplace is explored in depth. Also discussed are networking, social technologies, and informal communication. 53 Engaging Your Brain 1. Rate your own communication effectiveness on a scale from 1 (Poor) to 10 (Excellent). Now, using the same response scale, rate the average skill of your peers. Discuss the two scores, and share your data with other students. 2. How persuasive are you in getting others to accept your ideas and change their behaviors? What tools of persuasion do you have at your disposal? 3. What would you do if your instructor told you that no information about your grade in this class would be posted until the end of the academic term? How likely are you to take the initiative to contact the instructor several times to obtain personal feedback from him/her? If not, why not? COMMUNICATION FUNDAMENTALS Communication is the transfer of information and understanding from one person to another. It is a way of reaching others by transmitting ideas, facts, thoughts, feelings, and values. Its goal is to have the receiver understand the message as it was intended and (often) to act upon that information. When communication is effective, it provides a bridge of meaning between the two people so they can each share what they feel and know. By using this bridge, both parties can safely cross the river of misunderstanding that sometimes separates people. A survey of managers regarding their beliefs about a variety of skill areas showed two dramatic conclusions. First, “communication” was rated as the most important skill to the organization. Second, the current competency level of managers in their communications was ranked just 12th out of 20 items. Clearly, there is room for improvement (a major gap) in this critical skill area.3 Two or more people are required Understanding is critical for success Communication always involves at least two people—a sender and a receiver. One person alone cannot communicate. Only one or more receivers can complete the communication act. This fact is obvious when you think of being stranded by yourself on an island and calling for help when there is no one to hear the call. The need for a receiver is not so obvious to managers who send out memos to employees. They tend to assume that when their messages are sent, they have communicated; but transmission of the message is only a beginning. A manager may send a hundred messages, but there is no effective communication until each one is received, read, and understood. Communication is what the receiver understands, not what the sender says. The Importance of Communication Organizations cannot exist without communication. If there is no communication, employees cannot know what their co-workers are doing, management cannot receive information inputs, and supervisors and team leaders cannot give instructions. Coordination of work is impossible, and the organization will collapse for lack of it. Cooperation also becomes impossible, because people cannot communicate their needs and feelings to others. We can say with confidence that every act of communication influences the organization in some way, just as the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in California influences (however slightly) the subsequent wind velocity in Boston. Communication helps accomplish all the basic management functions—planning, organizing, leading, and controlling—so that organizations can achieve their goals and meet their challenges. 54 Chapter 3 Managing Communications 55 When communication is effective, it tends to facilitate better performance and improve job satisfaction. People understand their jobs better and feel more involved in them. In some instances, they even will voluntarily give up some of their long-established privileges because they see that a sacrifice is necessary. Management in one firm persuaded production employees to bring their own coffee and have coffee breaks at their machines instead of taking a regular lost-time coffee break in the cafeteria. The company had dealt directly and frankly with them. It presented to employee group meetings a chart of electricity use for the plant, showing how power use was less than half of normal for 15 minutes before and after a coffee break, plus the normal production loss during the break. The company made a sound case for the fact that this long period of inactivity and partial activity prevented profitable operation. The power-use charts were convincing, and employees readily accepted the new coffee-break policy. Open communication contributes to transparency The positive response of those employees supports one of the basic propositions of organizational behavior—that open and candid communication is generally better than restricted communication. This proposition is based on the contemporary desire for transparency in all organizations and at all levels. Managers who are transparent are open, candid, clear, honest, and accessible. They accomplish this by sharing meaningful information on a timely basis with employees. Consequently, if employees know the problems an organization is facing and hear what managers are trying to do, they will usually respond favorably. To focus solely on communication with employees and ignore the needs of managers would be easy, but that approach would provide a limited view. Management’s role is critical, for managers not only initiate communications but also pass them on to, and interpret them for, employees. Just as a photograph can be no clearer than the negative from which it is printed, managers cannot transmit a message more clearly than their own understanding of it. Kiki, a department supervisor, received a copy of a 110-page report. Instead of distributing it directly to her staff and expecting them to read and absorb the entire report, she prepared a two-page abbreviation and gave it to each member. Although they appreciated the time she saved for them, they realized they were now dependent on her interpretation of the total report. Similarly, the quality of Kiki’s summary depended on the readability of the original report as well as her own skills of interpretation and condensation. Features of an executive summary The product that the supervisor in the preceding example prepared is commonly known as an executive summary, which is a useful tool for communicating both to employees and to busy superiors. In its briefest form, an executive summary provides concise highlights of a longer document or set of reports, often as an aid to rapid decision making. Major topics covered in a 1-2 page document typically include background information, a problem statement, alternatives considered, pros and cons of each, and recommendations. Managers need timely and useful information to make sound decisions. Inadequate or poor data can affect a broad area of performance because the scope of managerial influence is quite wide. Very simply, managerial decisions affect many people and many activities. The Two-Way Communication Process Eight steps in the process The two-way communication process is the method by which a sender reaches a receiver with a message. The process always requires eight steps, whether the two parties talk, use hand signals, or employ some advanced-technology means of communication. The steps are shown in Figure 3.1. 56 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior FIGURE 3.1 The Communication Process Message S E Develop N idea D E R Steps: 1 Encode Transmit 2 3 Barriers Bridge of meaning Receive Decode Accept Use 4 5 6 7 R E C E I V E R Feedback for two-way communication 8 Perceptions are influenced through the context provided Receiver controls steps 4 to 8 Develop an Idea Step 1 is to develop an idea that the sender wishes to transmit. This is the key step, because unless there is a worthwhile message, all the other steps are somewhat useless. This step is represented by the sign, sometimes seen on office or factory walls, that reads, “Be sure brain is engaged before putting mouth in gear.” Encode Step 2 is to encode (convert) the idea into suitable words, charts, or other symbols for transmission. At this point, the sender determines the method of transmission so that the words and symbols may be organized in suitable fashion for the type of transmission. For example, back-and-forth conversation usually is not organized the same way as a formal report. The key to successful encoding lies in the process of framing an issue for presentation. Framing uses rich, colorful, carefully selected language to shape the perceptions of recipients. The sender of a communication attempts to frame an issue by placing it in a particular context, tone, or background to manage the meaning in the way it was intended. For example, note the difference between framing the competition for new customers as a “problem” versus an “opportunity.” Framing is a potent tool for managers to create vivid images and memorable messages, influence the recipient’s perceptions, and thereby shape the attitudes and actions of their followers. Transmit When the message finally is developed, step 3 is to transmit it by the method chosen, such as by memo, phone call, or personal visit. The sender also chooses a certain channel, such as bypassing or not bypassing a co-worker, and communicates with careful timing. For example, the sender may decide that today may not be the right day to talk to the manager about that pay raise. The sender also tries to keep the communication channel free of barriers, or interference, as shown in Figure 3.1, so that the message has a chance to reach the receiver and hold his or her attention. In employment interviewing or performance appraisals, for example, freedom from distraction is highly desirable. Receive Transmission allows another person to receive a message, which is step 4. In this step, the initiative transfers to the receiver, who tunes in to receive the message. If it is oral, the receiver needs to be a good listener, a skill that is discussed shortly. If the receiver does not function, the message is lost. Andrea sent an urgent request to a professional colleague across the country for a copy of a diagram she needed for a presentation later that day. “I’ll fax it to you,” Derrick responded. Each time he tried, however, a message appeared telling him On the Job: Montana Log Homes The encoding-decoding sequence is somewhat like the activity involved when Montana Log Homes are first constructed in Kalispell, Montana. The completed home cannot be moved in one piece, so it has to be disassembled log by log, with each log marked as to its proper location. This process is similar to the action of a sender who has an idea and encodes (dismantles) it into a series of words, each marked by location and other means to guide the receiver. In order to move the idea (transmit it), the sender needs to take it apart by putting it into words. The reassembly of the home log by log at its final destination is similar to the action of a receiver who takes the words received and mentally reassembles them into whole ideas. If one log (or word) is misused, the entire structure (message) may be weakened. that the fax transmission did not go through. After he called Andrea to explain this perplexing problem, she checked her machine and found it had run out of paper. Only after fixing the problem did she receive the needed message. Need for understanding Decode Step 5 is to decode the message so it can be understood. The sender wants the receiver to understand the message exactly as it was sent. For example, if the sender transmits the equivalent of a square and the decoding step produces a circle, then a message has been sent, but not much understanding has taken place. Understanding can occur only in a receiver’s mind. A communicator may make others listen, but there is no way to make them understand. The receiver alone chooses whether to understand or not. Many employers overlook this fact when giving instructions or explanations. They think that telling someone is sufficient, but the communication cannot proceed until there is understanding. This process is known as “getting through” to a person (see “On the Job: Montana Log Homes”). Accept Once the receiver has obtained and decoded a message, that person has the opportunity to accept or reject it, which is step 6. The sender, of course, would like the receiver to accept the communication in the manner intended so activities can progress as planned. Acceptance, however, is a matter of choice and degree, such that the receiver has considerable control over whether or not to embrace all the message or just parts of it. Some factors affecting the acceptance decision revolve around perceptions of the message’s accuracy, the authority and credibility of the sender, the sender’s persuasive skills (see “What Managers Are Reading”), and the behavioral implications for the receiver. Use Step 7 in the communication process is for the receiver to use the information. The receiver may discard it, perform the task as directed, store the information for the future, or do something else. This is a critical action step, and the receiver is largely in control of what to do. Provide Feedback When the receiver acknowledges the message and responds to the sender, feedback has occurred. Feedback completes the communication loop, because there is a message flow from the sender to the receiver and back to the sender, as shown by the feedback arrow (step 8) at the bottom of Figure 3.1. Engaging in two-way communication can be compared to playing the game of tennis. Consider the process that must go on in the mind of one of its powerful young stars, Venus Williams. As Venus serves the ball, she cannot tell herself, “My next shot will be a crosscourt forehand.” Her next shot, to be effective, must depend on feedback from the receiver—that is, on where and how her opponent returns the serve. Venus undoubtedly has an overall strategy for the match, but each of her shots must be contingent on the way the ball is returned to her—its force, spin, and placement—and on the position of her opponent on the opposite side of the court. 57 What Managers Are Reading PERSUASION TOOLS ARE NEEDED Managers are marketers, according to psychologist Robert Cialdini and his colleagues. They need to use their charisma, eloquence, and verbal skills to persuade others above and below them to accept their ideas and change their behaviors. Perhaps surprisingly, hierarchical power seldom works to achieve these ends. What does work are six fundamental principles of persuasion: 1. Liking—Uncover similarities to build bonds with others, and offer genuine praise to them. 2. Reciprocity—Give what you want to receive. 3. Social proof—Use peer power whenever it is available. 4. Consistency—Solicit commitments that are active, public, and voluntary. 5. Authority—Don’t assume that your expertise is self-evident; expose it. 6. Scarcity—Accent the unique and exclusive benefits of your product/service. Sources: Noah J. Goldstein, Steve J. Martin, and Robert B. Cialdini, Yes!:50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive, New York: Free Press, 2008, and Robert B. Cialdini, Influence: Science and Practice, 4th ed., Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2001. If Venus fails to match her shots to her opponent’s game, she will find that her game is not as effective as it could have been that day. As is the case in communication, ignoring feedback limits the likelihood that the exchange will be successful. Senders require feedback Two-way communication, made possible by feedback, has a back-and-forth pattern. In two-way communication, the speaker sends a message and the receiver’s response comes back to the speaker. The result is a developing play-by-play situation in which the speaker can, and should, adjust the next message to fit the previous response of the receiver. The sender needs feedback—the final step—because it tells whether the message was received, decoded properly, accepted, and used. If necessary, the sender should seek and request feedback from the receiver. When this two-way communication occurs, both parties experience greater satisfaction, frustration is prevented, and work accuracy is greatly improved. Potential Problems Possible problem of cognitive dissonance 58 Two-way communication is not exclusively beneficial. It also can cause difficulties. Two people may strongly disagree about some item but not realize it until they establish twoway communication. When they expose their different viewpoints, they may become polarized, taking even more extreme positions. When threatened with the potential embarrassment of losing an argument, people tend to abandon logic and rationality, and engage in defensive reasoning. They blame others, selectively gather and use data, seek to remain in control, and suppress negative feelings. Defensive reasoning is designed to avoid risk and the appearance of incompetence, but it typically results in a drive toward control and an emphasis on winning. Defensive reasoning predictably detracts from effective communications, and can easily result in hard feelings between the participants. Another difficulty that may emerge is cognitive dissonance. This is the internal conflict and anxiety that occurs when people receive information incompatible with their value systems, prior decisions, or other information they may have. Since people do not feel comfortable with dissonance, they try to remove or reduce it. Perhaps they will try to obtain new communication inputs, change their interpretation of the inputs, reverse their decision, or change their values. They may even refuse to believe the dissonant input, or they may rationalize it out of the way. Chapter 3 Managing Communications 59 Face-saving is important to people. Senders always need to communicate with care, because communication is a potent form of self-revelation to others as well as a source of possible evaluation. Not only are we disclosing something about ourselves (content) when we speak, but others are judging us at the same time. This creates pressure to engage in face-saving—an attempt to preserve or even enhance our valued self-concept (face) when it is attacked. Our very self-esteem is threatened when people say something to us that we wish they had not. Sometimes they, too, regret having said something that challenges our self-concept, personal image, or social honor. Although such regrettable messages are often unintended, they usually create hurt feelings and defensiveness in the recipient, place stress on the relationship, or even cause the relationship to deteriorate.4 Regrettable messages may include several types, such as outright verbal blunders, personal attacks, stereotyped slurs, sarcastic criticism, or harmful information. People often send regrettable messages during an emotional confrontation, as in this example: Damian (an accounting supervisor) and Janny (a marketing manager) had both interviewed a series of candidates for the position of auditor. Later, they got together with three other department heads to make the final selection. When Janny pointed out a weakness she saw in one candidate, Damian reacted sharply by questioning her capacity to assess auditing skills, due to the fact that she had spent her entire career in marketing. Janny, of course, was furious at having her integrity attacked. Although Damian later apologized to her and claimed he regretted the incident, Janny never forgot the remark. Should you use a challenging or supportive voice? Another communication problem arises when individuals do not use the most appropriate tone (or words) when expressing their thoughts and feelings. Employees are more likely (and willing) to speak up when they believe that their managers are open, receptive, and non-judgmental. The positive effects of speaking up can include higher quality decisions, better teamwork, and more effective organizational performance. However, managerial receptivity depends on the nature of employee voice—the discretionary verbal behavior that is intended to be beneficial to the organization. Voice can be classified as either challenging or supportive. A challenging voice is more extreme, questioning, and wave-making in nature, and characterized by hostile, tactless, and angry tones. This voice is often not received well by managers who value unity and consensus. The constructive alternative is to use a supportive voice, which tends to raise more gentle questions, suggests incremental changes, bases proposals on evidence (versus speculation or opinion), and leaves room for modification of proposals. A supportive voice is also warmer, softer, and more tentative in nature. This type of voice is more likely to be accepted by managers, who perceive the employee as more loyal to the organization.5 Communication Barriers Even when the receiver receives the message and makes a genuine effort to decode it, a number of interferences may limit the receiver’s understanding. These obstacles act as noise, or barriers to communication, and may emerge in either the physical surroundings (such as a co-worker’s humming overshadowing your phone conversation) or within an individual’s emotions (the distraction of the receiver’s concern about a sick relative). Noise may entirely prevent a communication, filter out part of it, or give it incorrect meaning. Three types of barriers are personal, physical, and semantic. Personal Barriers Personal barriers are communication interferences that arise from human emotions, values, and poor listening habits. They may also stem from differences in education, race, sex, socioeconomic status, and other factors. Personal barriers are a 60 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior Psychological distance common occurrence in work situations, with common examples including distracting verbal habits (e.g., needless repetition of “ah” or including “you know” or “like” in nearly every sentence) or physical actions (e.g., tapping one’s fingers). Personal barriers often involve a psychological distance—a feeling of being emotionally separated—between people that is similar to actual physical distance. For example, Mark talks down to Janet through his choice of words and facial expressions. Janet predictably resents this treatment, and her resentment separates them. Our emotions act as perceptual filters in nearly all our communications. We see and hear what we are emotionally tuned to see and hear, so communication is guided by our expectations. We also communicate our interpretation of reality instead of reality itself. Someone has said, “No matter what you say a thing is, it isn’t,” meaning that the sender is merely giving an emotionally filtered perception of it. Under these conditions, when the sender’s and receiver’s perceptions are reasonably close together, their communication will be more effective. Physical Barriers Physical barriers are communication interferences that occur in the environment in which the communication takes place. A typical physical barrier is a sudden distracting noise that temporarily drowns out a voice message. Other physical barriers include distances between people, walls around a worker’s cubicle, or static that interferes with radio messages. People frequently recognize when physical interference occurs and try to compensate for it. When visitors came to her office, Carmen Valencia used to sit rigidly behind her desk, leaving the other person somewhat distant on the other side of the desk. This arrangement created a psychological distance and clearly established her as the leader and superior in the interaction. Finally sensing this, Carmen rearranged her office so a visitor sat beside her on the same side of her desk. This arrangement suggested more receptiveness and equality of interaction with visitors. It also had the advantage of providing a work area on her desk for mutual examination of work documents. When she wished to establish a more informal relationship, particularly with her team members, she came around to the front of the desk and sat in a chair near the employee. Proper distance Carmen’s behavior also illustrates the practice of maintaining proper physical distance between two parties as they communicate. The study of such spatial separation is called proxemics; it involves the exploration of different practices and feelings about interpersonal space within and across cultures. In the United States, general practice allows intimate communications between close friends to occur at very short range (e.g., 6 to 18 inches). Global Communication Practices Not only is it important to know and observe common practice with regard to the nature of the underlying relationships (intimate, friendly, work-related, or casual) between two parties; it is also imperative that these practices be adapted for cultural differences. In some societies, sharply different practices prevail. For example, Latin American and Asian cultures generally favor closer distances for personal conversations, and workers in Arab countries often maintain extremely close distances, coupled with actual physical contact. Therefore, the sender should be aware of cultural norms and the receiver’s preferences, and make an effort to understand and adapt to them. Question: What assumptions do you make about a person who stands too close to you? Too far away from you? Chapter 3 Managing Communications 61 Fact versus inference Conversations with acquaintances are often held at a 3- or 4-foot personal distance. Work-related discussions between colleagues may occur at a social distance of 4 to 12 feet, with more impersonal and formal conversations in public occurring at even greater distances. Semantic Barriers Semantics is the science of meaning, as contrasted with phonetics, the science of sounds. Nearly all communication is symbolic—that is, it is achieved using symbols (words, pictures, and actions) that suggest certain meanings. These symbols are merely a map that describes a territory, but they are not the real territory itself; hence they must be decoded and interpreted by the receiver. Before we introduce the three types of symbols, however, an additional form of barrier, one that has its origin in semantics, deserves mention. Semantic barriers arise from limitations in the symbols with which we communicate. Symbols usually have a variety of meanings, and we have to choose one meaning from many. Sometimes we choose the wrong meaning and misunderstanding occurs. An illustration is the case of the board of directors at the beginning of this chapter. This is particularly likely when communicators use jargon, which is the specialized language of a group. Jargon can include the use of acronyms (first letters of each word in a phrase, such as using OB for organizational behavior), slang (words unique to an age or ethnic or racial group), or distinctive terms that are created by a professional or interest group (e.g., “bandwidth” or “onboarding” or “rightsizing”). Interestingly, jargon is beneficial within a group, but it often creates problems across different groups—and especially with new members who aren’t yet familiar with the terms. Semantics presents a particularly difficult challenge when people from different cultures attempt to communicate with each other. Not only must both parties learn the literal meanings of words in the other language, they must also interpret the words within their context and the way in which they are used (tone, volume, and accompanying nonverbal gestures). Clearly, the emerging global economy demands that sensitive managers everywhere overcome the extra burden that semantic barriers place on their intercultural communications. Whenever we interpret a symbol on the basis of our assumptions instead of the facts, we are making an inference. Inferences are an essential part of most communication. We cannot avoid them by waiting until all communication is factual before accepting it. However, since inferences can give a wrong signal, we must always be aware of them and appraise them carefully. When doubts arise, more information can be sought. Communication Symbols Context provides meaning Words Words are the main communication symbol used at work. Many employees spend more than 50 percent of their time in some form of verbal communication. A major difficulty occurs, however, since nearly every common word has several meanings. Multiple meanings are necessary because we are trying to talk about an infinitely complex world while using only a limited number of words. The complexities of a single language are compounded when people from diverse backgrounds—such as different educational levels, ethnic heritages, or cultures—attempt to communicate. No wonder we have trouble communicating with one another! If words really have no single meaning, how can managers make sense with them in communicating with employees? The answer lies in context, which is the environment surrounding the use of a word. For example, using the term “dummy” to describe another person in an argument at the office may be derogatory, but using it to refer to the person serving as dummy in a social game of bridge is acceptable. We need to surround key words with the context of other words and symbols until their meanings are narrowed to fairly 62 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior Social cues Readability FIGURE 3.2 Clear Writing Guidelines Sources: Adapted from Frank Luntz, “Words that Pack Power,” BusinessWeek, November 3, 2008, p. 106 and Readingease: The Key to Understanding, Employee Relations Staff. General Motors Corporation, n.d. certain limits and potential confusion is minimized. Consequently, effective communicators are idea-centered rather than just word-centered. They know that words do not provide meaning, people do. Context provides meaning to words partially through the cues people receive from their social environment, such as friends and co-workers. Social cues are positive or negative bits of information that influence how people react to a communication. Examples of social cues are job titles, patterns of dress, and the historical use of words in a particular region of the country or ethnic group. Our susceptibility to being influenced by these cues varies, depending on the credibility of the source, our past exposure to the item, the ambiguity of the cue, and individual differences such as diverse cultural backgrounds. It is always important to be aware of social cues, because use of language with inadequate context creates a semantic smog. Like a real smog, it irritates our senses and interferes with the accuracy of our perceptions. Since the meaning of words is difficult to impart even with the use of context, a reasonable assumption is that if these symbols can be simplified, the receiver will understand them more easily. Further, if symbols of the type that receivers prefer are used, the receivers will be more receptive. This assumption is behind the idea of readability, which is the process of making writing and speech more understandable. Figure 3.2 offers some guidelines for more readable writing. When you write your next report for a class, check it before submitting it to see if you have successfully practiced the ideas in Figure 3.2. Monitoring readability and simplifying documents is a critical communication task. For example, many members of the U.S. labor force have some language difficulties. Millions of Americans are functionally illiterate and do not have the skills to read and write effectively. This means they do not always have the reading skills necessary to comprehend even basic job descriptions or work orders assigning them to tasks. In addition, as increasing proportions of the workforce are drawn from diverse cultural backgrounds, English is a second language for many. This means that English terms and phrases common to some workers may appear strange to others. Such language needs to be avoided, or at least clarified. Since the main purpose of communication is to make Guidelines for Readable Writing • Use simple and familiar words and phrases. These ease the reader’s task, and make comprehension more likely. • Use powerful words that resonate with your audience. Excellent examples include “consequences,” and “impact” and “commitment.” • Use personal pronouns such as “you” and “them,” if the style permits. These help the receiver relate to the message. • Use illustrations, examples, and charts. Remember that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” • Use short sentences and paragraphs. You want to express your thoughts efficiently. • Use active verbs. These carry more impact, and can be used to demonstrate your passion for the subject. • Use only necessary words. Be crisp and concise. • Use a clear structure. Employ headings and subheadings to demonstrate you are following an outline. • Help the reader see what is important. Apply techniques of emphasis (e.g., boldface, underlining, or italics) to accent the ideas you believe are most important. Include helpful lists of key points, accented by numbers or bullets. On the Job: Lake Superior Paper Industries One organization, Lake Superior Paper Industries (now the Duluth, Minnesota, mill of NewPage Corp.), planned to build a state-of-the-art paper mill. Because of the complexity of the technology involved, the $400 million construction cost, and the serious impact of any delays in the mill’s construction, the company decided to build a three-dimensional room-sized model of the entire building and its contents. Company officials claimed that this one “picture,” created at a cost of over $1 million, saved them many times that amount by letting designers and construction personnel see precisely where layout problems would occur before costly conflicts actually arose. ourselves understood, we clearly must consider the needs of receivers and adapt our use of words to their level. Pictures A second type of symbol is the picture, which is used to clarify word communication. Organizations make extensive use of pictures, such as blueprints, progress charts, diagrams, causal maps, visual aids in training programs, scale models of products, and similar devices. Pictures can provide powerful visual images, as suggested by the proverb “A picture is worth a thousand words.” To be most effective, however, pictures should be combined with well-chosen words and actions to tell a complete story (see the story of the three-dimensional “picture” in “On the Job: Lake Superior Paper Industries”). Action (Nonverbal Communication) Actions have meaning Credibility gaps cause problems A third type of communication symbol is action, also known as nonverbal communication. Often people forget that what they do or say is open to interpretation by others. For example, a handshake and a smile have meaning. A raise in pay or being late for an appointment also has meaning. Two significant points about action are sometimes overlooked. One point is that failure to act is an important way of communicating. A manager who fails to praise an employee for a job well done or fails to provide promised resources is sending a message to that person. Since we send messages by both action and inaction, we communicate almost all the time at work, regardless of our intentions. A second point is that actions speak louder than words, at least in the long run. Managers who say one thing but do another will soon find that their employees “listen” mostly to what they do. The manager’s behavior is the stronger social cue. A typical example is an executive who verbally advocates ethical behavior but repeatedly violates the company’s own code of conduct. Employees receive mixed signals and may find it convenient to mimic the executive’s unethical actions. When there is a difference between what someone says and does, a credibility gap exists. Communication credibility is based on three factors: trustworthiness, expertise, and dynamism.6 These three factors suggest that managers must act with integrity, speak from a strong base of knowledge, and deliver their messages with confidence, enthusiasm, and passion. Although a manager’s credibility can take years to develop, only a few moments are required to destroy the trust that employees have. The following illustration shows how a large credibility gap can result in the loss of confidence in a leader: Willie Beacon, the zone manager of a sales office, emphasized the idea that he depended upon his employees to help him do a good job because, as he stated it, “You salespeople are the ones in direct contact with the customer, and you get much valuable information and many useful suggestions.” In most of his sales meetings, he said he always welcomed employees’ ideas and suggestions. But here is how 63 64 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior he translated his words into action: In those same sales meetings, the schedule was so tight that by the time he finished his pep talk, there was no time for anyone to present problems or ask questions, and he would hardly tolerate any questions or comments during his talk because he claimed that interruptions destroyed its punch. If a salesperson tried to present a suggestion in Willie’s office, Willie usually began with, “Fine, I’m glad you brought in your suggestion.” Before long, however, he would direct the conversation to some subject on his mind, or would have to keep an appointment, or would find some other reason for never quite getting to the suggestion. The few suggestions that did get through, he rebuffed with, “Yeah, I thought of that a long time ago, but it won’t work.” The eventual result was that he received no useful suggestions. His actions spoke louder than his words. His credibility gap was too large for employees to overcome. Body language provides meaning An important part of nonverbal communication is body language, by which people communicate meaning to others with their bodies in interpersonal interaction. Body language is an important supplement to verbal communication in most parts of the world. Facial expressions are especially important sources of body language in work situations. Examples are eye contact, eye movement, smiles and frowns, and a furrowed brow. In one instance, a manager frowned when an employee brought a suggestion, and the employee interpreted the frown as a rejection when in fact it was a headache. In another instance, a smile at an inappropriate time was interpreted as a derisive sneer, and an argument erupted. Nonverbal cues can be either inadvertent, as in the preceding examples, or intentional, thus adding complexity to the communication process. Other types of body language are physical touch, hand and hip movements, leaning forward or back, crossing one’s arms or legs, and sighing or yawning. Despite the wealth of data available from nonverbal cues, their interpretation is highly subjective and loaded with the potential for error. Caution is in order. The Impact of Barriers on the Communication Process We have now reviewed a sampling of the barriers that impede the exchange of communication between two people. Next, it is valuable to examine which of those barriers exert their impact on the actions in the eight-step communication process outlined previously in Figure 3.1. This allows managers, as students of organizational behavior, to direct their attention toward minimizing the effects of specific barriers. Figure 3.3 suggests that the personal barriers have a pervasive effect on communications. Emotions can affect the development of an idea for presentation, the method and FIGURE 3.3 Primary Impact of Barriers on the Steps in Communication Personal Barriers Communication Steps 1. Develop 2. Encode 3. Transmit 4. Receive 5. Decode 6. Accept 7. Use 8. Feedback Emotions Listening Physical Barriers Psychological Distance Noise Geographical Distance X X X X X Semantic Barriers Semantics Symbols X X X X X X X X X X X X X X Chapter 3 Managing Communications 65 form of its transmission, how it is decoded, and most certainly whether it is accepted. Listening skills (discussed on pages 69–72) have a powerful impact on the effectiveness of a message’s receipt and interpretation (decoding). Feelings of psychological distance largely impact the receipt, acceptance, and usage of a message, in addition to the quality of feedback provided to the sender. Physical barriers such as noise and geographical distance primarily affect the transmission and receipt of messages, whereas semantic issues and various communication symbols most often create problems in the encoding, decoding, and acceptance stages. The overall message for managers is that barriers can—and do—affect the effectiveness of communications at all eight stages. The active participants in a communication exchange—just like two acrobats on a trapeze—dare not let their guards down for even an instant, or the negative consequences can be long-lasting! DOWNWARD COMMUNICATION Downward communication in an organization is the flow of information from higher to lower levels of authority. Almost one-half of managerial communications are with subordinates, with the remainder divided among superiors, peers, and external recipients. To communicate downward, some executives rely on colorful booklets, flashy PowerPoint presentations, and elaborately planned employee meetings. These approaches, while attention-getting, often fail to achieve employee understanding—one of the goals of effective communication. The key to better communication lies not just in the use of color, action, and electronic aids but in the presentation of information by more sensitive managers who prepare carefully and convey their messages with candor, energy, personal stories, and warmth. Managers who communicate successfully are sensitive to human needs and open to true dialogue with their employees. Prerequisites and Problems Four prerequisites Part of management’s failure has been that it did not prepare for effective communication. It failed to lay a good foundation, so its communication house was built upon sand. A solid foundation has four cornerstones that act as prerequisites for an effective approach. First, managers need to develop a positive communication attitude. They must convince themselves that communication is an important part of their jobs, as research on managerial responsibilities convincingly shows. Second, managers must continually work to get informed. They need to seek out relevant information of interest to employees, share it, and help employees feel informed. Third, managers need to consciously plan for communication, and they must do this at the beginning of a course of action. Finally, managers must develop trust; as mentioned earlier, trust between senders and receivers is important in all communication. If subordinates do not trust their superiors, they are not as likely to listen to or believe management’s messages. Consider the case of two employees from the same firm who were told by their manager not to discuss pay with each other, because the other one might be unhappy to learn of having a lower salary. Later, at a New Year’s Eve party, they started talking with each other about their salaries and soon discovered they were earning exactly the same amount. How much will they trust their manager in the future? Communication Overload Managers sometimes operate with the philosophy that more communication is better communication. They give employees enormous amounts of information until employees find 66 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior An Ethics Question Your organization just announced that it will be making about a 15 percent cutback in employment to “rightsize” itself for a diminishing market. With 24 people reporting directly to you, this would translate into about 3 or 4 people who will lose their jobs, and you have already submitted a prioritized list of 3, 4, or 5 persons who might be candidates for this reduction in force. However, you were asked to keep the list confidential until upper management finalizes its targets for reduction. In the meantime, one of the five people you identified came to you to inquire about his chances of being retained through the cutback. Question: Is telling him ethical? Why or why not? they are overwhelmed with data, but their understanding is not improved. What happens is a communication overload, in which employees receive more communication inputs than they can process or more than they need. The keys to better communication are timing and quality, not quantity. It is possible to have better understanding with less total communication if it is of high quality and delivered at the appropriate moment. Quality is preferable to quantity Acceptance of a Communication As pointed out earlier, acceptance of a message by the receiver is critical; without acceptance, communication breaks down. Several conditions encourage acceptance of a communication: • • • • • • Acknowledged legitimacy of the sender to send a message Perceived competence of the sender relative to the issue Trust in the sender as a leader and as a person Perceived credibility of the message received Acceptance of the tasks and goals that the communication is trying to accomplish Power of the sender to enforce sanctions (either directly or indirectly) on the receiver If overload can be prevented and the likelihood of acceptance ensured through the use of these six conditions, then managers can turn their attention toward the satisfaction of four important communication needs of employees. Communication Needs Performance is improved by feedback Employees at lower levels have at least four critical communication needs—job instruction, performance feedback, news, and social support. Managers think that they understand employees’ needs, but often their employees do not think so.7 This fundamental difference in perception tends to exist at each level in organizations, thereby making communication more difficult. It causes downward communicators to be overconfident and probably not take enough care with their downward messages. Job Instruction One communication need of employees is proper instruction regarding their work. Managers secure better results if they state their instructions in terms of the objective requirements of the job as well as the opportunities and potential problem areas. The consequences of inadequate job instructions can be disastrous, as illustrated in “On the Job: Diamond Tool.” Performance Feedback Employees also need feedback about their performance. Feedback helps them know what to do and how well they are meeting their own goals. It shows that others are interested in what they are doing. Assuming that performance is satisfactory, feedback enhances employees’ self-image and feelings of competence. Generally, performance feedback leads to both improved performance and improved attitudes. On the Job: Diamond Tool A manufacturer of small tools, Diamond Tool, hired a new sales representative, gave him a tour of the plant and a copy of the product catalog, and assigned him to a territory. A few weeks later, the representative jubilantly sent in an order for 100,000 units of a multipurpose tool. Only then did the Feedback-seeking behavior company realize it had neglected to tell him that that product was never promoted to its customers because the tool was priced well below the company’s cost of producing it (in order to match a competitor’s price). The result was that the company lost over $10,000 on this one order! Giving feedback is a challenging task for managers. The process is discussed in depth in Chapter 6. Some dedicated employees even engage in feedback-seeking behavior, in which they actively search for information about their prior performance and possible areas of improvement. Feedback-seeking individuals can actively monitor cues regarding their own performance (“This report tells me I’m still 3 percent over my budget”) and inquire about progress toward their goals (“How am I doing?”). Employees are more likely to engage in feedback-seeking behavior if they have a strong competence motive, a powerful drive to self-evaluate, if they currently lack feedback from others, and if the results are not expected to threaten their self-esteem.8 Managers should encourage this behavior and attempt to satisfy employees’ needs for performance-related information. News Downward messages should reach employees as fresh and timely news rather than as a stale confirmation of what already has been learned from other sources. Employees are impatient, and rightfully so, for they cannot act effectively on the basis of old information. Contemporary methods include closed-circuit television, daily recorded voicemail messages that employees can receive by dialing a certain number (even from their homes), electronic mail systems, and Websites (see “On the Job: McDonnell Douglas”). Social Support Another communication need that employees have at work is social support, which is the perception that they are cared for, esteemed, and valued. When interpersonal warmth and trust are displayed by managers, there may be positive impacts on psychological and physical health, as well as job satisfaction and performance. Note, though, that whether a manager communicates about task assignments, career subjects, or personal matters; or provides performance feedback; or responds to questions raised, employees report feeling a greater level of social support.9 Apparently, it is the presence (and caring delivery) of communication, not the topic itself, that is most important for satisfying this particular need. UPWARD COMMUNICATION If the two-way flow of information is broken by poor upward communication, management loses touch with employee needs and lacks sufficient information to make sound decisions. It is, therefore, unable to provide needed task and social support for employees. Management needs to tune in to employees in the same way a person with a radio tunes in. This process requires initiative, positive action, sensitivity to weak signals, and adaptability to different channels of employee information. It primarily requires an awareness and belief that upward messages are important. Difficulties Delay Several problems plague upward communication, especially in larger, more complex organizations. The first is delay, which is the unnecessarily slow movement of information up to higher levels. Indecisive managers hesitate to take a problem upward because doing 67 On the Job: McDonnell Douglas Aircraft manufacturer McDonnell Douglas (now merged with Boeing Co.) sharply expanded its news-dissemination program. Staff writers prepared daily, monthly, and quarterly newsletters on a wide range of operating topics (costs, scrap Filtering Silence Need for response Distortion is disruptive and unethical numbers, progress reports, stock price, and problems). These were transmitted electronically to everybody associated with the program—employees, customers, suppliers, and management. Everybody was kept informed, and promptly.10 so implies an admission of failure. Therefore, each level delays the communication while trying to decide how to solve the problem (or worse yet, whether to report the problem at all!). The second, and closely intertwined, factor is filtering. This partial screening out of information occurs because of the natural tendency for an employee to tell a superior only what the employee thinks the superior wants to hear. An extreme example of filtering is organizational silence. This is the conscious or unconscious withholding of information about potential problems or issues on the part of employees.11 The result is woefully incomplete information for upper management. Organizational silence is usually caused by two compelling factors—fear of negative repercussions for speaking up (a manager’s intolerance of dissent) or an assumption that one’s voice would not be heard anyway (sometimes based on valid prior experience). There may be legitimate reasons for filtering. The total message may be very lengthy, technically overwhelming, or the information may be speculative and require additional confirmation. In some cases, the supervisor may have previously requested the employee to pass along only the highlights of a situation. These explanations indicate that filtering is not necessarily a problem in communications, but it does require careful monitoring. Sometimes, in an effort to avoid filtering, people bypass their superior, which means that they skip one or more steps in the communication hierarchy. On the positive side, this reduces filtering and delays. On the negative side, since it may upset those who are bypassed, employers usually discourage it. Another problem revolves around an employee’s legitimate need for a response. Since employees initiate upward communication, they are now the senders, and they have strong expectations that feedback will occur (and soon). If management provides a quick response, further upward messages will be encouraged. Conversely, lack of immediate response suppresses future upward communications. A final communication difficulty concerns distortion. This is the willful modification of a message intended to achieve one’s personal objectives. For example, some employees may exaggerate their achievements, hoping for more recognition or larger salary increases. Others may cover up operating difficulties in their department, hoping to avoid a painful confrontation with their supervisor. Any message distortion robs a manager of accurate information and the capacity to make enlightened decisions. Worse yet, it represents unethical behavior that can destroy trust between two parties. Managers need to recognize the potential for all these upward communication problems and must actively seek to prevent them. Upward Communication Practices A starting point for building better upward communications is to establish a general policy stating what kinds of upward messages are desired. This could include areas where higher management is accountable, controversial topics, matters requiring managerial advice, requests for exceptions to corporate policy, or “bottom-up” recommendations for change. In addition to policy statements, various practices are needed to improve upward communications. Counseling sessions, grievance systems, participative management, suggestion 68 Chapter 3 Managing Communications 69 Diversity in Communications Do men and women use unique patterns of communication? Research on gender-based communication styles has begun to show some fascinating diversity between the two groups. Numerous studies have explored whether men and women use different (learned) communication styles. In general, men and women display marked diversity in the way in which they communicate at work. Men emphasize power, while women stress rapport; men are more likely than women to claim credit for accomplishments; men tend to downplay their uncertainty rather than admit it; women ask questions to learn more, while men fear that asking questions will make them look ignorant; women make more ritualistic apologies, exchange compliments with each other, invite honest feedback, and soften their criticism with praise; men look for one-up chances, engage in ritualistic arguments, and seek recognition. Overall, men tend to speak more directly, while women often prefer an indirect approach. Question: Do these research-based descriptions accurately describe how you communicate? Why or why not? Sources: Deborah Tannen, “The Power of Talk: Who Gets Heard and Why,” Harvard Business Review, September–October 1995, pp. 138–48; Deborah Tannen, You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation (New York: William Morrow, 1990); and Deborah Tannen, Talking from 9 to 5 (New York: Avon Books, 1995). systems, job satisfaction surveys, and other practices are discussed in later chapters. Additional practices discussed at this point are questioning, listening, employee meetings, open-door policies, and participation in social groups. Questioning Managers can encourage upward communications by asking good questions. This practice shows employees that management takes an interest in their opinions, desires additional information, and values their input. Questions can take several forms, but the most common types are open and closed. Open questions introduce a broad topic and give others an opportunity to respond in many ways. “How are things going?” is a classic open question, and the responses received can provide rich clues for the manager to follow up. By contrast, closed questions focus on a narrower topic and invite the receiver to provide a specific response. An example is, “What are the cost implications of the proposed early retirement plan?” Both open and closed questions can be useful for initiating upward communications, especially if they invite dialogue and reflective thought. No matter how well questions are asked, however, they are useless unless the questions are accompanied by skillful listening and the responses are probed for their meaning. Listening Active listening is much more than hearing; it requires use of the ears and the mind. Effective listening works on two levels—it helps receivers understand both the factual idea and the emotional message the sender intended. Good listeners not only hear what the person is saying but also learn about the feelings and emotions of that person. Equally important, managers who listen effectively send a key signal that they care about employees. Many people are not skilled listeners; 81 percent of the managers in one study reported that they were not satisfied with their own listening skills.12 However, they can become better through a desire to improve, involvement in training courses, engaging in focused practice, and by having others provide feedback to them. Participants in listening courses are often taught to demonstrate their interest, to avoid daydreaming, to focus on the speaker’s objective, to weigh the evidence and rationale provided, to search for examples and clues to meaning, and to use idle time (pauses) to review mentally On the Job: Haworth Company The Haworth Company, in Holland, Michigan, uses an employee meeting system called “sensing sessions.” These meetings provide opportunities for employees to inform management about what is on their minds. Some questions asked by management are open, used to discover what is going well and what is not and to seek suggestions for improvement. Others are more focused on a specific issue. Led by corporate executives as facilitators, the sensing sessions have been useful in obtaining ideas, as well as building partnerships and encouraging collaboration on improvements within the organization.13 what has already been said. Ten proven suggestions for active listening are given in Figure 3.4. Employee Meetings One useful method of building upward communications is to meet with small groups of employees. In these “town hall” meetings employees are encouraged to talk about job problems, resource needs, and management practices that both help and interfere with job performance. The meetings attempt to probe in some depth the issues that are on the minds of employees. As a consequence (assuming follow-up action is taken), employee attitudes improve and turnover declines (see “On the Job: Haworth Company”). An Open-Door Policy An open-door policy is a statement that encourages employees to come to their supervisor or to higher management with any matter that concerns them. Usually, employees are encouraged to see their supervisor first. If their problem is not resolved by the supervisor, then higher management may be approached. The goal is to remove blocks to upward communication. It is a worthy goal, but it is not easy to implement because there often are real or perceived barriers between managers and employees. Although the manager’s door is physically open, psychological and social barriers exist that make employees reluctant to enter. Some employees do not want to admit that they lack information or have a problem. Others are afraid they will incur their manager’s disfavor if they raise disruptive issues. FIGURE 3.4 Guidelines for Effective Listening 70 1. Stop talking! You cannot listen if you are talking. 2. Put the talker at ease. Welcome the person, express your availability, and make him or her comfortable. Create a permissive atmosphere by establishing rapport. 3. Show a talker that you want to listen. Look interested. Establish eye contact and give nonverbal responses. Pay close attention so as to understand; be “in the moment.” 4. Remove distractions. Don’t doodle, tap your fingers, shuffle papers, or answer phone calls. 5. Empathize with a talker. Try to see the other person’s point of view. Summarize and paraphrase to check your understanding. 6. Be patient. Allow plenty of time. Do not interrupt a talker. Wait out the short pauses. 7. Keep your cool. Pause and think carefully before you speak or respond. 8. Avoid being confrontational. Do not argue, criticize their inputs, or attack the person’s self-esteem. 9. Ask relevant questions. Probe for underlying sentiments and hidden content. 10. Stop talking! This guideline is both first and last, because all others depend on it. You cannot be an effective listener while you are talking. (Listening requires two “ears,” one to absorb meaning and one to detect feelings.) Chapter 3 Managing Communications 71 Barriers may limit its use An “open door” is even more effective when managers walk out through their own doors and interact directly with employees. This reinforces the open-door policy with a powerful social cue. In this way, managers will learn more than they ever would by simply sitting in their offices. Participation in Social Groups Informal casual recreational events furnish superb opportunities for unplanned upward communication. Information gained on a spontaneous basis reveals true conditions better than most formal communications. Departmental parties, joint attendance at sports events, athletic teams, hobby groups, picnics, and other employer-sponsored activities are all useful. Upward communication is not the primary purpose of these events, but it can be an important by-product of them. OTHER FORMS OF COMMUNICATION Not all communication takes place directly down or up the organizational hierarchy, not all is formally prescribed by the firm, and not all of it takes place either at work or through face-to-face interaction. This section provides an overview of lateral communication and the impact of some electronic forms of communication. Lateral Communication Cross-communication Boundary spanners Networking Managers engage in a large amount of lateral communication, or cross-communication, which is communication across chains of command. It is necessary for job coordination with people in other departments. It also is done because people prefer the informality of lateral communication rather than the up-and-down process of the official chain of command. Lateral communication often is the dominant pattern within management. Employees who play a major role in lateral communication are referred to as boundary spanners. Boundary-spanning employees have strong communication links within their department, with people in other units, and often with the external community. These connections with other units allow boundary spanners to gather large amounts of information, which they may filter or transfer to others. This gives them a source of status and potential power. Networks Whereas boundary spanners usually acquire their roles through formal task responsibilities, much other lateral communication takes place in less formal ways. A network is a group of people who develop and maintain contact to exchange information informally, usually about a shared interest. An employee who becomes active in such a group is said to be networking. Although networks can exist within as well as outside a company, usually they are built around external interests, such as recreation, social clubs, minority status, professional groups, career interests, and trade meetings. Deb Caldwin, an engineer, is in a network of research people who keep in touch at professional meetings and via more informal electronic communications. She is also an excellent golfer and is part of a golf network at a local country club. Therefore, she knows personally the key executives of several local corporations, as well as other influential people in the area. Some of her networks are business-related; some, career-related; and others, purely social. Networks help broaden the interests of employees, keep them more informed about new technical developments, and make them more visible to others.14 Networks help employees learn who knows what and even who knows those who know. As a result, an alert networker can gain access to influential people and centers of power by drawing upon common backgrounds, bonds of friendship, complementary organizational roles, or community ties. By obtaining job-related information and developing productive working 72 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior FIGURE 3.5 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Suggestions for Developing and Using a Personal Network Sources: Some items adapted from William C. Byham, “Start Networking Right Away (Even If You Hate It),” Harvard Business Review, January 2009, p. 22, and Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha, “The Real Way to Build a Network,” Fortune, February 6, 2012, pp. 23–30. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Inventory your personal resources so you know what you have to offer others. Develop a clear purpose for establishing or joining a network. Join significant community organizations and contribute to them. Initiate contacts with key people whenever you can find (or create) a valid reason. Share news, information, and ideas with others, thereby creating an (implied) obligation for them to reciprocate. Seek out responsibilities that will bring you into contact with key people. Demonstrate to other networkers that you can be trusted with confidential information. Identify both a narrow-but-deep network (influential connections who are always willing to help) and a wide-but-shallow network (more casual acquaintances who can still occasionally offer useful ideas and assistance). Tap into members of your network for general advice, career contacts, and other useful information. Find various ways to help your network colleagues satisfy their needs. relationships through effective networks, employees gain valuable skills, enhance their public reputation, acquire greater influence, and can perform their jobs better. Several practical suggestions for developing networks are provided in Figure 3.5. Social Networking and Electronic Communication Members of Generation Y—also known as the Millennials, or the Net Generation—include 80 million persons born approximately between 1980 and 2000. As employees they have a profound impact on many organizations, especially through their interest and skills in using a variety of social media and digital technologies. According to researchers, typical Millennials: • • • • • • • • • • Social networking tools are increasingly popular Have a strong desire for work/life balance Disdain the importance of face time Have a strong sense of entitlement (belief that they deserve a benefit or reward) Exhibit an unquenchable thirst for praise Want to participate in decision making Are reluctant to accept workplace rules and restrictions Are socially conscious and environmentally aware Wish to be “connected” with many others Want to be recognized for results achieved their way Are willing to switch jobs (and even careers) frequently15 Members of the workforce have become “wired” through their widespread participation in the social networking phenomenon. Social networking technologies are Internet sites and software programs that allow people to link together into some form of a virtual social community. YouTube, Facebook, and MySpace are accessed by millions of viewers, and used to share personal information profiles and learn about others. The LinkedIn site facilitates networking by connecting people in ever-growing circles of relationships. Wikis are Web pages that enable their users to add or modify content; the most visible example of this is Wikipedia, which is a collaboratively created and constantly updated collection of 4 million articles in the English language. Although some companies block access to sites like Facebook at work, most just urge employees to use their discretion in how much time they spend on it and what to include in their own pages. Other organizations, mindful of the potential for damage Chapter 3 Managing Communications 73 Electronic networks from uncontrolled media, have imposed guidelines that specify what topics are off-limits (e.g., proprietary information, customer data, or corporate strategies), define inappropriate behavior (e.g., cyberbullying) and the consequences for breaking the rules, and inform employees that their behavior will be monitored.16 Electronic Mail Electronic mail (e-mail) is a computer-based communication system that allows you to send a message to someone—or to a hundred people—almost instantaneously. It is stored within the computer system until the recipients turn on their networked personal computers, BlackBerries, or iPhones. Then, they can read the message at their convenience and respond in the same manner. Some electronic mail systems can send messages in various modes (such as a letter to one correspondent who does not have a computer), and others can translate the message into a foreign language. In surveys of employees, more than 80 percent of users report that the Internet has made them more productive at work. Most users receive more than 20 work-related e-mails every day, and the vast majority respond to each of them within 24 hours. However, many workers believe that e-mail has also lengthened their workday. Clearly, electronic communications has had a profound impact on work lives. The primary advantages of electronic mail systems are their dramatic speed and convenience; the major disadvantages include the loss of face-to-face contact, the temptation to send flaming (spontaneous, emotion-laden) messages, the risks of using acronyms and emoticons (keyboard versions of various psychological states) that will be misunderstood, and the associated difficulty of accurately conveying and interpreting emotions and subtleties in brief and somewhat sterile messages. In response to these challenges, organizations have developed communication policies regarding which topics are appropriate for e-mail and which are not (such as performance appraisals or firings), who should be on distribution lists, what language is unacceptable, and even the frequency with which e-mail should be used (versus voice mail or face-to-face meetings). The whole field of e-mail courtesy (“netiquette”) has sprung up, with a set of guidelines (see Figure 3.6) emerging to help managers decide how best to proceed via e-mail.17 FIGURE 3.6 Sample Guidelines for e-Mail Netiquette 1. Provide your recipient with an informative subject for your message. 2. Indicate the degree of urgency with which you need a response. 3. Limit the use of acronyms and emoticons unless the receiver is thoroughly familiar with them and receptive to them. 4. Be cautious about forwarding messages and replying to them; ensure that the message is going only to the right persons. 5. Don’t assume that everyone is equally comfortable with e-mail or checks their messages as frequently as you do. 6. Scan your inbox several times a day to assess which messages have the highest priority and respond to them first. Nevertheless, try to get back to all messages requiring your response within 24 hours. 7. Be brief. 8. Exercise as much care in spelling and punctuation as you would with a printed message; recipients often judge you on the basis of your care and attention to detail. 9. Use great care not to unintentionally hit the “Reply All” icon. Sources: R. Scott Grabinger, “Tame the Email Beast: A Baker’s Dozen,” Performance Management, vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 5-6; and Mike Rosenwald, “Re: Re: Re: Confidential,” Bloomberg BusinessWeek, November–26-December. 2, 2012, p. 100. 74 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior Psychiatrist Edward Hallowell, who teaches at the Harvard Medical School, believes the present era of technologically assisted communications has created a totally new challenge, one of combining high-tech with high touch. Managers, he asserts, need to connect on an emotional level in order to have effective communication take place—and this cannot be done by either voice mail or e-mail. He advocates creating time for the human moment—an authentic encounter between two people. This requires physical presence in mutual space, tuning in to the other psychologically, and focusing on the other with high energy. The benefits? Less loneliness and isolation, a higher sense of meaningful relationships, and greater stimulation of mental activity.18 Blogs have both pros and cons Blogs The past decade has produced rapidly increased interest in Web logs, or blogs. These are online diaries or journals created and updated frequently by individuals to express their personal thoughts, musings, and commentaries on topics of interest to them, although they can also be produced by organizations, CEOs, and professional groups. Often informative and sometimes amusing, blogs can be time-consuming if employees get “hooked” on reading them at work. Other problems arise when employees themselves engage in blogging about their own companies, thus offering unofficial insider opinions about the organization that may be damaging to the company’s image. As a result, some organizations have created policies restricting employee blogging activities. Other companies have found blogs highly useful as a way of discovering what both customers and employees are thinking about them, as well as for facilitating intracompany communications and problem solving.19 A special form of microblogging has emerged at Twitter.com. Twittering involves expressing oneself in a brief (maximum of 140 characters) message (a “Tweet”) in real time to a self-selected network of interested persons. Twittering, which captures the social trend toward increased personal exposure and transparency, allows people to stay in touch, vent their feelings, ask for advice, make contacts, and learn key bits of information.20 Working electronically from one’s home Telecommuting A member of a Chicago law firm maintains a permanent residence at a ski resort community in Colorado. An information processing operator works half of the time at home and the other half at a downtown bank. An author in a California beach house, working against a deadline, finishes a manuscript just before 8 a.m. and has a copy on the editor’s desk hundreds of miles away just minutes later, about the time the author steps into the ocean for a swim. These people are all engaged in telecommuting. Telecommuters accomplish all or part of their work at home, or at a satellite location, through computer links to their offices. Research suggests that the personal advantages of telecommuting include freedom from the distractions of the workplace, a reduction in the time and money spent on commuting, the opportunity to reduce expenditures for work-relevant clothing, and the opportunity to spend more time with family members or even to provide for their care at home. Basically, telecommuting provides one key pathway to achieving a better degree of work/ life balance. Corporate advantages include improved productivity (sometimes as much as 15 to 25 percent), reduced space requirements, the opportunity to hire key talent who will telecommute from a distant city, increased employee loyalty because the employer “went the extra mile” by setting up the system, and the capacity to accommodate disabled or chronically ill employees. It creates societal benefits, too—from a reduction in auto traffic and pollution to the employment of people who are unable to work outside the home. Some employees are even inclined to contribute more time and effort in exchange for the comfort of working in their homes. Chapter 3 Managing Communications 75 Problems with telecommuting The growth of telecommuting practices depends largely on the ability of managers to overcome their fear of a loss of direct control over employees they cannot visually monitor. A number of other substantial problems can also arise for telecommuters. These include the possibility of being overlooked at promotion time through lesser daily visibility, the risk of getting burned out from the temptation to put in more hours daily, the temptation to engage in household activities instead of working, and, especially, the social isolation that at-home employees may feel.21 As a consequence of this physical isolation, telecommuters may feel out of touch with their regular (social) networks, unable to experience intellectual stimulation from their peers, removed from informal channels of communication, and insulated from most sources of social support. The emotional costs may be unacceptably high unless the employer carefully screens participants, briefs them in advance so they know what to expect, and makes a strong attempt to maintain contact with them. Clearly, technological progress in communication is not easily gained without some human costs and organizational effort. Virtual Offices The impact of technological developments on communication offers both great promise and some problems as well. Some companies, such as Compaq, HewlettPackard, IBM, and AT&T, have implemented virtual offices, in which physical office space and individual desks are being replaced with an amazing array of portable communication tools—electronic mail, cellular phones, voice mail systems, laptop computers, fax machines, modems, and videoconferencing systems. Employees armed with these tools can perform their work not just in their homes, as telecommuters do, but almost anywhere—in their cars, in restaurants and coffee shops, in customers’ offices, or in airports. Electronic communication tools allow employers to greatly reduce the office space needed for each employee, sometimes enabling them to replace dozens of desks with a single “productivity center” that employees can use for holding meetings, responding to mail, and accomplishing other short-term tasks. One significant risk is the loss of an opportunity for social interaction; employees still need to gather informally, exchange ideas and experiences face-to-face, and develop a sense of teamwork. INFORMAL COMMUNICATION Electronic grapevine The grapevine is an informal communication system. It coexists with management’s formal communication system. The term “grapevine” arose during the Civil War. Intelligence telegraph lines were strung loosely from tree to tree in the manner of a grapevine, and wild grapevines grew over the lines in some areas. Since messages from the lines often were incorrect or confusing, any rumor was said to be from the grapevine. Today, the term applies to all informal communication, including company information that is communicated informally between employees and people in the community. Although grapevine information tends to be sent orally, it may be written. Handwritten or typed notes sometimes are used, but in the modern electronic office these messages typically are flashed on computer screens, creating the new era of the electronic grapevine. This system can speed the transmission of more units of information within the electronic grapevine in a very short time. It will not replace the face-to-face grapevine, however, for two reasons: 1. Not every employee has access to a network of personal computers at work. 2. Many workers enjoy the more personal social interaction gained through the traditional grapevine. 76 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior Features of the Grapevine Several aspects distinguish the grapevine and help us understand it better. The pattern that grapevine information usually follows is called a cluster chain, because each link in the chain tends to inform a cluster of other people instead of only one person. In addition, only a few people are active communicators on the grapevine for any specific unit of information. These people are called liaison individuals. In one company, when a quality-control problem occurred, 68 percent of the executives knew about it but only 20 percent of them spread the information. In another case, when a manager planned to resign, 81 percent of the executives knew about it but only 11 percent passed the news on to others. As this example illustrates, the grapevine is often more a product of the situation than it is of the person. This means that given the proper situation and motivation, anyone would tend to become active on the grapevine. Some of the factors that encourage people to be active are listed in Figure 3.7. Contrary to common perceptions, well over three-fourths of grapevine information is accurate. However, the grapevine may also be incomplete; it generally carries the truth but not the whole truth. In addition, the grapevine is fast, flexible, and personal. This speed makes it difficult for management to stop undesirable rumors or to release significant news in time to prevent rumor formation. In conclusion, the evidence shows that the grapevine is influential, both favorably and unfavorably. Rumor Definition of rumor Interest and ambiguity lead to rumor Details are lost FIGURE 3.7 Factors That Encourage Grapevine Activity The major problem with the grapevine—and the one that gives the grapevine its poor reputation—is rumor. Rumor is grapevine information that is communicated without secure standards of evidence being present. It is the unverified and untrue part of the grapevine. It could by chance be correct, but generally it is incorrect; thus it is presumed to be undesirable. Rumor is primarily a result of both interest and ambiguity in a situation. If a subject is unimportant or has no interest to a person, then that person has no cause to pass along a rumor about it. Similarly, if there is no ambiguity in a situation, a person has no cause to spread rumor because the correct facts are known. Two factors—interest and ambiguity— normally must be present both to begin and to maintain a rumor. Since rumor largely depends on ambiguity and the interest that each person has, it tends to change (be filtered) as it passes from person to person. Generally, people choose details in the rumor to fit their own interest and view of the world. People also add new details, often making the story worse, in order to include their own strong feelings, judgment, and reasoning; this process is called elaborating. Types of Rumors Logic suggests that there are different kinds of rumors. Some are historical and explanatory; they attempt to make meaning out of incomplete prior events. Others are more spontaneous and action-oriented; they arise without much forethought and • Work that allows conversation • A job that provides information desired by others • Personality of communicator • Excitement and insecurity • Involvement of friends and associates • Recent information • Procedure that brings people into contact Chapter 3 Managing Communications 77 FIGURE 3.8 Guidelines for Control of Rumor Use a preventive approach to rumors Summary • Remove its causes in order to prevent it. • Apply efforts primarily to serious rumors. • Refute rumors with facts. • Deal with rumors as soon as possible. • Emphasize the face-to-face supply of facts, confirmed in writing if necessary. • Provide facts from reliable sources. • Refrain from repeating rumor while refuting it. • Encourage assistance of informal and union leaders if they are cooperative. • Listen to all rumors in order to understand what they may mean. represent attempts to change a current situation. Occasionally, rumors are negative, such as those that drive a wedge between people or groups, destroy loyalties, and perpetuate hostilities. They may also be positive, as when employees speculate about the beneficial effects of a new product just released. The existence of a variety of rumor types reminds managers that rumors should not be universally condemned even though they sometimes create problems. Control of Rumor Since rumor generally is incorrect, a major outbreak of it can be a devastating epidemic that sweeps through an organization as fast as a summer tornado—and usually with as much damage. Rumor should be dealt with firmly and consistently, but how and what to attack must be known. To strike at the whole grapevine merely because it happens to be the agent that carried the rumor is a serious mistake; that approach would be as unwise as throwing away a computer’s keyboard because of a few misspelled words. Several ways to control rumor are summarized in Figure 3.8. The best approach is to prevent it by removing its causes. When rumors do circulate, however, a face-to-face supply of facts—if provided early—helps answer the ambiguities in each person’s mind. Communication is the transfer of information and understanding from one person to another person. Organizations need effective communication in downward, upward, and lateral directions. The two-way communication process consists of these eight steps: develop an idea, encode, transmit, receive, decode, accept, use, and provide feedback. To overcome personal, physical, and semantic barriers, managers must pay close attention to communication symbols, such as words, pictures, and nonverbal actions. Effective communication requires the study and use of semantics—the science of meaning—to encourage understanding. Managers play a key role in downward and upward communication, sometimes even delaying or filtering the flow of information. Many tools are available for their use, such as providing performance feedback and social support or establishing opendoor policies and holding employee meetings. Listening, however, remains one of the most powerful tools. Networks have become popular ways for employees to find out what is going on around them, while the rapid development and use of computers and other tools have made possible electronic mail systems, telecommuting, and virtual offices for some employees. Informal communication systems, called the grapevine, develop in the form of a cluster chain. Overall, the grapevine is accurate, fast, and influential, but sometimes details are omitted and rarely is the whole story communicated. Rumor is grapevine information communicated without secure standards of evidence. It occurs when there is ambiguity and interest in information. Managers can have some influence over the grapevine, and their basic objective is to integrate interests of the formal and informal communication systems so the two systems can work together better. Advice to Future Managers 78 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior 1. Think of communication as much more than sending a message; you also need to anticipate the recipient’s reaction and ensure it matches your intentions. 6. Obtain feedback from others on what it would take to make you into a world-class listener. Afterward, follow their advice, capitalizing on every significant human moment you can. 2. Be alert to some of the many detrimental behavioral considerations in communication (e.g., polarized positions, defensiveness, face-saving) and work to avoid these errors in yourself and prevent them in others. 7. Note the importance of context on your communications and frame your messages in ways that support your intentions. 3. Sharpen your written presentation skills, whether it be in formal reports or informal e-mail messages. Challenge yourself to learn more about good writing by paying attention to good reading. 4. Think of ways in which you can practice social support for others, convincing them through every communication that they are valued individuals. 5. Whatever your gender is, work to minimize your typical negative tendencies as you communicate and build upon your positive ones. Speaking OB: Terms and Concepts for Review Discussion Questions 78 Active listening, 69 Blogs, 74 Body language, 64 Boundary spanners, 71 Closed questions, 69 Cluster chain, 76 Cognitive dissonance, 58 Communication overload, 66 Communication, 54 Credibility gap, 63 Defensive reasoning, 58 Downward communication, 65 Elaborating, 76 Electronic grapevine, 75 Electronic mail, 73 Executive summary, 55 Face-saving, 59 Feedback-seeking behavior, 67 8. Don’t be a slave to electronic communications; use e-mail as a tool for rapid and concise messages but supplement it with face-to-face communications where you need human impact. 9. Recognize that communications patterns differ in other cultures, and adapt your communication approach to the styles and preferences of people from different cultural backgrounds. 10. Learn to recognize that organizational silence is a powerful form of communication and find ways to solicit and encourage feedback from others. Framing, 56 Grapevine, 75 Inference, 61 Jargon, 61 Lateral communication, 71 Liaison individuals, 76 Network, 71 Networking, 71 Noise, 59 Nonverbal communication, 63 Open questions, 69 Open-door policy, 70 Organizational silence, 68 Performance feedback, 66 Personal barriers, 59 Physical barriers, 60 Polarized, 58 Proxemics, 60 Psychological distance, 60 Readability, 62 Rumor, 76 Self-concept, 59 Semantic barriers, 61 Semantics, 61 Social cues, 62 Social networking, 72 Social support, 67 Telecommuting, 74 Transparency, 55 Twittering, 74 The Two-way communication process, 55 Upward communication, 67 Virtual offices, 75 Voice, 59 Wikipedia, 72 Wikis, 72 1. Think of a job you have had and a situation in which the communication failed or was ineffective. Discuss how the communication process applied in that situation and where (during which of the eight steps) the breakdown occurred. Chapter 3 Managing Communications 79 2. Discuss the barriers to communication that exist when you discuss a subject with your instructor in the classroom. 3. Select a situation in which you made a wrong inference. Analyze how the misinterpretation was made, and discuss how you might avoid similar misinterpretations in the future. How important is feedback as an aid to avoiding inference problems? 4. Observe your own behavior, and discuss what nonverbal communication habits you typically use. What do you intend as the message of each of them? Do you have some behaviors that may mislead receivers? 5. Visit an instructor’s office, and record your feelings of relative comfort there. What physical elements in the office contributed to your reaction? Discuss the instructor’s apparent use of space (proxemics). 6. Examine the guidelines for effective listening in Figure 3.4. Which ones do you practice best? Which ones could you improve upon? Create a plan for improving your listening skills, and solicit feedback from a friend in three months to monitor your improvement. 7. Think of a part-time or full-time job you have had. a. Discuss any communication overload you experienced. b. Discuss how well management handled downward communication to you. c. Explain any upward communication difficulties you had and what you did to try to overcome them. d. Did you engage in feedback-seeking behavior? Describe what you did, or explain why you did not. 8. What social networks do you belong to? Explain how you became a part of them and what they have done for you. What are your future networking plans, both Internetbased and personal? 9. Assess electronic mail in the context of this chapter. How does it fit with the eight steps of the communication process? What barriers are most likely to arise when it is used? How can they be overcome, or at least minimized? 10. Select a grapevine story you heard, and discuss how it was communicated to you and how accurate it was. Assess Your Own Skills How well do you exhibit good communication skills? Read the following statements carefully. Circle the number on the response scale that most closely reflects the degree to which each statement accurately describes you. Add up your total points and prepare a brief action plan for self-improvement. Be ready to report your score for tabulation across the entire group. Good description 1. I would be a strong practitioner of open communications and openbook management. 2. I am conscious of the need to pay attention to all eight steps in the communication process. Poor description 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 80 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior 3. I am aware of my tendencies to engage in defensive reasoning and face-saving. 4. I understand which barriers affect each stage of the communication process. 5. I can list several guidelines for creating more readable writing. 6. I consciously seek to manage messages sent by my body language. 7. When it is important to achieve receiver acceptance of a message, I know which conditions to create for that purpose. 8. I can point out three substantial ways in which males and females differ in their communication patterns. 9. I regularly exhibit many of the classic guidelines for effective listening. 10. I maintain—and use—an active network of personal contacts for mutual benefit. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Scoring and Interpretation Add up your total points for the 10 questions. Record that number here, and report it when it is requested. Finally, insert your total score into the “Assess and Improve Your Own Organizational Behavior Skills” chart in Appendix A. • If you scored between 81 and 100 points, you appear to have a solid capability for demonstrating good communication skills. • If you scored between 61 and 80 points, you should take a close look at the items with lower self-assessment scores and explore ways to improve those items. • If you scored under 60 points, you should be aware that a weaker skill level regarding several items could be detrimental to your future success as a manager. We encourage you to review the entire chapter and watch for relevant material in subsequent chapters and other sources. Identify your three lowest scores, and write the question numbers here: _____, _____, _____. Write a brief paragraph, detailing to yourself an action plan for how you might sharpen each of these skills. Incident A Breakdown in Communications Linda Barry, a single mother with three children, was hired as an order-entry clerk for a trucking firm. Her first two weeks on the job were spent in a special class from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., where she learned how to sort, code, and enter the orders on the computer. Chapter 3 Managing Communications 81 An instructor worked with her constantly at first, and then less frequently as she gained skill and confidence. Linda was happy to have the job and enjoyed her work schedule. When the training was completed, she was told to report to the order-entry department the following Monday. When she was first employed, either Linda failed to read and understand the printed information about her regular work schedule or perhaps the recruiter forgot to tell her she was to fill a spot in a special shift that worked from 4 a.m. until noon. In any case, Linda failed to report to work on the early schedule on the first day of regular work. When she did arrive at 8 a.m., her supervisor criticized her for lack of responsibility. Barry responded by saying she could not work the early shift because she had to prepare her children for school, and she threatened to resign if she could not work on the later shift. Because of a heavy workload and a difficult labor market, the supervisor needed Linda to do the job, yet had no room for her in the 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. shift. Questions 1. Analyze the communication blockages in this case. Discuss ideas such as upward and downward communication, listening, realistic job previews, feedback, and inference. 2. Explain how you would handle the employment situation at the end of the case. What ideas from the chapter could be applied to help resolve this problem? Experiential Exercise Communication Style Read the following three paragraphs, and then rank them (1 highest to 3 lowest) according to the degree to which they describe your communication style. Be sure to use all three numbers (1, 2, and 3), where 1 is most descriptive and 3 is least descriptive. A. I like to see an idea in the form of charts, diagrams, maps, figures, and models; I prefer to receive written communications over oral; I like concrete examples and specific directions; I tend to give oral feedback (“I see what you’re driving at”). B. I like to hear ideas from others, and then I enjoy discussing and debating them; I may repeat others’ ideas in order to cement them in my mind; I can be distracted by excess background noise; I tend to give oral clues to others (“I hear what you’re saying”). C. I like to do something; that is the way I learn best. I thrive on examples and am generally quite active as a hands-on person; I tend to give oral clues in a physical way (“I need to get a handle on this before I can decide”). Now form into groups of three persons, and engage in a discussion of some stimulating issue of concern to the three of you. After 5–10 minutes, assess the other two persons in terms of whether they are more likely to describe themselves as an A, B, or C in the preceding list. Then, compare notes with each other to see how accurate you are at perceiving the self-assessed communication style of others. Generating OB Insights An insight is a new and clear perception of a phenomenon, or an acquired ability to “see” clearly something you were unaware of previously. It is sometimes simply referred to as an “ah-ha! moment,” in which you have a minirevelation or reach a straightforward conclusion about a topic or issue. Insights need not necessarily be dramatic, for what is an insight to one person may be less important to another. The critical feature of insights is that they are relevant and 82 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior memorable for you; they should represent new knowledge, new frameworks, or new ways of viewing things that you want to retain and remember over time. Insights, then, are different from the information you find in the “Advice for Future Managers” boxes within the text. That advice is prescriptive and action-oriented; it indicates a recommended course of action. A useful way to think of OB insights is to assume you are the only person who has read the current chapter. You have been given the assignment to highlight, in your own words, the major concepts (but not just summarize the whole chapter) that might stand out for a naive audience who has never heard of the topic before. What 10 insights would you share with them? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Nurturing Your Critical Thinking and Reflective Skills (Example) Many employees have a strong need for social support, which can be satisfied through communication that demonstrates they are valued persons. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Take a few minutes to review the discussion in the Roadmap for Readers of critical thinking and reflection. Remind yourself that if you can hone these abilities now, you will have a substantial competitive advantage when you apply for jobs and are asked what unique skills you can bring to the position and the organization. Critical Thinking Think back on the material you read in this chapter. What are three unique and challenging critical questions you would like to raise about this material? (These might identify something controversial about which you have doubts, they may imply that you suspect that a theory or model has weaknesses, they could examine the legitimacy of apparent causal Chapter 3 Managing Communications 83 relationships, or they might assess the probable value of a suggested practice.) Be prepared to share these questions with class members or your instructor. 1. 2. 3. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Reflection This process often involves answering the parallel questions of “What do you think about the material you have read?” and “How do you feel about that material?” Therefore, express your personal thoughts and feelings (reactions) to any of the ideas or topics found in this chapter, and be prepared to share these reflections with class members or your instructor. 1. 2. 3. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Chapter Four Social Systems and Organizational Culture If corporate stewards tend the culture well, they can count on an engaged and committed workforce for many years to come. Yet, many employers haven’t clearly articulated their cultural values. Ronald J. Alsop1 An ethical corporate culture not only helps avoid major illegal or unethical corporate scandals but also leads to more appropriate ethical behavior at all firm levels. Mark S. Schwartz2 CHAPTER OBJECTIVES AFTER READING THIS CHAPTER, YOU SHOULD UNDERSTAND 4-1 The Operation of a Social System 4-2 The Psychological Contract 4-3 Social Cultures and Their Impact 4-4 The Value of Cultural Diversity 4-5 Role and Role Conflict in Organizations 4-6 Status and Status Symbols 4-7 Organizational Culture and Its Effects 4-8 Fun Workplaces 84 Facebook Page Student B: Say, how are things going in your OB class? Student A: Fab. I was even able to put my brain in neutral for a while this week, as I was reading some stuff in Chapter 4 about social culture, roles, and status. It was pretty much a review from my Sociology class that I took as a freshman, and that’s OK. Student B: Was there anything new at all? Student A: You bet. I’d never heard about “losing face,” psychological contracts, or reverse mentoring before. Student C: Sounds like the whole chapter was on Social Systems. Was that it? Student A: Not at all. There was a big section on Organizational Cultures—their characteristics, measurement, and how they are communicated to employees. Student D: I give up; what is an organizational culture? Student A: It’s basically a set of shared assumptions, beliefs, values, and norms that powerfully affect employee behaviors. Student B: Did you learn anything else? Student A: I know one thing for sure. When I graduate I intend to work hard, but I also want to be in a fun work environment. There are some really upbeat employers out there! Employees at Herman Miller, Inc., a large office furniture manufacturer, work very hard to create well-designed, top-quality products, such as desk consoles, cabinets, and chairs. Although the company’s innovative products are well known throughout the industrial design world, Herman Miller, Inc., is even more widely recognized for its distinctive organizational culture. Prospective employees are closely examined for their overall character and their ability to get along with people. Employees are organized into work teams, where leaders and members evaluate each other twice each year. Employees can qualify to receive quarterly bonuses, based on cost-saving suggestions and other contributions. But the primary key to the company’s culture resides in a “covenant” that is established between top management and all employees. In this covenant, the company asserts that it will attempt to “share values, ideals, goals, respect for each person, [and] the process of our work together.” As a result, the Herman Miller company has achieved significant success. Companies like Google, Boston Consulting Group, SAS Institute, Wegmans Food Markets, Edward Jones, and NetApp are often recognized for being some of the best companies to work for. The reasons vary, but companies like these are first screened for management’s credibility, pay and benefits, internal communications, diversity efforts, and job satisfaction. In addition, they are often cited for their employee-friendly programs such as free snacks, job sharing, on-site childcare and fitness centers, organic cafeteria food, foosball game rooms, talent shows, and pet-friendly policies.3 The organizational cultures at these firms are well-established, and often reflect the beliefs and values of the companies’ founders as well as those of the current staff. Moreover, social systems have a profound effect on the ways employees work together. Cultures provide both direct and indirect cues telling workers how to succeed. Direct cues include orientation training, policy statements, 85 Engaging Your Brain 1. How strong is your work ethic (the belief that work is good, important, necessary, and satisfying)? Rate yourself on a scale from 1 (Very Low) to 10 (Very High). Now, using the same response scale, rate the typical work ethic of your peers. Discuss the two scores, and the implications of them for success and satisfaction. 2. Think of a person who has played a mentoring role in your life (i.e., sharing valuable advice on how to succeed). What behaviors did your mentor engage in that were helpful to you? 3. “All work and no play makes Jack (or Jill) a dull person,” according to an old adage. Is it possible for managers to allow (and even encourage) employees to have fun at work and still be productive? What type of work culture would you strive to create if you were a manager? and advice from supervisors and peers. Indirect cues are more subtle, including inferences made from promotions and apparent patterns of acceptable dress. This chapter introduces major ideas about social systems, such as social equilibrium, the effects of system changes, psychological contracts, cultural diversity, and the impact of role and status. We also examine the nature and effects of both societal culture (existing at a national level) and organizational culture (existing within a firm). Finally, the roles and effects of fun at work are explored. UNDERSTANDING A SOCIAL SYSTEM Open systems A social system is a complex set of human relationships interacting in many ways. Possible interactions are as limitless as the stars in the universe. Each small group is a subsystem within larger groups that are subsystems of even larger groups, and so on, until all the world’s population is included. Within a single organization, the social system includes all the people in it and their relationships to one another and to the outside world. Two points stand out in the complex interactions among people in a social system. First, the behavior of any one member can have an impact, directly or indirectly, on the behavior of any other. Although these impacts may be large or small, all parts of the system are mutually interdependent. Simply stated, a change in one part of a system affects all other parts, even though its impact may be slight. A second important point revolves around a system’s boundaries. Any social system engages in exchanges with its environment, receiving input from it and providing output to it (which then becomes input for its adjacent systems). Social systems are, therefore, open systems that interact with their surroundings. Consequently, members of a system should be aware of the nature of their environments and their impact on other members both within and outside their own social system. This social system awareness is increasingly important in the twenty-first century. Global trade and international marketplaces for a firm’s products and services vastly expand the need for organizations and their employees to anticipate and react to changes in their competitive environments. Social Equilibrium A system is said to be in social equilibrium when its interdependent parts are in dynamic working balance. Equilibrium is a dynamic concept, not a static one. Despite constant change and movement in every organization, the system’s working balance 86 On the Job: Ford Motor Company American automobile manufacturers have faced a significant challenge in responding to the design, quality, and cost advantages of international automakers such as Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Subaru, and Mazda. In particular, the U.S. companies found it took them much longer to bring a new car to market (total time from its conception to early production). One of the many reasons offered is the internal power struggle among seemingly competing units of an auto firm, such as product design, factory engineering, and sales and marketing. An unfortunate, and unproductive, disequilibrium sometimes exists. To combat this problem, Ford Motor Company creates cross-functional teams of line managers charged with the task of speeding product development. These teams are housed in the same work area, which makes communication much easier. They also share a common goal—reduction of product development costs by 20 percent. The CEO (Alan Mulally) also holds weekly meetings of division chiefs to discuss problems and identify trouble spots. In this way, Ford maintains a more productive equilibrium within its system and keeps the functional subgroups working together.4 can still be retained over time. The system is like a sea: In continuous motion and even suffering substantial disruption from storms, over time the sea’s basic character changes very little. When minor changes occur in a social system, they are soon absorbed by adjustments within the system and equilibrium is regained. On the other hand, a single significant change (a shock, such as the abrupt resignation or sudden death of a key executive) or a series of smaller but rapid changes may throw an organization out of balance, seriously reducing its forward progress until it can reach a new equilibrium. In a sense, when it is in disequilibrium, some of its parts are working against one another instead of in harmony. The Ford Motor Company (see “On the Job”) provides a vivid example of both disequilibrium and equilibrium. Functional and Dysfunctional Effects Effects of change A change has a functional effect when it is favorable for the system. When an action or a change creates unfavorable effects, such as a decline in productivity, for the system it has a dysfunctional effect. A major management task is to appraise both actual and proposed changes in the social system to determine their possible functional or dysfunctional effects, so that appropriate responses can be anticipated and made. Managers also need to predict both short-term and long-term effects, measure “hard” (e.g., productivity) and “soft” (e.g., satisfaction and commitment) criteria, and consider the probable effects on various stakeholder groups, such as employees, customers, and stockholders. Assessing the overall functionality of a particular managerial action is clearly a complex process. Employees can also have functional or dysfunctional effects on the organization. They can be creative, productive, and enthusiastic and actively seek to improve the quality of the organization’s product or service. On the other hand, they can be tardy, absent frequently, unwilling to use their talents, and resistant to organizational changes. For employees to exhibit functional behaviors, they need to receive clear expectations and promises of reward. Furthermore, in exchange, the organization needs to receive a commitment from the employees. Psychological and Economic Contracts When employees join an organization, they make an unwritten psychological contract with it, although often they are not conscious of doing so. As shown in Figure 4.1, this contract is in addition to the economic contract where time, talent, and energy are exchanged for wages, hours, and reasonable working conditions. The psychological contract defines the conditions of each employee’s psychological involvement—both contributions and 87 88 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior FIGURE 4.1 The Results of the Psychological Contract and the Economic Contract Employee: • Expected gains • Intended contributions Employer: • Expected gains • Rewards offered Psychological contract Economic contract Employee: If expectations are met: • High job satisfaction • High performance • Continuance with organization If expectations are not met: • Low job satisfaction • Low performance • Possible separation Employer: If expectations are met: • Employee retention • Possible promotion If expectations are not met: • Corrective action; discipline • Possible separation expectations—with the social system. Employees agree to give a certain amount of loyalty, creativity, and extra effort, but in return they expect more than economic rewards from the system. They seek job security, fair treatment (human dignity), rewarding relationships with co-workers, and organizational support in fulfilling their career development expectations. If the organization honors only the economic contract and not the psychological contract, employees tend to have lower satisfaction because not all their expectations are being met. They may also withhold some of their work-related contributions. On the other hand, if both their psychological and economic expectations are met, they tend to experience satisfaction, stay with the organization, and perform well. A desirable sense of mutuality has been reached. Guidelines The reciprocal obligations regarding the relationship between an employee and the organization can be violated either through an inability to fulfill them or by one party purposefully reneging on a promise. Research shows that when this happens, employees experience feelings of anger and betrayal. To prevent breakdowns of the psychological contract, employers are urged to: • Help employees clarify their expectations and perceptions • Initiate explicit discussions of mutual obligations • Exercise caution when conveying promises • Provide candid explanations for broken promises • Alert employees to the realistic prospects of reneging (e.g., when a business downturn forces an employer to withdraw previous commitments).5 As indicated in Figure 4.1, management responds in a similar way to the economic and psychological contracts that it sees. It expects responses such as high performance, Chapter 4 Social Systems and Organizational Culture 89 Exchange theory continuous quality improvements, commitment to the organization, and friendly service to its customers. When these results occur, an employee is retained and may earn a bonus or promotion. However, if cooperation and performance do not meet expectations, corrective action and even termination may occur. The psychological contract builds upon the concept of exchange theory. This theory simply suggests that whenever a continuing relationship exists between two parties, each person regularly examines the rewards and costs of that interaction. In order to remain positively attracted to the relationship, both parties must believe that a net positive ratio (rewards to costs) exists from their perspective. Consequently, the psychological contract is continually examined and often revised as new needs emerge and new rewards become available. SOCIAL CULTURE Whenever people act in accordance with the expectations of others, their behavior is social, as in the case of an employee named Maria. Like all other workers, Maria grows to be an adult in a social culture, which is her environment of human-created beliefs, customs, knowledge, and practices. Culture is the conventional behavior of her society, and it influences all her actions even though it seldom enters her conscious thoughts. Maria drives to work on the right or left side of the road, depending on the culture of her society, but she seldom consciously stops to think of this. Similarly, the car she drives, the drama she attends, the type of food she eats, and the organization that employs her are evidence of her social culture. Social cultures are often portrayed as consistent within a nation, thereby producing a national culture. At the simplest level, national cultures can be compared on the basis of how their members relate to each other, accomplish work, and respond to change. However, distinctive social cultures can exist within a nation as well, as seen in the tragic disputes between people of various ancestries and beliefs within the former country of Yugoslavia, the former U.S.S.R., Syria, and Iraq. Social cultures can have dramatic effects on behavior at work, as we illustrate in Chapter 16. Some of the ways in which cultures differ include patterns of decision making, respect for authority, treatment of females, and accepted leadership styles. Knowledge of social cultures is especially important because managers need to understand, appreciate, and respond to the backgrounds and beliefs of all members of their work unit. People learn to depend on their culture. It gives them stability and security, because they can understand what is happening in their cultural community and know how to respond while in it. However, this one-culture dependency may also place intellectual blinders on employees, preventing them from gaining the benefits of exposure to people from other cultural backgrounds. Cultural dependency is further compounded under conditions involving the integration of two or more cultures into the workplace. Employees need to learn to adapt to others in order to capitalize on the distinctive backgrounds, traits, and opportunities they present, while avoiding possible negative consequences. Cultural Diversity Employees in almost any organization are divided into subgroups of various kinds. Formation of groups is determined by two broad sets of conditions. First, job-related (organizationally created) differences and similarities, such as type of work, rank in the organization, and physical proximity to one another, sometimes cause people to align themselves into groups. However, a second set of non-job-related conditions (those related 90 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior Discrimination and prejudice to culture, ethnicity, socioeconomics, sex, and race) arise primarily from an individual’s personal background; these conditions are highly important for legal, moral, and economic reasons. In particular, the U.S. workforce has rapidly become much more diverse, with females, African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian immigrants bringing their talents to employers in record numbers. This cultural diversity, or rich variety of differences among people at work, raises the issue of fair treatment for workers who are not in positions of authority. Problems may persist because of a key difference in this context between discrimination and prejudice. Discrimination is generally exhibited as an action, whereas prejudice is an attitude. Either may exist without the other. The law focuses on an employer’s actions, not feelings. If actions lead to what is legally determined to be discriminatory results, such actions are unlawful regardless of the employer’s alleged good intentions. A promising approach to overcoming discriminatory practices actually attempts to change the underlying attitudes, values, and beliefs. Programs aimed at managing and valuing diversity build from a key premise: Prejudicial stereotypes develop from unfounded assumptions about others and from their overlooked qualities. Differences need to be recognized, acknowledged, appreciated, and used to collective advantage. The workforce of the future (whether in the United States, Europe, or elsewhere) will contain a rich blend of people representing diverse cultural and social conditions. All participants—males and females, members of differing racial groups, people of all ages, sexual orientation (e.g., lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender—LGBTs), single parents, dual-career couples—will need to explore their differences, learn from others around them, respect the value that others contribute, and use that information to build a stronger organization. This requires inclusion (an active desire to use diverse talents and strengths) and cultural competency (the skill to do so). Unfortunately, although the vast majority of Fortune 500 firms have protective policies addressing sexual orientation, only half of LGBT’s feel comfortable expressing their orientation at work.6 Changing one’s own, or another employee’s, attitude is seldom easy, yet people and organizations face constant political, economic, social, and technical pressures to change. More and more employees will encounter both subtle and substantial cultural differences among their work colleagues as the workforce becomes more diverse. Recognition of these changes provides a powerful cultural force to which employers must adapt. If they actively manage diversity, the likelihood they will gain a competitive advantage is high—their workforce quality will be enriched, market sensitivity will increase, public image will improve, complaints and litigation will decrease, and both individual and group performance will improve.7 Social Culture Values Hard work is good, important, and satisfying The Work Ethic For many years, the culture of much of the Western world has emphasized work as a desirable and fulfilling activity. This attitude is also strong in parts of Asia, such as Japan. The result of this cultural emphasis is a work ethic for many people, meaning they view work as very important , morally correct, and as a desirable goal in life. They tend to like work and derive satisfaction from it (even apart from the monetary rewards associated with it). They usually have a stronger commitment to the organization and its goals than do other employees, and are more diligent in carrying out their responsibilities. These characteristics of the work ethic make it highly appealing to employers and a valuable path to achievement for many employees. (Novelist Stephen King once noted that “What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work”). Chapter 4 Social Systems and Organizational Culture 91 An Ethics Question Many entrepreneurs have a strongly developed work ethic. They also believe that their employees should demonstrate a strong commitment to work and should reflect this commitment in their customer service orientation, attendance and tardiness records, concern for quality, willingness to work beyond normal hours, and overall productivity. But some employees brush aside the argument that “work is a fulfilling activity” and ask instead, “What’s in it for me?” The key issue boils down to the debatable right of an employer to impose the work ethic and its expectations on employees. A classic example is the right of an auto manufacturer to demand that an employee work overtime. Question: What do you think is the ethical thing for an employer to do regarding the work ethic? Group differences Gradual decline In spite of its prevalence, the work ethic is a subject of continuing reflection, discussion, and controversy. Is it healthy? Is it declining? Is it a dead issue? The available research indicates that two conclusions can be safely reached. First, the proportion of employees with a strong work ethic varies sharply among sample groups. Differences depend on factors such as personal background, type of work performed, and geographical location. The range is quite broad, with the proportion of employees in different jobs who report that work is a central life interest varying between 15 to 85 percent. A second conclusion is that the general level of the work ethic has declined gradually over many decades. The decline is most evident in the different attitudes between younger (i.e, Generation Y) and older workers. Not only are younger employees not as supportive of the work ethic, but the level of support that young people once exhibited has dropped substantially. This decline carries serious implications for industrial productivity, especially as international competition intensifies. Why has the work ethic declined? Dramatic social changes have brought about the work ethic’s deterioration. Competing social values have emerged, such as a leisure ethic (a high priority placed on personal gratification), desire for community and connectedness (an emphasis on close personal relationships), and entitlement (a belief that people should receive societal benefits without having to work). See “An Ethics Question.” In addition, changes in social policy and tax laws have reduced incentives to work and occasionally even penalized hard work and success (in the minds of some workers, at least). These factors all represent additional illustrations of complex social relationships in action, and they show how an employee’s work ethic is contingent on factors in the larger social system. In the twenty-first century, managers cannot depend on the work ethic alone to drive employees to be productive. Social Responsibility Every action that organizations take involves costs as well as benefits. In recent years, there has been a strong social drive to improve the cost-benefit relationship to make it possible for society to gain benefits from organizations and for the benefits to be fairly distributed. Social responsibility is the recognition that organizations have significant influence on the nation’s social system and that this influence must be properly considered and balanced in all organizational actions. The presence of strong social values such as social responsibility has a powerful impact on organizations and their actions. It leads them to take a broader view of their role within a social system and accept their interdependence with it (see “On the Job: Wipro Limited”). On the Job: Wipro Limited Wipro Cares (to support employees who contribute to society) and Wipro Applying Thought in Schools (to encourage and aid students to develop into critical, creative, and caring citizens). Wipro provides a clear illustration of the importance of accepting a firm’s social responsibility to its neighbors, constituents, and society.8 Organizations are increasingly concerned about social responsibility, and many of them are publicly judged on their overall performance. India-based Wipro Limited uses two fundamental beliefs to guide its engagement with society: (1) Wipro is a socioeconomic citizen and (2) “if you can do good, you must.” These beliefs have led to two initiatives, ROLE Expected actions A role is the pattern of actions expected of a person in activities involving others. Role reflects a person’s position in the social system, with its accompanying rights and obligations, power and responsibility. In order to be able to interact with one another, people need some way of anticipating others’ behavior. Role performs this function in the social system. A person has roles both on the job and away from it, as shown in Figure 4.2. One person performs the occupational role of worker, the family role of parent, the social role of club president, and many others. In those various roles, a person is both buyer and seller, supervisor and subordinate, and giver and seeker of advice. Each role calls for different types of behavior. Within the work environment alone, a worker may have more than one role, such as a worker in group A, a subordinate to supervisor B, a machinist, a member of a union, and a representative on the safety committee. FIGURE 4.2 t tan un co ac An ore ! r s on c A club Who is an employee? A wor nt r iser An adv person ist ial ec sp pa re lfe A A staff A go nt preside ker A e us o sp er um A r holde stock A 92 de lea A A sub And m A A ch com air mi pe tte rso e n A follow er ordina te Each Employee Performs Many Roles Chapter 4 Social Systems and Organizational Culture 93 Role Perceptions Activities of managers and workers alike are guided by their role perceptions—that is, how they think they are supposed to act in their own roles and how others should act in their roles. Since managers perform many different roles, they must be highly adaptive (exhibiting role flexibility) in order to change from one role to another quickly. Supervisors especially need to change roles rapidly as they work with both subordinates and superiors, and with technical and nontechnical activities. When a manager and an employee interact, each one needs to understand four different role perceptions, as shown in Figure 4.3. For a manager, two role perceptions are as follows: First there is the manager’s own role perception as required by the supervisory job being performed (A). Second, there is the manager’s perception of the role of the employee being contacted (B). Two related role perceptions (C and D) exist from the employee’s perspective. Potentially dramatic differences exist between the two outlooks—especially in the direct comparisons such as A to C and B to D. Obviously, one person cannot meet the needs of others unless one can perceive what they expect. The key is for both parties to gain accurate role perceptions for their own roles and for the roles of the other. Reaching such an understanding requires studying the available job descriptions, as well as opening up lines of communication to discover the other’s perceptions. Unless roles are clarified and agreed upon by both parties, conflicts will inevitably arise. Mentors Role modeling by mentors Where can employees get information regarding their work-related roles so they will have accurate role perceptions? In addition to traditional sources of information, such as job descriptions and orientation sessions, many organizations have formal or informal mentorship programs. A mentor is a role model who guides another employee (a protégé) by providing historical perspectives and sharing valuable advice on roles to play and behaviors to avoid. Mentors teach, advise, coach, support, encourage, act as sounding boards, and sponsor their protégés so as to expedite their personal satisfaction and career progress. The best mentors are credible, challenge you to improve, stimulate you to take risks, build your confidence, support your efforts to set “stretch” goals, and identify challenges and opportunities.9 The advantages of successful mentoring programs include stronger employee loyalty, faster movement up the learning curve, better succession planning through development of replacements, and increased level of goal accomplishments. Some organizations actually assign protégés to a mentor, but this practice can create problems of resentment, abuse of power, and unwillingness to serve. As a result, other firms simply encourage employees to seek out their FIGURE 4.3 The Complex Web of Manager–Employee Role Perceptions Manager Employee Manager’s perception of own role A C Employee’s perception of manager’s role Manager’s perception of employee’s role B D Employee’s perception of own role 94 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior FIGURE 4.4(a) Tips for Protégés Using Mentors FIGURE 4.4(b) Tips for Mentors Who Have Protégés 1. Select more than one mentor. Draw your mentors from your peer group, higher management levels, or even professional colleagues outside the organization. 2. Consult them periodically. Discipline yourself to meet with them at regular intervals. 3. Brief them on your progress, current issues, and problems you are facing. Be candid, and expect candor in return. 4. Seek feedback from them. Inquire how your work is regarded. Show them samples of your work, and ask for suggestions for improvement. 5. Share a summary of your own strengths and weaknesses, and your action plan for overcoming your limitations. Compare your view with their perceptions of your strengths, and probe them for improvement ideas for the areas where you need work. 6. Ask your mentors to watch for new opportunities opening up that might use your skills. 7. Seek their advice on career-building moves that will enhance your promotability. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Identify protégé strengths, and help them build on them. Foster self-discovery by asking insight-generating questions. Let the protégé make decisions, for that will increase ownership. Choose your words carefully; avoid being directive or judgmental. Listen; watch from a distance; intervene only when necessary. Don’t place yourself on a pedestal; avoid sounding like an expert. Be real; be authentic; be supportive; eliminate signs of power. Be open to alternative views and choices; help the protégé refine them. own mentors. Tips for protégés working with mentors are provided in Figure 4.4(a); tips for mentors are shown in Figure 4.4(b). Mentors are usually older, successful themselves, and respected by their peers (influential). They also must be willing to commit time and energy to help another person move up the corporate ladder, be able to communicate effectively and share ideas in a nonthreatening fashion, and enjoy one-on-one development of others. Mentors are often not the employee’s direct supervisor; therefore, they can provide additional support to aid an employee’s career progress. Their detachment from a supervisory role also allows them to be more objective about the strengths and weaknesses observed with a protégé. Several problems can arise in mentoring programs, however. Some mentors are more effective role models than others, or simply more interested in being good mentors. Similarly, some protégés are more aggressive in seeking out the prime candidates for a mentor, leaving other protégés with less skilled mentors. In other cases, a mentor might provide inappropriate advice or inaccurate information to a protégé that actually hinders the employee’s development. A special problem sometimes confronting women and minorities is the difficulty of finding successful role models from the same gender or ethnic group. When gender differences exist in the mentor–protégé relationship, difficult issues sometimes arise, such as when one party exploits the other’s efforts and time, or when a legitimate but close emotional bond stimulates rumors of an intimate relationship. Finally, a protégé’s career might be stifled abruptly if the mentor is transferred or leaves the organization. For these and other reasons, common practice is to have more than one mentor for each protégé, resulting in multiple relations from which the protégé can derive richer role perceptions and broader career advice. Chapter 4 Social Systems and Organizational Culture 95 Despite well-meaning attempts, efforts to establish mentoring relationships sometimes fail, as in the following example: Kenneth Benton, a senior employee, offered to play the role of adviser and helper for a new and promising office employee, Ben Grossman. However, Grossman misinterpreted Benton’s initiatives and felt that accepting help would imply an admission of weakness. Grossman also resented the idea of being bossed by someone who had no right to give him orders, so he abruptly rejected all offers of help. Rebuffed once as a mentor, Benton refused to share his insights on other topics with Grossman for years afterward, even when directly asked for assistance. Grossman later wound up committing several unfortunate errors that derailed his career progress. These mistakes might have been prevented had he had the humility to allow the mentor–protégé relationship between them to develop. A more recent modification of the roles discussed above is the development of reverse mentoring. This practice occurs when a person who has more general depth of experience requires assistance in an area of special expertise, and a newer (and often younger) employee can provide it. Reverse mentoring became popular largely due to the rapid expansion of various types of innovative digital technologies (e.g., “smart phones”), associated apps and social media, and e-commerce. Typically, younger employees are more proficient in these domains and appreciate the opportunity to demonstrate their skills to senior individuals. In return for gaining new expertise, the senior “mentee” can share valuable insights that are useful to the tech-savvy younger employee, producing a “win-win” situation for both parties. Role Conflict When others have different perceptions or expectations of a person’s role, that person tends to experience role conflict. Such conflict makes it difficult to meet one set of expectations without rejecting another. A company president faced role conflict, for example, when she learned that both the controller and the human resource director wanted her to allocate the new organizational planning function to their departments. Boundary roles contribute to role conflict Role conflict at work is fairly common. Many employees experience role conflict from time to time and some feel role conflict is a frequent and serious problem. Role conflict is most difficult for employees with many job contacts outside the organization—that is, with boundary roles. These individuals find that their external roles place demands on their jobs different from the demands of their internal roles, so role conflict results. When people are classified according to the number of their outside job contacts, those with few contacts have the least role conflict and those with frequent contacts have the most conflict. Another type of role conflict arises between role expectations at work versus those from non-work activities. The latter category is often highly complex by itself, as in the case of an employee who must juggle roles of a spouse, parent, pet owner, community volunteer, Critical Thinking Exercise Identify the likely effects of mentoring programs Question: What positive and negative results? Can you safely predict for them? On balance, are you in favor of them or opposed to them? 96 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior neighbor, church member, civic club officer, and caregiver to an elderly relative. When the demands from these roles accumulate, there is often a potential spillover effect on one’s work life and job performance. The work-family conflict that ensues can impact both domains and result in diminished job satisfaction, work performance, life satisfaction, and emotional exhaustion unless the individual learns how to maintain a balanced focus, complemented by an array of family-friendly employer practices.10 Role Ambiguity When roles are inadequately defined or are substantially unknown, role ambiguity exists, because people are not sure how they should act in situations of this type. When role conflict and role ambiguity exist, job satisfaction and organizational commitment will likely decline. On the other hand, employees tend to be more satisfied with their jobs when their roles are clearly defined by job descriptions and statements of performance expectations. A better understanding of roles helps people know what others expect of them and how they should act. If any role misunderstanding exists when people interact, then problems are likely to emerge. STATUS Social rank Status is the social rank of a person in a group. It is a mark of the amount of recognition, honor, esteem, and acceptance given to a person. Within groups, differences in status apparently have been recognized ever since civilization began. Wherever people gather into groups, status distinctions are likely to arise, because they enable people to affirm the different characteristics and abilities of group members. Individuals are bound together in status systems, or status hierarchies, which define their rank relative to others in the group. If they become seriously upset over their status, they are said to feel status anxiety. Loss of status—sometimes called “losing face” or status deprivation—is a serious event for most people; it is considered a much more devastating condition, however, in certain societies. People, therefore, become quite responsible in order to protect and develop their status. One of management’s pioneers, Chester Barnard, stated, “The desire for improvement of status and especially the desire to protect status appears to be the basis of a sense of general responsibility.”11 Since status is important to people, they will work hard to earn it. If it can be tied to actions that further the company’s goals, then employees are strongly motivated to support their company (see “On the Job: Creative Training Techniques”). Status Relationships Effects of status High-status people within a group usually have more power and influence than those with low status. They also receive more privileges from their group and tend to participate more in group activities. They interact more with their peers than with those of lower rank. Basically, high status gives people an opportunity to play a more important role in an organization. As a result, lower-status members tend to feel isolated from the mainstream and show more stress symptoms than higher-ranked members. In a work organization, status provides a system by which people can relate to one another as they work. Without it, they would tend to be confused and spend much of their time trying to learn how to work together. Though status can be abused, normally it is beneficial because it helps people interact and cooperate with one another. On the Job: Creative Training Techniques Bob Pike, president of Creative Training Techniques and an internationally renowned trainer and author, suggests that employees have their “emotional radio stations” tuned to two frequencies. In each, the employee is listening intently for the answer to a question or a demand. The first frequency is WIIFM, and the second is MMFIAM. WIIFM asks “What’s In It For Me?” while MMFIAM pleads for a response to “Make Me Feel Important About Myself.” Both of these show that employees are egocentric—they are hungry for information that either rewards them or reinforces their self-image and perceived status. Consequently, managers must act like radio disk jockeys who play the tunes listeners request— feeding the status needs of their workers (when it has been earned). Status Symbols The status system becomes most visible through its use of status symbols. These are the visible external things that attach to a person or workplace and serve as evidence of social rank. They exist in the office, shop, warehouse, refinery, or wherever work groups congregate. They are most in evidence among different levels of managers, because each successive level usually has the authority to provide itself with surroundings just a little different from those of people lower in the structure. As shown in Figure 4.5, there are a variety of symbols of status, depending on what employees feel is important. For example, in one office the type of wastebasket is a mark of distinction. In another, significant symbols are type of desk and telephones. In the executive offices, such items of rank as rugs, bookcases, curtains, and pictures on the wall are important. Another classic symbol of much significance is a corner office, because those offices are often larger and have windows on two sides. There may even be distinctions between an office with windows and one with no windows. Outside the office, the truck driver who operates the newest or largest truck has a symbol of status. All this concern for symbols of status may seem amusing, but status symbols are a serious matter. They may endanger job satisfaction because employees who do not have a certain symbol, and think they should, can become preoccupied with that need. When an employee gives unreasonable attention to status symbols, there is evidence of status anxiety, and this situation requires management attention. Many organizations have a policy that persons of equal rank in the same department should receive approximately equal status symbols. There may be some variation between departments, such as production and sales, because the work is different and rank is not directly comparable. In any case, managers need to face the fact that status differences FIGURE 4.5 Typical Symbols of Status • • • • • • • • • • Furniture, such as a mahogany desk or a conference table Interior decorations, such as carpeting, draperies, and artwork Location of workplace, such as a corner office or an office having a window with a view Quality and newness of equipment used, such as a new vehicle or tools Type of clothes normally worn, such as a suit Privileges given, such as a golf club membership or company automobile Job title or organizational level, such as vice president Employees assigned, such as an administrative assistant Degree of financial discretion, such as authorizing up to $5,000 expenditures Organizational membership, such as a position on the executive committee 97 98 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior FIGURE 4.6 king Wor ions it cond Edu catio n Major Sources of Status on the Job Me tho do el ev l ob fp ay J Age Abilities Status Jo ity bs r nio kil l tion upa Occ Pay Se exist and must be managed successfully. However, the underlying values of the millennial generation of employees may diminish the hunger for status symbols at work in the future, since many younger persons dislike the concept of hierarchical differences. Sources of Status The sources of status are numerous, but in a typical work situation several sources are easily identified. As shown in Figure 4.6, education and job level are two important sources of higher status. A person’s abilities, job skills, and type of work also are major sources of status. Other sources of status are amount of pay, seniority, age, and stock options. Pay gives economic recognition and an opportunity to have more of the amenities of life, such as travel. Seniority and age have historically earned for their holder certain privileges, such as first choice of vacation dates, or the respect of co-workers for their longevity at work. Method of pay (hourly versus salary) and working conditions also provide important status distinctions, such as distinguishing blue-collar and white-collar work. Stock options provide employees with the opportunity to share the financial success of the firm. Significance of Status Status is significant to organizational behavior in several ways. When employees are consumed by the desire for status, it often is the source of employee problems and conflicts that management needs to solve. It influences the kinds of transfers that employees will take, because they don’t want a low-status location (being “sent to Siberia”) or dead-end job assignment. It helps determine who will be an informal leader of a group, and it definitely serves to motivate those seeking to advance in the organization. Some people are status seekers, wanting a job of high status regardless of other working conditions. These people On the Job: National Bank of Georgia, Home Box Office, and Lake Superior Paper Industries Some organizations have consciously sought to use their knowledge of the impact of status symbols to reduce these indicators. National Bank of Georgia chose an open-office layout in its headquarters so as to foster open communications and consensus. Top executives at Home Box Office avoided choosing the prestigious top (15th) floor of their new building and instead selected the 8th floor for greater proximity to the marketing and programming departments. Executives at Lake Superior Paper Industries chose to wear casual clothes (similar to those of the mill employees) so as to remove the potential status barrier between the two groups. More and more, organizations are removing reserved parking spots and placing everyone on an equal basis in the parking lot, too. These illustrations provide some evidence of a societal backlash against too many status symbols. Some speakers argue that an overemphasis on status has created, or at least magnified, a gap between the haves and the have-nots. As a result, some contemporary employees reject traditional symbols of status even when those are available to them. They wear clothes of their own choice to work; they don’t always drive higher-priced cars; and they prefer to mingle with other employees despite having access to an executive dining room after receiving a promotion. can be encouraged to qualify themselves for high-status jobs so they will feel rewarded. By contrast, many organizations are now actively attempting to diminish or remove traditional symbols of status (see “On the Job: National Bank of Georgia, Home Box Office, and Lake Superior Paper Industries”). ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE B 5 f(P, E) Shared norms help define culture Benefits of organizational culture Social (national) culture creates the wide-ranging context in which organizations operate. It provides the complex social system of laws, values, and customs in which organizational behavior occurs. Employee behavior (B), according to social psychologist Kurt Lewin, is a function of the interaction between personal characteristics (P) and the environment (E) around the person. Part of that environment is the social culture in which the individual lives and works, which provides broad clues as to how a person with a given background will behave. The previous discussion indicated how employee actions are sharply affected by the roles assigned to them and the status level accorded to them. Inside the organization lies another powerful force for determining individual and group behavior. Organizational culture is the set of assumptions, beliefs, values, and norms shared by an organization’s members.This culture may have been consciously created by its key members, or it may have simply evolved across time. It represents a key element of the work environment in which employees perform their jobs. This idea of organizational culture is somewhat intangible, for we cannot see it or touch it, but it is present and pervasive. Like the air in a room, it surrounds and affects everything that happens in an organization. Because it is a dynamic systems concept, culture is also affected by almost everything that occurs within an organization. Organizational cultures are important to a firm’s success for several reasons. They give an organizational identity to employees—a defining vision of what the organization represents. They are also an important source of stability and continuity to the organization, which provides a sense of security to its members. At the same time, knowledge of the organizational culture helps newer employees interpret what goes on inside the organization, by providing an important context for events that would otherwise seem confusing. More than anything else, perhaps, cultures help stimulate employee enthusiasm for their tasks. Cultures attract attention, convey a vision, and typically honor high-producing and creative individuals as heroes. 99 On the Job: General Mills Co. Examples of symbolic representations abound in General Mills, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.12 Executives refer to the “company of champions” culture, and point with pride to a statement of company values that is reinforced by rewards, recognition programs, and employee development systems. A popular slogan proclaims that “Eagles dare to win,” and this statement adorns many awards given to employees and their units for exceptional work. A training program, “The Championship Way,” provides an opportunity for the corporation to communicate its corporate values and discover barriers to their achievement. By recognizing and rewarding these people, organizational cultures are identifying them as role models to emulate while also reinforcing the organization’s values. Riverwood Healthcare Center, in northern Minnesota, identified five key values that are meant to be used as daily guidelines for employee behavior: • • • • • Integrity (honesty and fairness) Customer service (dedication to going “above and beyond” normal expectations) Unity (being loyal team players committed to common goals) Respect and compassion (helpful in all interactions with others) Excellence and passion (strong commitment to high quality) These values are a critical component of Riverwood’s culture, and when behaviors are consistent with them they contribute to the achievement of the organization’s mission (“To improve health by providing high quality, compassionate, and personalized care”). Characteristics of Cultures Cultures are distinctive, stable, implicit, and symbolic Organizations, like fingerprints and snowflakes, are unique. Each has its own history, patterns of communication, systems and procedures, mission statements and visions, and stories and myths which, in their totality, constitute its distinctive culture. Cultures are relatively stable in nature, usually changing only slowly over time. Exceptions to this condition may occur when a major crisis threatens a firm or when two organizations merge with each other (requiring a careful blending of the two so as to avoid culture clash). Most organizational cultures have historically been implicit and unconscious rather than explicit. In that way, cultures are similar to the act of breathing, which we take for granted until we have problems with it. More recently, though, organizations have begun talking about their intended cultures, and many top leaders see one of their major roles as speaking out consciously and directly about the kind of environment they would like to create within their firms. A final defining characteristic of most cultures is that they are seen as symbolic representations of underlying beliefs and values. We seldom read a description of a firm’s culture. More frequently, employees make inferences about it from hearing stories about the way things are done, from reading slogans that portray corporate ideals, from observing key artifacts, or from watching ceremonies in which certain types of employees are honored (see “On the Job: General Mills Co.”). Critical Thinking Exercise Think about the likely effects of consciously developed and strong cultures Question: What positive and negative results? Can you safely predict for them? 100 Chapter 4 Social Systems and Organizational Culture 101 Products of successful cultures Over time, an organization’s culture becomes perpetuated by its tendency to attract and retain people who fit its values and beliefs. Just as people may choose to move to a certain region because of geographic characteristics such as temperature, humidity, and rainfall, employees also will gravitate toward the organizational culture they prefer as a work environment. This results in a good fit of employer and employee, and predictably lower discontent and turnover. Several other dimensions of culture are important to note. For one, there is no best culture for all firms; culture clearly depends on the organization’s goals, industry, nature of competition, and other factors in its environment. Cultures will be more easily recognized when their elements are generally integrated and consistent with each other—in other words, they fit together like pieces of a puzzle. Also, most members must at least accept, if not embrace, the assumptions and values of the culture. Historically, employees seldom talked explicitly about the culture in which they worked; more recently, culture has become an increasingly acceptable conversation topic among employees. Most cultures evolve directly from top management, who can have a powerful influence on their employees by what they say. However, management’s actions are even more important to watchful employees, who can quickly detect when managers give only lip service but not true support to certain ideals, such as customer service and quality products. A culture may exist across an entire organization, or it may be made up of various subcultures— the environment within a single division, branch, plant, or department. Finally, cultures have varying strengths—they can be characterized as relatively strong or weak, depending largely on the degree of their impact on employee behavior and how widely the underlying beliefs and values are held. The 10 characteristics of cultures are summarized in Figure 4.7. The effect of organizational culture on employee behavior is difficult to establish. Some research indicates there is a positive relationship between certain organizational cultures and performance. Agreement within an organization on a culture should result in a larger degree of cooperation, acceptance of decision making and control, more effective communication, and commitment to the employer. These results are especially likely when a firm consciously seeks to create a performance-enhancing culture that removes barriers to success. Just as yeast is a critical ingredient in baking some varieties of bread, a culture of productivity is an essential element in organizational success. However, the next challenge becomes how to measure an organization’s culture. Measuring Organizational Culture Systematic measurement and comparison of cultures is difficult at best. Most early attempts by researchers relied on examination of stories, symbols, rituals, and ceremonies to obtain clues and construct a composite (but subjective) portrait. Others have used interviews and open-ended questionnaires in an attempt to assess employee values and beliefs. In other cases, examination of corporate philosophy statements has provided insight into the espoused culture (the beliefs and values that the organization states publicly). Another approach is to survey employees directly and seek their perceptions of the organization’s culture. (This method can produce a confusing portrait, however, much like the classic parable about the blind men who were asked to describe an elephant. Each person reported something very different, depending on whether he touched an ear, tail, trunk, tusk, or leg.) FIGURE 4.7 Characteristics of Organizational Cultures • • • • • Distinctive Stable Implicit Symbolic No one type is best • • • • • Integrated Accepted A reflection of top management Subcultures Of varying strength 102 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior One of the more interesting methods is to become a member of the organization and engage in participant observation. This approach allows direct sensing from the perspective of a member who is experiencing the culture. Prudential Insurance Company of America used a standard pencil-and-paper instrument to identify part of its culture. Prudential measured current norms and found strong perceptions of conformity, caution, competition with other work groups, risk avoidance, and top-down decision making. Then, the company assessed desired norms, and found major gaps. Employees wanted a culture that stressed teamwork, collaboration, customer service, initiative, training, and cooperation. This measurement process allowed Prudential to involve employees in changing to a new culture—one where managers are measured against their culture-change goals.13 Any attempt to measure organizational culture can be only an imperfect assessment. Such measurements are comparable to capturing only a single snapshot of the culture at a single point in time, when a three-dimensional video camera is needed. In reality, many organizational cultures are in the process of changing and need to be monitored regularly and by a variety of methods to gain a truer picture. Communicating and Changing Culture Socialization affects employees If organizations are to consciously create and manage their cultures, they must be able to communicate them to employees, especially the newly hired ones. People are generally more willing to adapt and learn when they want to please others, gain approval, and learn about their new work environment. Similarly, organizations are eager to have the new employees fit in, and therefore an intentional approach that helps make this happen is used by many firms. Examples of formal communication vehicles for transmitting organizational cultures include executive visions of the firm’s future, corporate philosophy statements, and codes of ethical conduct. Informal means involve publicly recognizing heroes and heroines, retelling historical success stories, and even allowing myths to become exaggerated without popping the hot-air balloon. Of course, elements of the organization’s culture are also unintentionally communicated to employees in a variety of ways, such as when news of a manager’s error and an executive’s forgiveness of it are accidentally leaked throughout the firm. Collectively, these cultural communication acts may be lumped under the umbrella of organizational socialization, which is the continuous process of transmitting key elements of an organization’s culture to its employees. Socialization consists of both formal methods (such as military indoctrination at boot camp or corporate orientation training for new employees) and informal means (like the role modeling provided by mentors, discussed earlier in this chapter). All these approaches help shape the attitudes, thoughts, and behavior of employees. Viewed from the organization’s perspective, organizational socialization is like placing an organization’s fingerprints on people or stamping its own genetic code on them. From the employee’s viewpoint, it is essential that they learn “the ropes” to survive and prosper within the firm. The important point is that socialization can be functional for both workers and their employers. A key player in the organizational socialization process is the new employee’s direct supervisor. If this person acts in supportive and attentive ways on a daily basis, the newcomer is more likely to make a rapid and successful adjustment to the workplace. Equally important in the adjustment process is the new employee’s own behavior. A new trainee needs to be deliberate in seeking interactions—formal and informal—with the supervisor. The key factor here is the new employee’s perception as to whether or not the supervisor is seen as being approachable.14 Two powerful methods for communicating an organizational culture to new employees involve signature experiences and storytelling. Signature experiences are clearly defined and dramatic devices that convey a key element of the firm’s culture and vividly Chapter 4 Social Systems and Organizational Culture 103 FIGURE 4.8 Four Combinations of Socialization and Individualization High Conformity Creative individualism Isolation Rebellion Socialization (impact of organizational culture on employee; acceptance of norms) Low High Low Individualization (impact of employee on organizational culture; deviation from norms) Signature experiences and storytelling reinforce culture Individualization affects the organization reinforce the values of the organization. As a result, the culture is clearly imprinted in the new employee’s mind. Examples of signature experiences are demanding selection procedures for new hires at Goldman Sachs, “quick win” assignments at W.L. Gore & Associates, the “First Impressions” program at Starbucks, cross-platform sharing meetings at British Petroleum, and unlimited shift-trading opportunities at JetBlue. Typically, employees share tales of these positive cultural experiences with great pride.15 Managers are also encouraged to engage in storytelling as a way to forge a culture and build organizational identity. Good stories tap into the emotions of an audience and have proven to be powerful ways to create shared meaning and purpose. Stories convey a sense of tradition, explain how past problems have been solved, convey personal frailty through tales of mistakes made and learned from, and enhance cohesion around key values. The most memorable stories entertain as well as inform, and uplift as well as teach. These stories highlight purposeful plots and patterns that the organization cherishes, they point out consequences of actions, and they provide valuable lessons that carry forward the wisdom gained through previous years.16 Storytelling, then, is a key means for achieving socialization of employees. A reciprocal process emerges when changes occur in the other direction. In addition to being affected by culture, employees can also have an active impact on the nature of the organization’s culture and operations. Individualization occurs when employees successfully exert influence on the social system around them at work by challenging the culture or deviating from it. The interaction between socialization and individualization is portrayed in Figure 4.8, which shows the types of employees who accept or reject an organization’s norms and values while exerting various degrees of influence. The two extremes—rebellion and total conformity—may prove dysfunctional for the organization and the individual’s career in the long run. Isolation, of course, is seldom a productive course of action. If we assume that the culture of a certain organization invites its employees to challenge, question, and experiment while also not being too disruptive, then the creative individualist can infuse new life and ideas for the organization’s benefit, as “On the Job: Motorola Company” demonstrates. On the Job: Motorola Company Delbert Little is an engineer who works for Motorola, a major American electronics firm. A highly creative, energetic, and talented worker, he prides himself on giving 110 percent effort to his job. Although he totally accepts his employer’s values regarding the need to create new and improved products through technological breakthroughs, he also flaunts his rejection of some corporate norms regarding personal behavior (mode of dress and deference to authority). He communicates to his workers with great passion, regularly imploring them to exercise similar innovativeness. Whenever he thinks his employer is moving in the wrong product or market direction, he writes lengthy and passionate memos to top executives detailing his reasoning and trying to persuade them to change their minds. Delbert can be described as exercising creative individualism (but bordering on rebellion). He accepts some norms and values but rejects others (and therefore is moderately socialized). He fights fiercely for what he thinks is right and attempts to change others’ thinking, too. Consequently, he has a relatively high impact on his portion of the organization (individualism). “The company tolerates my behavior,” he laughed one day, “only because I have produced over 100 patents while working here!” Motorola’s Delbert Little provides a vivid illustration of a fringe employee—one who is marginal or even extremist and doesn’t blend in well with the larger culture, thus creating a relatively poor individual–organization fit. If Delbert discovered that a number of his colleagues feel that same way, it is possible that collectively they might represent a counterculture—a subgroup of individuals within the larger culture—whose values, norms, and behavior are substantially different. When this happens, a culture clash may arise, and the resultant conflict of values can be highly disruptive. Can culture be changed? A study of corporate cultures at nine large companies—Federal Express, Johnson & Johnson, 3M, AT&T, Corning, Du Pont, Ford, IBM, and Motorola— suggests it can change. However, it requires a long-term effort, often spanning 5 to 10 years to complete. Figure 4.9 indicates the relative effectiveness of a variety of methods FIGURE 4.9 Effectiveness of Methods for Changing Organizational Culture Probable effectiveness Very great Great Moderate Minimal Communicate Train top employees management support Formulate value statements Reward behaviors Use stories and myths Culture-change methods 104 Publicly recognize heroes and heroines Use slogans Appoint a manager of culture On the Job: Zappos, Inc. Zappos, Inc., which is high on Fortune’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For, lists 10 core values as the cultural foundation for its success. One of these is “work hard, play hard,” also known as “create fun and a little weirdness.” Employees benefit from happy hours, nap rooms, pajama parties, life coaches, and manager-led hikes. As a result, workers exercise a high degree of discretion to “wow” their customers.17 for changing culture.18 Clearly, an open display of top-management commitment and support for the new values and beliefs is critically important, as is the training of employees to enable them to change. Other powerful methods for inducing cultural change include communities of interest, behavior modeling by managers, performance management systems, ad hoc gatherings, and active engagement of exemplars.19 FUN WORKPLACES Society encourages and provides many ways in which people can play and have fun in their recreational lives. Playful experiences typically have a number of common elements— immersion in the activity, surprise, variety, choice, experience of progress, and the opportunities to make personal contributions and to “win.” Most of these features can also be incorporated into the daily life of employees, many of whom also desire to have fun at work. A fun work environment is a unique and increasingly popular organizational culture in which supervisors encourage, initiate, and support a variety of playful and humorous activities. A fun workplace culture has several key features: • It is easily recognized (by observing the presence of laughter, smiles, surprise, and spontaneity). • It means different things to various people. • It is relatively easy to create at work. • It elicits a broad range of personal and organizational payoffs. Positive effects of fun at work Hundreds of approaches have been used to stimulate fun at work. Key categories include unique ways to provide recognition for personal milestones (birthdays and anniversaries of hiring dates), hosting of special social events, public celebrations of professional and departmental achievements, games and friendly competitions, entertainment, and the use of humor in newsletters and correspondence. Specific tactics used in various organizations include costume (dress-up) days, cartoons tailored to employees, exaggerated job titles (e.g., “Genius” employees at Apple Stores), distribution of the “joke for the day,” or the use of modified board games and TV show formats to engage minds and stimulate creativity. No magic formula ensures success; the key for managers is to be experimental, make it a continuous process, and encourage others to come up with new ideas (see “On the Job: Zappos, Inc.”). Employees like to work in an environment that satisfies their economic and security needs, makes them feel listened to, and recognizes their time, effort, and results. Beyond that, however, many employees value and appreciate the opportunity to relax and play a little, laugh, have fun occasionally, and generally enjoy themselves at work. Unless the playfulness results in physical harm or personal feelings becoming hurt, fun at work can help decrease stress, reduce boredom, stimulate friendships, increase satisfaction, and produce several beneficial physiological results for employees (e.g., lower blood pressure, greater immunity to infection, and more positive energy). 105 Advice to Future Managers 1. Look at your organization as a social system, and ask yourself whether it is in balance or not. If it is not, is the disequilibrium functional for the organization? 2. Seek to understand, and actively manage, the psychological contract you have with each of your employees. 3. Inventory the positive ways in which each of your employees is different. Make sure your workplace capitalizes on these aspects of diversity. 4. Find, and use, at least one active mentor for yourself. Also, offer yourself as a mentor to at least one person who does not report directly to you. 5. Analyze the status symbols apparent in your organization. Decide whether they are functional or dysfunctional for employee morale and performance. 6. Paint a comprehensive verbal portrait of the organizational culture at your workplace. Is the culture strong or weak? Describe what you could do to clarify and strengthen your firm’s culture. 7. Since the best time to instill cultural values into employees is while they are still new and receptive, study how your organization socializes its new hires into the values and norms of the firm. 8. Examine the level of commitment to the work ethic among your employees, and search for ways to communicate your performance expectations to them. 9. Start to accumulate a reservoir of tales, myths, slogans, and anecdotes that support the kind of organizational culture you wish to convey. Develop, polish, and apply your storytelling skills as a means to reinforce the culture. 10. Examine the current and desired level of fun in your workplace. Involve employees in developing a fun work environment that also contributes to organizational goals. The organization benefits from a fun workplace culture, too. A comprehensive survey by the Society for Human Resource Management showed that as employee enthusiasm and creativity rise, attracting and retaining new employees is easier, the company’s values and norms (culture) become clearer, and customer satisfaction improves as a reflection of how they are treated by energized employees.20 Common reservations about the risks inherent in having fun at work generally prove to be groundless. The most valid reasons for managerial resistance to having fun at work revolve around the fear that one’s superiors (and the overall organizational culture) won’t condone it, and the possible lack of personal creativity needed to make it happen. On balance, however, powerful arguments support allowing employees to have occasional fun at work and engaging them in the process of creating a fun workplace culture. Suggestions for accomplishing this are listed in Figure 4.10. FIGURE 4.10 Guidelines for FunOriented Managers Source: Bob Pike, Robert C. Ford, and John W. Newstrom, The Fun Minute Manager, Minneapolis: CTT Press, 2009, p. 88. 106 1. Address other employee needs first (job content). 2. Make sure that fun at work will be a good fit with the organization’s culture and with employee expectations. 3. Build a fun workplace on an underlying philosophical foundation, not just a set of mechanical practices. 4. Make a long-term commitment to fun as an ongoing process, not a short-term program. 5. Become more playful yourself. 6. Involve others in creating fun experiences. 7. Satisfy employee needs for recognition in new and unique ways. 8. Use a wide variety of fun-related activities. 9. Capitalize on the surprise factor. 10. Assess and regularly monitor your success at creating a fun work culture. Chapter 4 Social Systems and Organizational Culture 107 Summary When people join a work group, they become part of that organization’s social system. It is the medium by which they relate to the world of work. The variables in an organizational system operate in a working balance called social equilibrium. Individuals make a psychological contract that defines their personal relationship with the system. When they contribute to the organization’s success, we call their behavior functional. The broad environment that people live in is their social culture. People need to accept and appreciate the value that a diversity of cultural backgrounds can contribute to the success of an organization. Other important cultural factors include the work ethic and corporate attitudes toward social responsibility. Role is the pattern of action expected of a person in activities involving others. Related ideas are role perception, mentors, role conflict, and role ambiguity. Status is the social rank of a person in a group, and it leads to status systems and possibly status anxiety. Status symbols are sought as if they were magical herbs, because they often provide external evidence of status for their possessors. Organizational cultures reflect the assumptions and values that guide a firm. They are intangible but powerful influences on employee behavior. Participants learn about their organization’s culture through the process of socialization, and influence it through individualization. Organizational cultures can be changed, but the process is timeconsuming. Fun at work can be a legitimate part of a firm’s culture and can produce personal and organizational benefits. Speaking OB: Terms and Concepts for Review Counterculture, 104 Cultural diversity, 90 Discrimination, 90 Dysfunctional effect, 87 Exchange theory, 89 Fun work environment, 105 Functional effect, 87 Individualization, 103 Mentor, 93 Open systems, 86 Organizational culture, 99 Discussion Questions Organizational socialization, 102 Prejudice, 90 Psychological contract, 87 Reverse mentoring, 95 Role ambiguity, 96 Role conflict, 95 Role perceptions, 93 Role, 92 Signature experiences, 102 Social culture, 89 Social equilibrium, 86 Social responsibility, 91 Social system, 86 Status, 96 Status anxiety, 96 Status deprivation, 96 Status symbols, 97 Status systems, 96 Storytelling, 103 Valuing diversity, 90 Work ethic, 90 Work-family conflict, 96 1. What psychological contract do you feel is present in this course? Describe its key features. 2. Look around your classroom, dormitory, or student organization. In what ways does it reflect cultural diversity? Suggest ways by which the resources represented in that diversity could be used to greater advantage for the benefit of all participants. 3. A management specialist recently commented about the work ethic, saying, “You can discover if you personally have a work ethic if you think more about the salary you make than about the quality of the product you make (or the service you provide).” Comment. 4. What does social responsibility mean to you? Does it apply to people as well as institutions? Describe three acts of social responsibility you have seen, or performed, in the last month. 108 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior 5. Describe a situation in which you experienced role conflict or role ambiguity. What caused it? How are the two ideas related, and how are they different? 6. Interview a manager to discover what that person believes to be the five most important status symbols in the work situation. Identify whether the importance of status symbols is increasing or decreasing there. 7. Describe the organizational culture that seems to exist in your class. What are some of the implicit or explicit norms, values, and assumptions? 8. Reflect back on your first few days in college, or in a part-time or summer job. In what ways were you socialized? How did you feel about what was happening to you? Was there a signature experience you recall vividly? 9. Look at the reciprocal process of individualization. In what ways did you make an impact on the college, or on the job? 10. The beneficial effects of having fun at work are relatively easy to see. What are some of the possible dysfunctional effects of such a culture? Assess Your Own Skills How well do you exhibit good mentoring skills? Read the following statements carefully. Circle the number on the response scale that most closely reflects the degree to which each statement accurately describes you when you have played a role to someone else as a mentor. Add up your total points and prepare a brief action plan for self-improvement. Be ready to report your score for tabulation across the entire group. Good description 1. I make myself available for contact whenever my protégé needs me. 2. I give constructive feedback whenever it is appropriate. 3. I share tales of my own successes and failures when I think examples are needed. 4. I provide emotional support when I sense the timing is right. 5. I follow through on any commitments I make, to establish an image of integrity. 6. I view all information gained as personal and confidential, disclosing it to no one. 7. I work hard to remain open to the needs and objectives of my protégé. 8. I make sure I listen attentively to both the words and feelings of my protégé. Poor description 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Chapter 4 Social Systems and Organizational Culture 109 9. I try to be available for immediate contact whenever my protégé needs me. 10. I recognize the need to provide support and encouragement to my protégé. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Scoring and Interpretation Add up your total points for the 10 questions. Record that number here, and report it when it is requested. Finally, insert your total score into the “Assess and Improve Your Own Organizational Behavior Skills” chart in Appendix A. • If you scored between 81 and 100 points, you appear to have a solid capability for demonstrating good mentoring skills. • If you scored between 61 and 80 points, you should take a close look at the items with lower self-assessment scores and explore ways to improve those items. • If you scored under 60 points, you should be aware that a weaker skill level regarding several items could be detrimental to your future success as a mentor. We encourage you to review relevant sections of the chapter and watch for related material in subsequent chapters and other sources. Identify your three lowest scores, and write the question numbers here: _____, _____, _____. Write a brief paragraph, detailing to yourself an action plan for how you might sharpen each of these skills. Incident Liberty Construction Company Liberty Construction Company is a small company in Colorado. More than half its revenue is derived from the installation of underground water and power lines, so much of its work is seasonal and turnover among its employees is high. Michael Federico, a college student, had been employed by Liberty as a backhoe operator for the last three summers. On his return to work for the fourth summer, Federico was assigned the second newest of the company’s five backhoes. The owner reasoned that Federico had nine months of work seniority, so according to strict seniority, he should have the second backhoe. This action required the present operator of the backhoe, Pedro Alvarez, a regular employee who had been with the company seven months, to be reassigned to an older machine. Alvarez was strongly dissatisfied with this; he felt that as a regular employee he should have retained the newer machine instead of having to give it to a temporary employee. The other employees soon fell into two camps, one supporting Alvarez and one supporting Federico. Job conflicts arose, and each group seemed to delight in causing work problems for the other group. In less than a month Alvarez left the company. Question Discuss this case in terms of the social system, equilibrium, the psychological contract, role, status, and status symbols. Experiential Exercise Role Perceptions of Students and Instructors Consider yourself as the subordinate in this class, with the instructor as your manager. 1. (Work individually.) In the student–instructor relationship in this class, identify: a. Your perception of your student roles b. Your perception of the instructor’s roles 110 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior (At the same time, the instructor should be identifying his or her perception of the instructor’s roles, and his or her perception of the students’ roles.) 2. Meeting in small groups of students, combine your ideas into collective statements of perceptions. 3. Report your group’s perceptions to the class on all three factors. Request that the instructor share his or her perceptions with the class. Compare and then explore the underlying reasons for any differences observed. Generating OB Insights An insight is a new and clear perception of a phenomenon, or an acquired ability to “see” clearly something you were unaware of previously. It is sometimes simply referred to as an “ah-ha! moment,” in which you have a minirevelation or reach a straightforward conclusion about a topic or issue. Insights need not necessarily be dramatic, for what is an insight to one person may be less important to another. The critical feature of insights is that they are relevant and memorable for you; they should represent new knowledge, new frameworks, or new ways of viewing things that you want to retain and remember over time. Insights, then, are different from the information you find in the “Advice for Future Managers” boxes within the text. That advice is prescriptive and action-oriented; it indicates a recommended course of action. A useful way to think of OB insights is to assume you are the only person who has read the current chapter. You have been given the assignment to highlight, in your own words, the major concepts (but not just summarize the whole chapter) that might stand out for a naive audience who has never heard of the topic before. What 10 insights would you share with them? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. (Example) Employees are egocentric and hungry for information that reinforces their self-image and state. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Chapter 4 Social Systems and Organizational Culture 111 Nurturing Your Critical Thinking and Reflective Skills Take a few minutes to review the discussion in the Roadmap for Readers of critical thinking and reflection. Remind yourself that if you can hone these abilities now, you will have a substantial competitive advantage when you apply for jobs and are asked what unique skills you can bring to the position and the organization. Critical Thinking Think back on the material in this chapter. What are three unique and challenging critical questions you would like to raise about that material? (These might identify something controversial about which you have doubts, they may imply you suspect that a theory or model has weaknesses, they could examine the legitimacy of apparent causal relationships, or they might assess the probable value of a suggested practice.) Be prepared to share these questions with class members or your instructor. 1. 2. 3. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Reflection This process often involves answering the parallel questions of “What do you think about the material you have read?” and “How do you feel about that material?” Therefore, express your personal thoughts and feelings (reactions) to any of the ideas or topics found in this chapter, and be prepared to share these reflections with class members or your instructor. 1. 2. 3. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ This page intentionally left blank Part Two Motivation and Reward Systems Chapter Five Motivation If you’re asking, “How do I motivate employees?” You’re going down the wrong path. The right question to ask is, “How do I stop demotivating them?” Jim Collins1 CHAPTER OBJECTIVES AFTER READING THIS CHAPTER, YOU SHOULD UNDERSTAND 5-1 The Motivational Process 5-2 Motivational Drives 5-3 Need Category Systems 5-4 Behavior Modification and Reinforcement 5-5 Goal Setting and Its Effects 5-6 The Expectancy Model of Motivation 5-7 Equity Comparisons 114 Facebook Page Student A: Guess what? I think I’m going to learn something useful in my OB class this week! Student B: Lucky you; I’m currently reading about ancient civilizations in my anthropology class. Tell me how to apply that. So what’s your current topic that’s got you all excited? Student A: Chapter 5 is all about motivation. I figure I should learn about that so when I become a manager some day I’ll be able to understand and motivate my employees. Student C: From what I’ve seen of you, you’d better start by motivating yourself! Student A: I’ll ignore that comment, bro. Student B: So how do you motivate employees? Student A: The author suggests having a clear model in your mind of the key steps involved, as well as the desired outcomes (persistent energy and effort, high quantity and quality of performance, and satisfied and committed employees). Student B: Wow. How do you make that happen? Student A: It’s like a jigsaw puzzle; you have many pieces to put into place. You need challenging goals, an understanding of employee needs and drives, an appreciation of the “law of effect,” and a reward system that employees perceive as equitable. Student C: That seems to make sense. Any new terms to absorb? Student A: There’s a bunch of them that I’m not yet familiar with—self-efficacy, expectancy, equity sensitivity, hygiene factors, and OB Mod. Guess I‘ve got my work cut out for me. Hyatt Hotels Corporation had a problem. It hired bright, energetic young people to help run its Hyatt Regency hotels. They worked for a few years at the registration desk, as assistant housekeeping managers, or in other positions while learning hotel operations. Then, they would desire faster promotions into management positions and, seeing the long road ahead, search for a new employer. Part of the problem lay in the slow expansion of the company, which often slowed individual progression rates into management from the previous time span of three years to eight years or more. To prevent high turnover and capitalize on existing talent, Hyatt started giving its employees opportunities to create new ventures in related fields, such as party catering and rental shops. The motivational impact of the autonomy provided by these entrepreneurial ventures enabled Hyatt to retain over 60 percent of its managers, while increasing its revenues and providing valuable experience to its workforce. The Hyatt situation provides an opportunity to look both backward (at Part One) and forward (to this chapter and the next). Certainly the new program in the hotels created a different organizational culture there; the executives in charge showed how supportive they were by searching for ways to retain valuable human resources; and they began to listen carefully to what employees were telling them in order to discover how to respond. Motivation, then, takes place within a culture, reflects an organizational behavior model, and requires excellent communication skills. The Hyatt Hotels example also provides an illustration of the four major indicators of employee motivation that are commonly monitored by employers: 1. Engagement (see Chapter 9) is the degree of enthusiasm, initiative, and effort put forth by employees. 115 116 Part Two Motivation and Reward Systems 2. Commitment is the degree to which employees bond with the organization and exhibit acts of organizational citizenship (discussed in Chapter 10). 3. Satisfaction is a reflection of the fulfillment of the psychological contract , the experience of meaningful tasks, and met expectations at work (see Chapter 10). 4. Turnover is the loss of valued employees, and can be reduced by empowering employees (see Chapter 8). Definition of work motivation Research shows that when employers address all four factors successfully, employee motivation—and organizational success—is greatly strengthened.2 What is motivation? Work motivation is the result of a set of internal and external forces that cause an employee to choose an appropriate course of action and engage in certain behaviors. Ideally, these behaviors will be directed at the achievement of an organizational goal. Work motivation is a complex combination of psychological forces within each person, and employers are vitally interested in three elements of it: • Direction and focus of the behavior (positive factors are dependability, creativity, helpfulness, timeliness; dysfunctional factors are tardiness, absenteeism, withdrawal, and low performance) • Level of the effort provided (making a full commitment to excellence versus doing just enough to get by) • Persistence of the behavior (repeatedly maintaining the effort versus giving up prematurely or doing it just sporadically) Motivation also requires discovering and understanding employee drives and needs, since it originates within an individual. Positive acts performed for the organization— such as creating customer satisfaction and client loyalty through exceptional personalized service—need to be reinforced. And employees will be more motivated when they have clear goals to achieve. Needs, reinforcement, goals, expectancies, and feelings of equity are the main thrusts of this chapter. As the earlier quote by author Jim Collins points out, it is equally important to uncover the factors at work that act to demotivate employees and diminish their enthusiasm for high performance. Common managerial behaviors that detract from motivation include: • • • • • • Tolerating poor performance by incompetent or lazy co-workers Leveling undue criticism at employees Failing to provide clear expectations Making false promises of incentives available Unfair distribution of rewards (favoritism) Hours spent in unproductive meetings Even the simple act of removing factors such as these can produce immediate benefits in workforce motivation! A MODEL OF MOTIVATION Although a few spontaneous human activities occur without motivation, nearly all conscious behavior is motivated, or caused. Growing hair requires no motivation, but getting a haircut does. Eventually, anyone will fall asleep without motivation (although parents with young children may doubt this), but going to bed is a conscious act requiring motivation. Engaging Your Brain 1. Think of someone you know who is highly motivated. What factors explain that person’s behavior? Would those factors work to motivate others? 2. Some writers have suggested that individual motivation is more a function of biological factors (genetics) than rewards. What do you think? 3. As you read this chapter you will encounter a sampling of the most prevalent motivational models. When you look back upon them, do you believe that they are competing (basically incompatible with each other) or complementary (capable of being integrated with each other)? Be prepared to explain your conclusion. PP 5 A 3 M A manager’s job is to identify employees’ drives and needs and to channel their behavior toward task performance. The role of motivation in performance is summarized in Figure 5.1. Internal needs and drives create tensions that are affected by one’s environment. For example, the need for food produces a tension of hunger. The hungry person then examines the surroundings to see which foods (external incentives) are available to satisfy that hunger. Since environment affects one’s appetite for particular kinds of food, a South Seas native may want roast fish, whereas a Colorado rancher may prefer grilled steak. Both persons are ready to achieve their goals, but they will seek different foods to satisfy their needs. This is an example of both individual differences and cultural influences in action. As we saw in the formulas in Chapter 1, potential performance (PP) is a product of ability (A) and motivation (M). Results occur when motivated employees are provided with the opportunity (such as the proper training) to perform and the resources (such as the proper tools) to do so. The presence of goals and the awareness of incentives to satisfy one’s needs are also powerful motivational factors leading to the release of effort (motivation). The amount of effort that employees expend is also directly affected by whether they are energized or fatigued. High-energy workers are alert, spirited, and enthusiastic; they feel vitalized and are eager to act. Fatigued workers act tired, sluggish, and feel emotionally depleted. Unfortunately, many factors contribute to fatigue— long work hours, sleep deprivation, job insecurity, dual-career relationships, and a high pace of work coupled with the modern phenomenon of being “electronically tethered” to one’s job on a 24/7 basis. Traditional “micro-breaks” have little lasting rejuvenation effects. Personal strategies for energy management fall into three categories: • Learning (acquiring new information or skills; setting new goals; identifying sources of joy at work) FIGURE 5.1 A Model of Motivation Environment Needs and drives Opportunity Tension Effort Goals and incentives Performance Rewards Ability Need satisfaction 117 118 Part Two Motivation and Reward Systems • Relationship development (helping colleagues; demonstrating gratitude to others; seeking and acting on feedback) • Finding meaning at work (reflecting on one’s significance and impact at work)3 When an employee is productive and the organization takes note of it, rewards will be distributed. If those rewards are appropriate in nature, timing, and distribution, the employee’s original needs and drives are satisfied. At that time, new needs may emerge and the cycle will begin again. (You might also note that even the experience of progress toward goals can be directly satisfying, similar to the common adage that we should “Focus on the journey, not the destination.”) It should be apparent, therefore, that an important starting point lies in understanding employee needs. Several traditional approaches to classifying drives and needs are presented first; these models attempt to help managers understand how employees’ internal needs affect their subsequent behaviors. These historical approaches are logically followed by a discussion of a systematic way of modifying employee behavior through the use of rewards that satisfy those needs. MOTIVATIONAL DRIVES Three drives People tend to develop certain motivational drives (strong desires for something) as a product of the cultural environment in which they live. These acquired drives affect the way people view their jobs and approach their lives. Much of the interest in these patterns of motivation was generated by the research of David C. McClelland of Harvard University.4 He developed a classification scheme highlighting three of the more dominant drives and pointed out their significance to motivation. His studies revealed that people’s motivational drives reflect elements of the culture in which they grow up—their family, school, church, and books. In most nations, one or two of the motivational patterns tend to be strong among the workers because they have grown up with similar backgrounds. McClelland’s research focused on the drives for achievement, affiliation, and power (see Figure 5.2). Achievement Motivation Characteristics of achievers FIGURE 5.2 Motivational Drives Achievement motivation is a drive some people have to pursue and attain challenging goals. An individual with this drive wishes to achieve objectives and advance up the ladder of success. Accomplishment is seen as important primarily for its own sake, not just for the rewards that accompany it. (See “What Managers Are Reading.”) A number of characteristics define achievement-oriented employees. They work harder when they perceive that they will receive personal credit for their efforts, when the risk of failure is only moderate, and when they receive specific feedback about their past performance. People with a high drive for achievement take responsibility for their actions and results, desire to control their destiny, seek regular feedback, and enjoy being part of a winning achievement through individual or collective effort. As managers, they tend to expect that their employees will also be oriented toward achievement. These high Achievement Affiliation Power A drive to accomplish objectives and get ahead A drive to relate to people effectively A drive to influence people and situations What Managers Are Reading WHAT REWARDS DO EMPLOYEES WANT? David Sirota and his co-authors argue that corporate America has fallen prey to 33 different myths about contemporary employees, including their unhappiness with pay, laziness, and resistance to change. After a thorough investigation, Sirota found that these myths are not supported by research evidence. In contrast, organizations can profit best by creating enthusiastic employees. The secret lies in giving employees the three major rewards they want from work: • Fair treatment (job security, adequate compensation, and respect) • Sense of achievement (purpose, enablement, challenge, feedback, and recognition) • Camaraderie (trust, solidarity, and teamwork) Source: David Sirota, Louis Mischkind, and Michael Meltzer, The Enthusiastic Employee: How Companies Profit by Giving Workers What They Want, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Wharton School Publishing, 2005. expectations sometimes make it difficult for achievement-oriented managers to delegate effectively and for “average” employees to satisfy their manager’s high demands. Affiliation Motivation Comparing achievement and affiliation drives Affiliation motivation is a drive to relate to people on a social basis—to work with compatible people and experience a sense of community. Comparisons of achievementmotivated employees with affiliation-motivation employees illustrate how the two patterns influence behavior. Achievement-oriented people work harder when their supervisors provide detailed evaluations of their work behavior. But people with affiliation motives work better when they are complimented for their favorable attitudes and cooperation. Achievement-motivated people select assistants who are technically capable, with little regard for personal feelings about them. Those who are affiliation-motivated tend to surround themselves with friends and likable people. They receive inner satisfaction from being with friends, and they want the job freedom to develop those relationships. Managers with strong needs for affiliation may have difficulty being effective managers. Although a high concern for positive social relationships usually results in a cooperative work environment where employees genuinely enjoy working together, managerial overemphasis on the social dimension may interfere with the vital process of getting things done. Affiliation-oriented managers may have difficulty assigning challenging tasks, directing work activities, and monitoring work effectiveness. Power Motivation Institutional versus personal power Power motivation is a drive to influence people, take control, and change situations. Power-motivated people wish to create an impact on their organizations and are willing to take risks to do so. Once this power is obtained, it may be used either constructively or destructively. Power-motivated people make excellent managers if their drives are for institutional power instead of personal power. Institutional power is the need to influence others’ behavior for the good of the whole organization. People with this need seek power through legitimate means, rise to leadership positions through successful performance, and therefore are accepted by others. However, if an employee’s drives are toward personal power, that person tends to lose the trust and respect of employees and colleagues and be an unsuccessful organizational leader. 119 120 Part Two Motivation and Reward Systems Managerial Application of the Drives Knowledge of the differences among the three motivational drives requires managers to think contingently and to understand the unique work attitudes of each employee. They can then deal with employees differently according to the strongest motivational drive that they identify in each employee. In this way, the supervisor communicates with each employee according to that particular person’s needs. As one employee said, “My supervisor talks to me in my language.” Although various tests can be used to identify the strength of employee drives, direct observation of employees’ behavior is one of the best methods for determining what they will respond to. HUMAN NEEDS When a machine malfunctions, people recognize that it needs something to fix it. Managers try to find the causes of the breakdown in an analytical manner based on their knowledge of the operations and needs of the machine. Like the machine, an employee who malfunctions does so because of definite causes that may be related to needs. For improvement to occur, the employee requires skilled and professional care just as the machine does. If we treated (maintained) people as well as we do expensive machines, we would have more productive, and hence more satisfied, workers. First, we must identify the needs that are important to them. Types of Needs Primary needs Secondary needs Needs may be classified in various ways. A simple classification is (1) basic physical needs, called primary needs, and (2) social and psychological needs, called secondary needs. The physical needs include food, water, sex, sleep, air, and reasonably comfortable temperature and humidity. These needs arise from the basic requirements of life and are important for survival of the human race. They are, therefore, virtually universal, but they vary in intensity from one person to another. For example, a toddler needs much more sleep than its parents, while some older persons desire a warmer room than others do. Needs also are conditioned by social practice. If it is customary to eat three meals a day, then a person tends to become hungry for three, even though two might be adequate. If a coffee hour is introduced in the morning, then that becomes a habit of appetite satisfaction as well as a social need. Secondary needs are more vague because they represent needs of the mind and spirit rather than of the physical body. Many of these needs are acquired and developed as people mature. Examples are needs that pertain to self-esteem, sense of duty, competitiveness, belongingness, self-assertion, and giving or receiving affection. The secondary needs are those that complicate the motivational efforts of managers. Therefore, managerial planning should consider the effect of any proposed action on the secondary needs of employees. The following are seven key conclusions about secondary needs. • • • • They are strongly conditioned by experience. They vary in type and intensity among people. They are subject to change across time within any individual. They cannot usually be isolated, but rather work in combination and influence one another. • They are often hidden from conscious recognition. • They are vague feelings as opposed to specific physical needs. • They influence behavior in powerful ways. Chapter 5 Motivation 121 Whereas the three motivational drives identified earlier were not grouped in any particular sequence or hierarchy, the three major theories of human needs presented in the following sections attempt to classify employee needs. At least implicitly, the theories of Maslow, Herzberg, and Alderfer build on the distinction between primary and secondary needs. Also, there are some similarities as well as important differences among the three approaches. Despite their limitations, all three approaches to human needs help create an important basis for the more advanced motivational models to be discussed later. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs According to A. H. Maslow, human needs are not of equal strength, and they emerge (become increasingly important) in a predictable but rather fluid sequence. In particular, as the primary needs become reasonably well satisfied, a person places more emphasis on the secondary needs. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs identifies and focuses attention on five levels, as shown in Figure 5.3.5 This hierarchy is briefly presented and then interpreted in the following sections. Lower-Order Needs First-level needs involve basic survival and include physiological needs for food, air, water, and sleep. The second need level that tends to dominate is bodily safety (such as freedom from a dangerous work environment) and economic security FIGURE 5.3 A Comparison of Maslow’s, Herzberg’s, and Alderfer’s Models Herzberg’s two-factor model 5. Self-actualization and fulfillment needs 4. Esteem and status needs Motivational factors Model of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs Work itself Achievement Possibility of growth Responsibility Advancement Recognition Alderfer’s E-R-G model Growth needs Relatedness needs Status 2. Safety and security needs 1. Physiological needs Maintenance factors 3. Belonging and social needs Relations with supervisors Peer relations Relations with subordinates Quality of supervision Company policy and administration Job security Working conditions Pay Existence needs 122 Part Two Motivation and Reward Systems (such as a no-layoff guarantee or a comfortable retirement plan). These two need levels together are typically called lower-order needs, and they are similar to the primary needs discussed earlier. Higher-Order Needs Three levels of higher-order needs exist. The third level in the hierarchy concerns love, belonging, and social involvement at work (friendships and compatible associates). The needs at the fourth level encompass those for esteem and status, including one’s feelings of self-worth and of competence. The feeling of competence, which derives from the able completion of tasks and the assurance of others, provides status. The fifth-level need is self-actualization, which is an ongoing process of becoming all that one is capable of becoming, using one’s skills to the fullest, having a rich combination of values and purpose, and stretching talents to the maximum. Interpreting the Hierarchy of Needs Maslow’s need-hierarchy model essentially says that people have a variety of needs they wish to satisfy, multiple needs operate simultaneously, all need levels are often partially satisfied, and that gratified needs are not as strongly motivating as unmet needs. Employees are more enthusiastically motivated by what they are currently seeking than by receiving more of what they already have. A fully satisfied need will not be a strong motivator. Interpreted in this way, the Maslow hierarchy of needs has had a powerful impact on contemporary managers, offering some useful ideas for helping managers think about motivating their employees. As a result of widespread familiarity with the model, today’s managers need to: • • • • Limitations Identify and accept employee needs Recognize that needs may differ among employees Offer satisfaction for the particular needs currently unmet Realize that giving more of the same reward (especially one that satisfies lower-order needs) may have a diminishing impact on motivation The Maslow model also has many limitations, and it has been sharply criticized. As a philosophical framework, it has been difficult to study and has not been fully verified. From a practical perspective, it is not easy to provide opportunities for self-actualization to all employees. In addition, research has not supported the presence of all five need levels as unique, nor has the five-step progression from lowest to highest need levels been established. There is, however, some evidence that unless the two lower-order needs (physiological and security) are basically satisfied, employees will not be greatly concerned with higher-order needs. The evidence for a more limited number of need levels is consistent with each of the two models discussed next. Herzberg’s Two-Factor Model On the basis of research with a group of engineers and accountants, Frederick Herzberg developed a two-factor model of motivation.6 He asked the group members to think of a time when they felt especially good about their jobs and a time when they felt especially bad about their jobs. He also asked them to describe the conditions that led to those feelings. Herzberg found that employees named different types of conditions that produced good and bad feelings—that is, if a feeling of achievement led to a good feeling, the lack of achievement was rarely given as cause for bad feelings. Instead, some other factor, such as company policy, was more frequently given as a cause of bad feelings. Maintenance and Motivational Factors Herzberg concluded that two separate sets of factors influenced motivation. Prior to that time, people had assumed that motivation and lack of motivation were merely opposites of one factor on a continuum. Herzberg upset the Chapter 5 Motivation 123 FIGURE 5.4 Effects of Maintenance and Motivational Factors High negative feelings (Absence) Maintenance factors (Presence) (Absence) Hygiene factors Motivational factors Intrinsic and extrinsic motivators High positive feelings Neutral Motivational factors (Presence) traditional view by stating that certain job factors, such as job security and working conditions, dissatisfy employees primarily when the conditions are absent. However, as shown in Figure 5.4, their presence generally brings employees only to a neutral state. The factors are not strongly motivating. These potent dissatisfiers are called hygiene factors, or maintenance factors, because they must not be ignored. They are necessary for building a foundation on which to subsequently create a reasonable level of motivation in employees. Other job conditions operate primarily to build this motivation, but their absence rarely is strongly dissatisfying. These conditions are known as motivational factors, motivators, or satisfiers. For many years, managers had been wondering why their custodial policies and wide array of fringe benefits were not increasing employee motivation. The idea of separate motivational and maintenance factors helped answer their question, because fringe benefits and company policies were primarily maintenance factors, according to Herzberg. Job Content and Context Figure 5.3 shows the factors in the Herzberg model. Motivational factors such as achievement and responsibility are related, for the most part, directly to the job itself, the employee’s performance, and the personal recognition and growth that employees experience. Motivators mostly are job-centered, and relate to job content. On the other hand, maintenance factors are mainly related to job context, because they are more related to the environment surrounding the job. This difference between job content and job context is a significant one. It shows that employees are motivated primarily by what they do for themselves. When they take responsibility or gain recognition through their own behavior, they are strongly motivated. Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivators The difference between job content and job context is similar to the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivators in psychology. Intrinsic motivators are internal rewards that a person feels when performing a job, so there is a direct and often immediate connection between work and rewards.7 An employee in this situation is self-motivated. Extrinsic motivators are external rewards that occur apart from the nature of work, providing no direct satisfaction at the time the work is performed. Examples are retirement plans, health insurance, and vacations. Although employees value these items, they are not effective motivators. Critical Thinking Exercise Some managers have tried to use additional hygiene factors to motivate employees. Question: What positive and negative results can you safely predict from that approach? 124 Part Two Motivation and Reward Systems Limitations Interpreting the Two-Factor Model Herzberg’s model provides a useful distinction between maintenance factors, which are necessary but not sufficient, and motivational factors, which have greater potential for improving employee effort. The two-factor model broadened managers’ perspectives by showing the potentially powerful role of intrinsic rewards that evolve from the work itself. (This conclusion ties in with a number of other important behavioral developments, such as job enrichment, empowerment, self-leadership, and quality of work life, which are discussed in later chapters.) Nevertheless, managers cannot neglect a wide range of maintenance factors that create at least a neutral work environment. In addition, unless these hygiene factors are reasonably well addressed, their absence will serve as significant distractions to workers. The Herzberg model, like Maslow’s, has been widely examined and criticized, as well as defended.8 It is not universally applicable, because it was based on and applies best to managerial, professional, and upper-level white-collar employees. The model also appears to reduce the motivational importance of pay, status, and relations with others, since these are maintenance factors. This aspect of the model is counterintuitive to many managers and difficult for them to accept. Since there is no absolute and clear distinction between the effects of the two major factors (see the overlap in the middle of Figure 5.4), the model outlines only general tendencies; maintenance factors may be motivators to some people, and motivators may be maintenance factors to others. Finally, the model also seems to be method-bound, meaning that only Herzberg’s approach (asking for selfreports of favorable and unfavorable job experiences) produces the two-factor model. In short, there may be an appearance of two independent factors when in reality there is only one factor. Alderfer’s E-R-G Model Existence Relatedness Growth Building upon earlier need models (primarily Maslow’s) and seeking to overcome some of their weaknesses, Clayton Alderfer proposed a modified need hierarchy—the E-R-G model—with just three levels (see Figure 5.3).9 He suggested that employees are initially interested in satisfying their existence needs, which combine physiological and security factors. Pay, physical working conditions, job security, and fringe benefits can all address these needs. Relatedness needs are at the next level, and these social factors involve being understood and accepted by people above, below, and around the employee at work and away from it. Growth needs are in the third category; these involve the desire for both self-esteem and self-actualization. In addition to condensing Maslow’s five need levels into three that are more consistent with research, the E-R-G model differs in other ways. For example, the E-R-G model does not assume a distinct progression from level to level. Instead, it accepts the likelihood that all three levels might be active at any time—or even that just one of the higher levels might be active. It also suggests that a person frustrated at either of the two higher levels may return to concentrate on a lower level and then progress again. Finally, whereas the first two levels are somewhat limited in their requirements for satisfaction, the growth needs not only are unlimited but are actually further awakened each time some satisfaction is attained. Comparison of the Maslow, Herzberg, and Alderfer Models The similarities among the three models of human needs are quite apparent, as shown in Figure 5.3, but there are important contrasts, too. Maslow and Alderfer focus on the internal needs of the employee, whereas Herzberg also identifies and differentiates the conditions (job content or job context) that could be provided for need satisfaction. Chapter 5 Motivation 125 Popular interpretations of the Maslow and Herzberg models suggest that in modern societies many workers have already satisfied their lower-order and maintenance needs, so they are now motivated mainly by higher-order needs and motivators. Alderfer suggests that the failure to satisfy relatedness or growth needs will cause renewed interest in existence needs. (The consequences of unsatisfied needs, whether they produce frustration or constructive coping, are discussed in Chapter 15.) Finally, all three models indicate that before a manager tries to administer a reward, he or she would find it useful to discover which need or needs dominate a particular employee at the time. In this way, all need models provide a foundation for the understanding and application of behavior modification. BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION Content theories OB Mod Process theories The models of motivation that have been discussed up to this point are known as content theories of motivation because they focus on the content (nature) of items that may motivate a person. They relate to the person’s inner self and how that person’s internal state of needs determines behavior. The major difficulty with content models of motivation is that the needs people have are not subject to observation by managers or to precise measurement for monitoring purposes. It is difficult, for example, to measure an employee’s esteem needs or to assess how they change over time. Further, simply knowing about an employee’s needs does not directly suggest to managers what they should do with that information. As a result, there has been considerable interest in motivational models that rely more heavily on intended results, careful measurement, and systematic application of incentives. Organizational behavior modification, or OB Mod, is the application in organizations of the principles of behavior modification, which evolved from the work of B. F. Skinner.10 OB Mod and the next several models are process theories of motivation, since they provide perspectives on the dynamics by which employees can be motivated. Law of Effect Focus on consequences OB Mod is based on the idea that behavior depends on its consequences; therefore, managers can control, or at least affect, a number of employee behaviors by manipulating their consequences. OB Mod relies heavily on the law of effect, which states that a person tends to repeat behavior that is accompanied by favorable consequences (reinforcement) and tends not to repeat behavior that is accompanied by unfavorable (or a lack of) consequences. Two conditions are required for successful application of OB Mod—the manager must be able to identify some powerful consequences (as perceived by the employee) and then must be able to control and administer them in such a way that the employee will see the connection between the behavior to be affected and the consequences (see “On the Job: Ladies Professional Golf Association”). The law of effect comes from learning theory, which suggests that we learn best under pleasant surroundings. Whereas content theories argue that internal needs lead to behavior, OB Mod states that external consequences tend to determine behavior. The advantage of OB Mod is that it places a greater degree of control, and responsibility, in the hands of the manager. Several firms, including Frito-Lay, Weyerhaeuser, and B. F. Goodrich, have used various forms of behavior modification successfully. A special type of learning theory is social learning, also known as vicarious learning. This suggests that employees do not always have to learn directly from their own experiences. Instead, they may—and even are likely to—learn by observing the actions of On the Job: Ladies Professional Golf Association Some professional sports have developed reward systems that appear to build on the principles of OB Mod and the law of effect. For example, on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tour, only those players who complete all four rounds of a tournament and have the better total scores collect checks when they are done. Furthermore, the winner’s check is nearly double what the second-place finisher receives. The LPGA has identified money as a favorable consequence and tied its distribution directly to the level of short-term performance by its members. This system encourages the players to participate in numerous tournaments, perform well enough to play all four rounds, and excel. others, understanding the consequences that others are experiencing, and using that new information to modify their own behavior. Employees who acquire the skills of social learning can often become much more effective in less time than they would have if they had to experience everything independently. Alternative Consequences Positive reinforcement OB Mod places great emphasis on the use of rewards (see the model of motivation in Figure 5.1) and alternative consequences to sustain behavior. Before using OB Mod, however, managers must decide whether they wish to increase the probability of a person’s continued behavior or to decrease it. Once they have decided on their objective, they have two further choices to make which determine the type of consequence to be applied. First, should they use a positive or a negative consequence? Second, should they apply it or withhold it? The answers to those two questions result in four unique alternative consequences, as shown in Figure 5.5 and in the discussion that follows. Behavior is encouraged primarily through positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement provides a favorable consequence that encourages repetition of a behavior. An employee, for example, may find that when high-quality work is done, the supervisor FIGURE 5.5 Four Alternative Consequences of OB Mod Application Punishment Positive reinforcement Negative reinforcement Extinction Negative Positive Manager’s use Withdrawal Nature of consequence 126 On the Job: Blandin Paper Co., Pfeiffer-Hamilton Publishers, and Grandma’s Restaurants The variety of rewards available to managers is almost limitless, not always expensive, and often touching to the recipients. Here are a few examples: • Blandin Paper Company (owned by UPM-Kymmene) emphasizes recognition from supervisors plus rewards such as T-shirts, coffee mugs, and gift certificates to be used at local restaurants. • Pfeiffer-Hamilton Publishers invites all employees to a “celebration of creativity” party each year and also gives Guidelines for positive reinforcement Shaping each employee a free autographed copy of every book the company publishes. • Grandma’s Restaurant chain not only gives 10-year employees a gold watch but also creates placemats for its tables with the employee’s picture and background information on them. • Other companies advocate the use of personal notes praising an employee’s performance, provide workers with a free lunch on their birthdays, or place the signatures of employees inside the products they produce. gives a reward of recognition. Since the employee likes recognition, behavior is reinforced, and the employee tends to want to do high-quality work again. The reinforcement always should be contingent on the employee’s correct behavior—not randomly administered (see “On the Job: Blandin Paper Co., Pfeiffer-Hamilton Publishers, and Grandma’s Restaurants”). The secret to a manager’s use of positive reinforcement lies in how it is implemented. Favorable consequences should be personalized, timely, specific, high-impact, and as spontaneous as possible. They should provide useful feedback about performance, celebrate publicly the value of a contribution, and build a sense of ownership and commitment within employees. Most of the time, positive reinforcement can be economically done in a spirit of fun, as discussed in Chapter 4. Shaping is a systematic and progressive application of positive reinforcement. It occurs when more frequent, or more powerful, reinforcements are successively given as the employee comes closer to the desired behavior. Even though the completely correct behavior does not yet occur, it is encouraged by giving reinforcement for behavior in the desired direction.11 Shaping is especially useful for teaching complex tasks. An illustration of shaping is the training procedure used by a supervisor in a retail store. The store was so small it had no centralized training program for sales clerks, so all sales training was a responsibility of the supervisor. In the beginning, when a new sales clerk did not know how to deal with customers effectively, the supervisor explained the proper sales procedure. The supervisor observed the clerk’s behavior, and from time to time when the clerk showed improved behavior in some part of the procedure, the supervisor expressed approval and encouraged the employee. Since this was favorable recognition for the employee, it helped shape behavior in the correct direction. Negative reinforcement Negative reinforcement occurs when behavior is accompanied by removal of an unfavorable consequence; therefore, it is not the same as punishment, which normally adds something unfavorable. Consistent with the law of effect, behavior responsible for the removal of something unfavorable is repeated when that unfavorable state is again encountered. An example of negative reinforcement is the experience of a jet aircraft mechanic who learned that if she wore noise suppressors over her ears, she could prevent discomfort from the jet engine noise—the unfavorable consequence; this reinforcement encouraged her to wear the proper noise equipment. 127 128 Part Two Motivation and Reward Systems Punishment Extinction Punishment is the administration of an unfavorable consequence that discourages a certain behavior. Although punishment may be necessary occasionally to discourage an undesirable behavior, it needs to be used with caution because it has certain limitations. It does not directly encourage any kind of desirable behavior unless the person receiving it is clearly aware of the alternative path to follow; it may cause managers acting as punishers to become disliked for their disciplinary actions; and it could happen that people who are punished may be unclear about what specific part of their behavior is being punished. Extinction is the withholding of significant positive consequences that were previously provided for a desirable behavior. Such desirable learned behavior needs to be reinforced to encourage the person to repeat the action in the future. If no reinforcement by the manager, the employee, or anyone else occurs, the behavior tends to diminish (become extinguished) through lack of reinforcement. Schedules of Reinforcement Baseline Continuous reinforcement Partial reinforcement Before various types of consequences can be applied, managers should monitor employee behavior to learn how often, or how well, employees are performing. The frequency of the behavior creates a baseline, or standard, against which improvements can be compared. Then, the manager can select a reinforcement schedule, which is the frequency with which the selected consequence accompanies a desired behavior. Reinforcement may be either continuous or partial. Continuous reinforcement occurs when reinforcement accompanies each correct behavior by an employee. In some instances, this level of reinforcement may be desirable to encourage quick learning, but in the typical work situation it usually is not possible to reward even one employee for every correct behavior—much less several employees. An example of continuous reinforcement is payment of employees for each acceptable item they produce. Partial reinforcement occurs when only some of the correct behaviors are reinforced—either after a certain time or after a number of correct responses. Learning is slower with partial reinforcement than with continuous reinforcement. However, learning tends to be retained longer when it is secured under conditions of partial reinforcement. Interpreting Behavior Modification Contributions Limitations The major benefit of behavior modification is that it makes managers become more conscious motivators. It encourages managers to analyze employee behavior, explore why it occurs and how often, and identify specific consequences that will help change it when those consequences are applied systematically. Application of this process often encourages effective supervisors to devote more time to monitoring employee behaviors. Performance feedback, praise, and recognition are often parts of this strategy because they tend to be widely desired and therefore are strong reinforcements. General guidelines for a behavior modification strategy are shown in Figure 5.6. When specific behaviors can be identified and desired reinforcements are properly applied, behavior modification can lead to substantial improvements in specific areas, such as absences, tardiness, and error rates (see “On the Job: Collins Food International” on the next page). Behavior modification has been criticized on several grounds, including its philosophy, methods, and practicality. Because of the strong power of desired consequences, the use of behavior modification may effectively force people to change their behavior. In this way, it could manipulate people and be inconsistent with humanistic assumptions discussed earlier that people want to be autonomous and self-actualizing. Some critics also fear that behavior modification gives too much power to the managers, without appropriate controls. These critics raise the question, Who will control the controllers? On the Job: Collins Food International Collins Food International used behavior modification with clerical employees in its accounting department.12 One of the items selected for modification was billing error rates. Management measured existing error rates and then met with employees to discuss and set goals for improvement. It also praised employees for reduction of errors, and it reported error results to them regularly. Employees in the accounts payable department responded by reducing error rates from more than 8 percent to less than 0.2 percent. GOAL SETTING Self-efficacy affects goal setting FIGURE 5.6 Guidelines for Applying Behavior Modification Goals are targets and objectives for future performance. They help focus employees’ attention on items of greater importance to the organization, encourage better planning for the allocation of critical resources (time, money, and energy), illustrate the value of persistent effort, and stimulate the preparation of action plans for goal attainment. Goals appear in the model of motivation (see Figure 5.1) before employee performance, which accents their role as a cue to acceptable behavior. Goals are also useful after the desired behavior, as managers compare employee results with their aims and explore reasons for any differences. Goal setting works as a motivational process because it creates a discrepancy between current and expected performance. This results in a feeling of tension, which the employee can diminish through future goal attainment. Meeting goals also helps satisfy a person’s achievement drive, contributes to feelings of competence and self-esteem, and further stimulates personal growth needs. Individuals who successfully achieve goals tend to set even higher goals in the future. One review of research concluded that employee performance improved about 16 percent after the implementation of a goal-setting program—a success rate that many firms would be happy to achieve.13 A major factor in the success of goal setting is self-efficacy. This is an internal belief regarding one’s job-related capabilities and competencies. (Self-efficacy is different from self-esteem, which is a broader feeling of like or dislike for oneself.)14 Self-efficacy can be judged either on a specific task or across a variety of performance duties. If employees have high self-efficacies, they will tend to set higher personal goals under the belief that they are attainable. The first key to successful goal setting is to build • Identify the exact behavior to be modified. • Make sure the expected behavior is within the employee’s capabilities. • Determine not only the rewards that employees value but also the magnitude that would affect their behavior. • Clarify the connection between desired behavior and rewards. • Use positive reinforcement whenever possible. • Use punishment only in unusual circumstances and for specific behaviors. • Ignore minor undesirable behavior to allow its extinction. • Use shaping procedures to develop correct complex behavior. • Minimize the time between the correct behavior and its reinforcement. • Provide reinforcement frequently, and on some chosen schedule. 129 130 Part Two Motivation and Reward Systems FIGURE 5.7 Tips for Building Employee SelfEfficacy 1. Don’t imply that employees are incompetent. 2. Don’t talk down to them about their performance. 3. Don’t find petty faults with their results. 4. Don’t criticize their work in front of their peers. 5. Don’t belittle the importance of their jobs or tasks. 6. Do praise them for their appropriate efforts—and especially their products. 7. Do ask for their inputs and suggestions. 8. Do listen carefully to their ideas for improvements. 9. Do share positive feedback from their peers with them. 10. Do provide formal recognition for their achievements. and reinforce employee self-efficacy (see the practical tips in Figure 5.7). Following this step, managers should try to incorporate the four essential elements of goal setting, which are discussed next. Elements of Goal Setting Goals should be accepted, specific, challenging, and progress-monitored for their success Goal setting, as a motivational tool, is most effective when all its major elements are present. These are goal acceptance, specificity, challenge, and performance monitoring and feedback. Each is discussed briefly in the following sections. Goal Acceptance Effective goals need to be not only understood but also actively accepted. Simply assigning goals to employees may not result in their commitment to those goals, especially if the goal will be difficult to accomplish. Minimally, supervisors need to explain the purpose behind goals and the necessity for them. A more powerful method of obtaining acceptance is to allow the employees to participate in the goal-setting process. A public statement of performance intentions also contributes to the commitment of employees to their achievement. Specificity Goals need to be as specific, clear, and measurable as possible so employees will know when a goal is reached. Asking employees to improve, work harder, or do better is not very helpful, because that kind of goal does not give them a focused target to seek. Specific goals (often quantified) let them know what to reach for and allow them to measure their own progress. Challenge Perhaps surprisingly, most employees work harder and achieve more when they have difficult goals to accomplish rather than easy ones. Hard goals present a challenge that appeals to the achievement drive within many employees. These goals must, however, still be achievable, given the experience of the individual and the resources available (see “On the Job: Ripple River Motel” on the next page). Performance Monitoring and Feedback Even after employees have participated in setting well-defined and challenging goals, two other closely related steps are important to Critical Thinking Exercise At first glance, there may appear to be only positive effects of high employee self-efficacy Question: What negative results can you safely predict from extreme self-efficacy? On the Job: Ripple River Motel The motivational value of a challenge was demonstrated by a motel owner in a small city. Richard Fann was concerned about the time required by housekeepers to change the beds when they cleaned a room at the Ripple River Motel. The average time used was about seven minutes, including numerous trips around the bed to strip the sheets and replace the covers. Suggestions made to the housekeepers to reduce their wasted motions were only marginally successful in speeding up the process. Finally, Richard decided to stage a contest and pit the housekeepers against one another. Not only did the strategy work, but the results overwhelmed him. The winning employee was able to change a bed in less than one minute and to do this by staying on one side! “Why hadn’t they done this earlier?” Richard inquired. “Because you didn’t challenge us,” they responded. complete the process. Performance monitoring—observing behavior, inspecting output, or studying performance indicators—provides at least subtle cues to employees that their tasks are important, their effort is needed, and their contributions are valued. This monitoring heightens their awareness of the role they play in contributing to organizational effectiveness. Simply monitoring results, however, may not be enough. Many employees are hungry for information about how well they are performing. Without performance feedback— the timely provision of data or judgment regarding task-related results—employees will be working in the dark and have no true idea how successful they are. A ball team needs to know the score of the game; a trapshooter needs to see the clay pigeons break into pieces; and the woodchopper needs to see the chips fly and the pile of firewood grow. The same can be said for a team on the production line or a retail salesclerk. Performance feedback tends to encourage better job performance, and self-generated feedback is an especially powerful motivational tool. Researchers introduced new management practices at 14 textile plants in India (the “test” group). They emphasized three key managerial practices—setting shortterm performance targets, rewarding high performers, and rigorously monitoring performance data. In comparison to a control group of 14 other plants, the test group reported several significant results one year later—output rose by 10 percent, defects dropped by 50 percent, inventory was reduced by 20 percent, profits rose, and safety improved. These results demonstrated that goal setting and performance monitoring/feedback work equally well in other international cultures.15 THE EXPECTANCY MODEL V3E3I5M A widely accepted approach to motivation is the expectancy model, also known as expectancy theory, developed by Victor H. Vroom and expanded and refined by Porter and Lawler and others.16 Vroom explains that motivation is a product of three factors: how much one wants a reward (valence), one’s estimate of the probability that effort will Critical Thinking Exercise Assume that you, as a manager, are seriously considering the implementation of a performance feedback system for the first time. Question: What positive and negative results can you safely predict from doing that? 131 132 Part Two Motivation and Reward Systems result in successful performance (expectancy), and one’s estimate that performance will result in receiving the reward (instrumentality). This relationship is stated in the following formula: Valence 3 Expectancy 3 Instrumentality 5 Motivation The Three Factors Reward preference Can valence be negative? Valence Valence refers to the strength of a person’s preference for receiving a reward. It is an expression of the amount of one’s desire to reach a goal. For example, if an employee strongly wants a promotion, then promotion has high valence for that employee. Valence for a reward is unique to each employee and thus is a reflection of the concept of individual differences introduced in Chapter 1. An individual’s valence for a reward is conditioned by experience, and it may vary substantially over a period of time as old needs become satisfied and new ones emerge. It is important to understand the difference between the implications of need-based models of motivation and the idea of valence in the expectancy model. In the need-based models, broad generalizations are used to predict where a group of employees may have the strongest drives or the greatest unsatisfied needs. In the expectancy model, managers need to gather specific information about an individual employee’s preferences among a set of rewards and then continue to monitor changes in those preferences. Since people may have positive or negative preferences for an outcome, valence may be negative as well as positive. When a person prefers not attaining an outcome, as compared with attaining it, valence is a negative figure. If a person is indifferent to an outcome, the valence is 0. The total range is from 21 to 11, as shown in Figure 5.8. Some employees will find intrinsic valence in the work itself, particularly if they have a strong work ethic or competence motivation. They derive satisfaction directly from their work through a sense of completion, of doing a task right, or of creating something. In this instance, outcomes are largely within the employee’s own control and less subject to management’s reward system. These employees are self-motivated. Expectancy Expectancy is the strength of belief that one’s work-related effort will result in completion of a task. For example, a person selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door may know from experience that volume of sales is directly related to the number of sales FIGURE 5.8 Range of Valence, Expectancy, and Instrumentality Strong avoidance Indifference Strong preference −1 0 +1 Low probability High probability 0 +1 Low probability High probability 0 +1 Valence Expectancy Instrumentality Chapter 5 Motivation 133 Effort → performance probability Performance → reward probability calls made. Expectancies are stated as probabilities—the employee’s estimate of the degree to which performance will be determined by the amount of effort expended. Since expectancy is the probability of a connection between effort and performance, its value may range from 0 to 1. If an employee sees no chance that effort will lead to the desired performance, the expectancy is 0. At the other extreme, if the employee is totally confident that the task will be completed, the expectancy has a value of 1. Normally, employee estimates of expectancy lie somewhere between the two extremes. One of the forces contributing to effort-performance expectancies is the individual’s self-efficacy. Employees with high levels of self-efficacy are more likely to believe that exerting effort will result in satisfactory performance. High self-efficacy creates a high expectancy assessment. Instrumentality Instrumentality represents the employee’s belief that a reward will be received once the task is accomplished. Here the employee makes another subjective judgment about the probability that the organization values the employee’s performance and will administer rewards on a contingent basis. The value of instrumentality effectively ranges from 0 to 1.17 For example, if an employee sees that promotions are usually based on performance data, instrumentality will be rated high. However, if the basis for such decisions is unclear or managerial favoritism is suspected, a low instrumentality estimate will be made. How the Model Works The multiplicative product of valence (V), expectancy (E), and instrumentality (I) is motivation (V 3 E 3 I 5 Motivation). It is defined as the strength of the drive toward an action. The following is an example of the expectancy model in operation. Marty Fulmer, age 31, works as a welder in a large factory. Fulmer has very strong desires (high valence) to be in white-collar work instead of his present job, which he no longer enjoys. Fulmer recognizes that good welding will result in high performance appraisals by his supervisor (high expectancy). However, all white-collar jobs in the plant require a college degree, and Fulmer only has a high school diploma. Because of this barrier, Fulmer’s instrumentality estimate is low. Being a good welder will not result in promotion to the desired position. Despite his strong desire for something, he sees no viable way to achieve it, and therefore is not motivated to perform his job better. The three factors in the expectancy model may exist in numerous combinations. The multiplicative combination that produces the strongest motivation is high positive valence, high expectancy, and high instrumentality. If desire for a reward is high, but either of the probability estimates is low, then motivation will likely be moderate, at best. If both expectancy and instrumentality are low, then motivation will be weak even if the reward has high valence. A special case occurs when valence is negative; employees will then prefer to avoid the disliked outcome. For example, some employees would prefer not to be promoted into management because of the stress, loss of overtime pay, or additional responsibilities they would bear. The strength of avoidance behavior depends not only on the negative valence but on the expectancy and instrumentality factors as well. Through experience, people learn to place a different value on the rewards available to them and also on the varying levels of rewards offered. They also develop expectancy and instrumentality estimates through both their direct experiences and their observations of what happens to others. As a consequence, employees perform a type of cost-benefit analysis, often implicit, for their own behavior at work. If the estimated benefit is worth the cost, then employees are likely to apply more effort. 134 Part Two Motivation and Reward Systems Employee perceptions are important The Impact of Uncertainty The expectancy model depends on the employee’s perception of the relationship between effort, performance, and rewards. The connection between effort and ultimate reward is often uncertain. Each situation entails so many causes and effects that rarely can an employee be sure that a desired reward will follow a given action. Managers can address this uncertainty in two ways as they apply the expectancy model. First, they can work to strengthen both the actual value of the rewards offered and the formal connections between effort and performance and between performance and rewards. (This approach incorporates the principles of organizational behavior modification, discussed earlier, in which the manager establishes strong relationships between desired behaviors and effective rewards.) The second approach requires that managers recognize and accept the legitimacy of an employee’s perception of the rewards. An employee may not perceive that rewards are worthwhile (low valence) or that there is a strong probability of receiving one (the low effort-performance and performance-reward connections). Consequently, a simple straightforward incentive is often more motivating than a complex one. The complex one may involve so much uncertainty that the employee does not sufficiently connect the desired work behavior with a valued reward. The simple incentive, on the other hand, offers a practical course of action that the employee can picture and understand; therefore, it carries higher values for expectancy and instrumentality. In order to make the expectancy model work, the manager must clarify employee perceptions. This is just one area where a manager’s communication skills (Chapter 3) can be invaluable. Interpreting the Expectancy Model Advantages The expectancy model is a valuable tool for helping managers think about the mental processes through which motivation occurs. In this model, employees do not act simply because of strong internal drives, unmet needs, or the application of rewards and punishments. Instead, they are thinking individuals whose beliefs, perceptions, and probability estimates powerfully influence their behavior. The model reflects Theory Y assumptions about people as capable individuals and in this way values human dignity. The expectancy approach also encourages managers to design a motivational climate that will stimulate appropriate employee behavior. Managers need to communicate with employees, asking them three kinds of questions: • Which of the rewards available do you value the most? • Do you believe your effort will result in successful performance? (And if not, what can I do to reassure you?) • How likely is it that you will receive your desired rewards if you perform well? Then some difficult tasks may face managers, such as telling employees why some desired rewards are currently unavailable, or explaining to them why other factors may restrict employee performance despite their strong efforts. Even if employees cannot receive all that they desire, their expectations will be more realistic after effective communication has occurred. Limitations Despite its general appeal, the expectancy model has some problems. Its multiplicative combination of the three elements needs further substantiation. Both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards need to be considered. In addition, reliable measures of valence, expectancy, and instrumentality need to be developed. There is a special need to develop measures that managers can use in actual work settings. When possible, managers need to learn both what employees perceive and why they hold those valence, expectancy, and instrumentality beliefs. Chapter 5 Motivation 135 THE EQUITY MODEL The previous discussions of motivational models viewed the employee as an individual, virtually independent of other employees. As is pointed out in Chapter 1, however, employees work in a social system in which each is dependent to some degree on the others. Employees interact with one another on tasks and on social occasions. They observe one another, judge one another, and make comparisons. The next model to be discussed builds on this notion of comparison to add new dimensions to our overall understanding of employee motivation. Most employees are concerned about more than just having their needs satisfied; they also want their reward system to be fair. This issue of fairness applies to all types of rewards—psychological, social, and economic—and it makes the managerial job of motivation much more complex. J. Stacy Adams’s equity theory states that employees tend to judge fairness by comparing the outcomes (rewards) they receive with their relevant inputs (contributions) and also by comparing this ratio (not always the absolute level of rewards) with the ratios of other people (Figure 5.9), as this formula shows:18 One’s own outcomes Others’ outcomes 5 One’s own inputs Others’ inputs Inputs and outcomes are compared Inputs include all the rich and diverse elements that employees believe they bring, or contribute, to the job—their education, seniority, prior work experiences, loyalty and commitment, time and effort, creativity, and job performance. Outcomes are the rewards they perceive they get from their jobs and employers; these outcomes include direct pay and bonuses, fringe benefits, job security, social rewards, and psychological rewards. Employees analyze the fairness of their own outcome/input “contract,” and then compare their contract with contracts of other workers in similar jobs and even with those outside of their job. Fairness of rewards (equity) may even be judged in comparison with relatively arbitrary criteria like age, as the following example shows: Irene Nickerson works at Arizona Public Service, a large public utility. For several years her friends told her she could consider herself successful when her salary FIGURE 5.9 Key Factors in Equity Assessment One’s Inputs (also compared with others’ inputs) Job effort Education Seniority Performance Job difficulty Other inputs One’s Outcomes (also compared with others’ outcomes) Pay Benefits Fun at work Flexibility Social rewards Psychological rewards 136 Part Two Motivation and Reward Systems (in thousands of dollars) surpassed her age. One year, at age 34, she received a substantial salary increase that placed her annual income at $33,865. She was frustrated, incensed, and demoralized for weeks afterward, for she did not receive what she dearly wanted! For an extra $135, the company could have matched her equity expectations and continued to have a motivated employee. Equity Overreward Underreward Pay was a symbolic scorecard by which Nickerson compared her outcomes with her inputs (since she included age with her other inputs of education, experience, and effort). Her reaction is only one of the three combinations that can occur from social comparisons— equity, overreward, and underreward. If employees perceive equity, they will be motivated to continue to contribute at about the same level. Otherwise, under conditions of inequity, they will experience tension that will create the motivation to reduce the inequity. The resulting actions can be either physical or psychological, and internal or external. If employees feel overrewarded, equity theory predicts that they will feel an imbalance in their relationship with their employer and seek to restore that balance. They might work harder (shown as an internal and physical response in Figure 5.10), they might discount the value of the rewards received (internal and psychological), they could try to convince other employees to ask for more rewards (external and physical), or they might simply choose someone else for comparison purposes (external and psychological). Workers who feel they have been underrewarded seek to reduce their feelings of inequity through the same types of strategies, but some of their specific actions are now reversed. They might lower the quantity or quality of their productivity, they could inflate the perceived value of the rewards received, or they could bargain for more actual rewards. Again, they could find someone else to compare themselves (more favorably) with, or they might simply quit. In any event, they are reacting to inequity by bringing their inputs into balance with their outcomes. Knowledge of perceived outcome/input ratios allows managers to predict part of their employees’ behavior through understanding when, and under what conditions, workers will experience inequity. It might also alert managers to predict the product of that inequity. An example of employee reaction to underpayment occurred in a manufacturing plant that made small mechanical parts for the aerospace and automotive industries.19 Some important contracts were canceled, and the company was forced to announce a 15 percent cut in pay for all employees. Compared with a control group in another plant whose pay was not cut, the affected employees reacted by doubling their normal theft rate (tools and supplies stolen from the company). Turnover also jumped to 23 percent, compared with a normal rate of 5 percent. Apparently the employees experienced a change from relative equity to underpayment inequity. They reacted to their perceived mistreatment by making unofficial transfers of organizational resources to themselves. When the pay cut ended after 10 weeks, the theft rate returned to normal levels. FIGURE 5.10 Possible Reactions to Perceived Inequity Type of Inequity Reactions Possible Overreward Reactions Possible Underreward Reaction Internal, physical Internal, psychological External, physical Work harder Discount the reward Encourage the referent person to obtain more Change the referent person Lower productivity Inflate value of the reward Bargain for more; possibly quit Change the referent person External, psychological Chapter 5 Motivation 137 Interpreting the Equity Model Equity sensitivity Employees value fair treatment and transparency An understanding of equity should remind managers that employees work within several social systems. Employees may actually select a number of reference groups both inside and outside the organization. Employees are also inclined to shift the basis for their comparisons to the standard that is most favorable to them. For example, educated people often inflate the value of their education, while employees with longer service emphasize seniority as the dominant criterion. Other employees choose somewhat higher (economic) groups as their reference. Many employees have strong egos and even inflated opinions of themselves. Consequently, all these factors (multiple reference groups, shifting standards, upward orientation, and personal egos) make the task of predicting when inequity will occur somewhat complex. Equity theory has generated extensive research, with many of the results being supportive. In particular, underreward seems to produce motivational tension with predictable (negative) consequences; less consistent results are found for the overreward condition. The different research results may be reconciled by the idea of equity sensitivity, which suggests that individuals have different preferences for equity. Some people seem to prefer overreward, some conform to the traditional equity model, and others prefer to be underrewarded.20 Identifying which employees fall into each class would help managers predict who would experience inequity and how important it would be in affecting their behavior. Similar elements—effort (inputs) and rewards (outcomes)—can be seen when comparing the equity and expectancy models. In both approaches, perception plays a key role, again suggesting how valuable it is for a manager to gather information from employees instead of trying to impose one’s own perceptions onto them. The major challenges for a manager using the equity model lie in measuring employee assessments of their inputs and outcomes, identifying their choice of references, and evaluating employee perceptions of inputs and outcomes. Fairness, from an employee’s equity perspective, applies not only to the actual size of rewards and their relation to inputs provided, but also to the process by which they are administered. This is the essence of the procedural justice approach to motivation, which focuses on two elements—interpersonal treatment and clarity of explanations. Interpersonal treatment encompasses both managerial respect for employee inputs and managerial behavior that exhibits clear levels of respect, esteem, consideration, and courtesy. Clarity of expectations is enhanced by managers making the reward process more transparent, so that employees can discover and understand how their inputs were assessed and how the reward system is administered. Procedural justice is especially important when organizational resources are tight and lesser levels of valued outcomes are provided to employees. An Ethics Question Employees have a tendency to consider themselves better than others (similar to the children in Garrison Keillor’s fictional Lake Wobegon, “where all the children are above average”). This leads to a sense of entitlement, as well as an inclination to judge the contributions of others more harshly (to make themselves look better by comparison). This can lead to breakdowns within teams and a lack of teamwork—especially when one employee learns of another’s (higher) level of compensation or special treatment. It can also result in employees who magnify their self-worth to the organization by exaggerating their contributions. Question: What should a manager do with such employees, who are engaging in what seems to be unethical behavior (lying)? 138 Part Two Motivation and Reward Systems INTERPRETING MOTIVATIONAL MODELS Contingent use of motivational models Summary Several motivational models are presented in this chapter. All the models have strengths and weaknesses, advocates and critics. No model is perfect, but all of them add something to our understanding of the motivational process. Other models are being developed, and attempts are being made to integrate existing approaches.21 The cognitive (process) models are likely to continue dominating organizational practice for some time. They are most consistent with our supportive and comprehensive view of people as thinking individuals who make somewhat conscious decisions about their behavior. However, behavior modification also has some usefulness, especially in stable situations with minimum complexity, where there appears to be a direct connection between behavior and its consequences. In more complex, dynamic situations, cognitive models will be used more often. In other words, the motivational model used must be carefully chosen, adapted as needed, and blended with other models. As the world of business becomes increasingly global, it becomes important to consider the relevance of motivational models to countries outside the United States, whose culture reflects individualism. By contrast, in collective cultures such as Japan, feelings of belonging may be more important to employees than esteem needs. This changes the nature of Maslow’s model of motivation, just as it takes on a different form for some monks who fast (ignoring their presumed physiological needs) in order to become self-actualized. Herzberg’s model, which emphasizes job content, intrinsic rewards, and autonomy, may not fit as well in Indonesia, where social relationships are valued highly. And the equity model may not apply well to some Asian countries, where equality (of rewards) is valued more highly than individual feelings of equity. When people join an organization, they bring with them certain drives and needs that affect their on-the-job performance. Sometimes these are immediately apparent, but often they not only are difficult to determine and satisfy but also vary greatly from one person to another. Understanding how needs create tensions that stimulate effort to perform and how effective performance brings the satisfaction of rewards is useful for managers. Several approaches to understanding internal drives and needs within employees are examined in the chapter. Each model makes a contribution to our understanding of motivation. All the models share some similarities. In general, they encourage managers not only to consider lower-order, maintenance, and extrinsic factors but to use higher-order, motivational, and intrinsic factors as well. Behavior modification focuses on the external environment by stating that a number of employee behaviors can be affected by manipulating their consequences. The alternative consequences include positive and negative reinforcement, punishment, and extinction. Reinforcement can be applied according to either continuous or partial schedules. A blending of internal and external approaches is obtained through consideration of goal setting. Managers are encouraged to use cues—such as goals that are accepted, challenging, and specific—to stimulate desired employee behavior. In this way, goal setting—combined with the reinforcement of performance feedback—provides a balanced approach to motivation. Additional approaches to motivation presented in this chapter are the expectancy and equity models. The expectancy model states that motivation is a product of how much one wants something and the probabilities that effort will lead to task accomplishment and reward. The formula is valence 3 expectancy 3 instrumentality 5 motivation. Valence is the strength of a person’s preference for an outcome. Expectancy is the strength of belief that one’s effort will be successful in accomplishing a task. Instrumentality is the strength of belief that successful performance will be followed by a reward. Advice to Future Managers 1. Identify each employee’s needs and drives and monitor how they change over time. 2. Reduce the distracting influence of hygiene factors before turning your attention to providing motivators. 3. Establish strong connections between desired behaviors and rewards given; provide rewards that recognize high achievers more than other employees. 7. Remember that employees judge not only the fairness of the rewards they receive (in comparison to their inputs) but also the process that accompanies them. Carefully communicate your assessment of their inputs and your decisional process for distributing rewards. 4. Set performance-oriented goals that are specific, challenging, and acceptable. 8. Discover each employee’s sense of self-efficacy on the tasks to which they are assigned; offer supportive feedback that increases the accuracy of their assessment and enhances their self-efficacy. 5. Seek information regarding employee perceptions of valence, expectancy, and instrumentality; share key information with employees to improve their assessments. 9. Recall that employees have different levels of drives for achievement, affiliation, and power. Strive to set goals for them that will stretch them and will, when completed, enhance their achievement drives. 6. Discover the referent people or groups and perceived outcome/input ratios for employees’ equity computation; compare your assessments of their likely equity with their own perceptions. 10. Recognize that all need theories of motivation are simplified attempts to describe a “universal person.” Use the models flexibly to probe for, and discover, each employee’s unique needs. The expectancy and equity motivational models relate specifically to the employee’s intellectual processes. The equity model has a double comparison in it—a match between an employee’s perceived inputs and outcomes, coupled with a comparison with some referent person’s rewards for her or his input level. In addition, employees use the procedural justice model to assess the fairness of how rewards are distributed. Managers are encouraged to combine the perspectives of several models to create a complete motivational environment for their employees. Speaking OB: Terms and Concepts for Review Achievement motivation, 118 Affiliation motivation, 119 Continuous reinforcement, 128 Drives, 118 Equity sensitivity, 137 Equity theory, 135 Existence needs, 124 Expectancy, 132 Expectancy model, 131 Extinction, 128 Extrinsic motivators, 123 Fatigued workers, 117 Goal setting, 129 Goals, 129 Growth needs, 124 Hierarchy of needs, 121 High-energy workers, 117 Higher-order needs, 122 Hygiene factors, 123 Inputs, 135 Instrumentality, 133 Intrinsic motivators, 123 Job content, 123 Job context, 123 Law of effect, 125 Lower-order needs, 122 Motivation, 133 Motivational factors, 123 Negative reinforcement, 127 OB Mod, 125 Organizational behavior modification, 125 Outcomes, 135 Partial reinforcement, 128 Performance feedback, 131 Performance monitoring, 131 Positive reinforcement, 126 Power motivation, 119 Primary needs, 120 Procedural justice, 137 Punishment, 128 Relatedness needs, 124 Secondary needs, 120 Self-actualization, 122 Self-efficacy, 129 Shaping, 127 Social learning, 125 Two-factor model of motivation, 122 Valence, 132 Work motivation, 116 139 140 Part Two Motivation and Reward Systems Discussion Questions 1. Think of someone who, in the past, did an excellent job of motivating you. Describe how this was done. Which of the following approaches did that person use (either explicitly or implicitly)? a. Lower-order or higher-order needs? b. Maintenance or motivational factors? If so, which one(s)? c. Existence, relatedness, or growth needs? d. Behavior modification? e. Goal setting? 2. In your role as a student, do you feel you are motivated more by Maslow’s lower-order or higher-order needs? Explain. Describe how you expect motivation to change once you graduate. 3. Which one factor in Herzberg’s two-factor model is most motivating to you at the present time? Explain. Is this a maintenance or motivational factor? 4. It is relatively easy for a manager to manipulate extrinsic rewards. Describe some ways in which a manager could affect intrinsic satisfaction of an employee. 5. Discuss how behavior modification operates to motivate people. Why is it still important to understand people’s needs when using this approach? 6. Explain the differences between negative reinforcement and punishment. 7. Divide the class into two groups (one in favor and one opposed) and debate this proposition: “Rewards motivate people.” 8. How would you use the expectancy model in the following situations? a. You want two employees to switch their vacations from the summer to the spring so that job needs will be filled suitably during the summer. b. You believe that one of your employees has excellent potential for promotion and want to encourage her to prepare for it. c. You have a sprained ankle and want a friend to walk to a fast-food restaurant and get you a hamburger. 9. Apply the equity model to yourself as a student. How do you measure your inputs and outcomes? Whom have you chosen as referent individuals? Do you perceive equity? If not, how will you attain it? Is procedural justice present? 10. The text suggests that an individual’s equity perceptions can be distorted. If that is the case, how would you go about correcting or adjusting them? Assess Your Own Skills How well do you exhibit good motivational skills? Read the following statements carefully. Circle the number on the response scale that most closely reflects the degree to which each statement accurately describes you when you have tried to motivate someone else. Add up your total points and prepare a brief action plan for self-improvement. Be ready to report your score for tabulation across the entire group. Good description 1. I consciously follow an integrated model of motivation such as Figure 5.1 when motivating people. 10 9 8 Poor description 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Chapter 5 Motivation 141 2. I determine whether people are achievement, affiliation, or power driven and respond accordingly. 3. I try to determine which level of the need hierarchy is most powerful for each employee. 4. I make sure I eliminate dissatisfiers in the work context before I focus on providing motivational factors to my employees. 5. I recognize that employees might be interested in the satisfaction of their growth needs, as indicated by the Maslow, Herzberg, and Alderfer models. 6. I am conscious of the need to provide systematic consequences, both positive and negative, to employees to utilize the law of effect. 7. I recognize that negative reinforcement and punishment are very different strategies. 8. Whenever possible, I set goals that are both specific and challenging. 9. I seek to provide the conditions that will allow employees to improve their level of self-efficacy. 10. I carefully monitor each employee’s level of performance and provide constructive feedback as needed. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Scoring and Interpretation Add up your total points for the 10 questions. Record that number here, and report it when it is requested. Finally, insert your total score into the “Assess and Improve Your Own Organizational Behavior Skills” chart in Appendix A. • If you scored between 81 and 100 points, you appear to have a solid capability for demonstrating good motivational skills. • If you scored between 61 and 80 points, you should take a close look at the items with lower self-assessment scores and explore ways to improve those items. • If you scored under 60 points, you should be aware that a weaker skill level regarding several items could be detrimental to your future success as a motivator. We encourage you to review relevant sections of the chapter and watch for related material in subsequent chapters and other sources. Now identify your three lowest scores, and write the question numbers here: _____, _____, _____. Write a brief paragraph, detailing to yourself an action plan for how you might sharpen each of these skills. 142 Part Two Motivation and Reward Systems Role-Play The Downsized Firm Instructions Divide into groups of four persons, assigning the roles of Phil, Sue, John, and Linda to each of the four members, respectively. Each person should read only their role. When everyone is ready, Phil should meet with one person after another and attempt to create a motivational atmosphere that will encourage each “employee” to remain with the firm and be productive. Phil You are the supervisor of the circulation department for a scientific publisher. Your department was recently downsized, and you lost two customer service representatives. They were terminated for business reasons that had nothing to do with their job performance. You have three remaining representatives—Sue, John, and Linda—and are about to meet with each of them to try to convince them to remain motivated and productive (doing the work of five persons previously) and stay with the firm. Sue Your department was recently downsized, and two of the five customer service representatives were laid off. They were allegedly terminated for business reasons that had nothing to do with their job performance. You are one of the three remaining representatives (the others are John and Linda). You are a single mother and have to take extra days off when your children are sick. Sometimes you work a flexible schedule of hours to accommodate the children’s schedules. You are beginning to wonder if these allowances will make you more vulnerable in any future round of layoffs. You are about to meet with Phil now. John Your department was recently downsized, and two of the five customer service representatives were laid off. They were allegedly terminated for business reasons that had nothing to do with their job performance. You are one of the three remaining representatives (the others are Sue and Linda). You have been on the job for two years. You attend college at night and see the job as a steppingstone into a management position. However, after seeing your two colleagues (and friends) terminated, you are beginning to wonder if this company is one you want to stay with. You are about to meet with Phil now. Linda Your department was recently downsized, and two of the five customer service representatives were laid off. They were allegedly terminated for business reasons that had nothing to do with their job performance. You are one of the three remaining representatives (the others are Sue and Linda). You have worked in customer service for 15 years and have always felt like you made a lifetime commitment to work. Now even you are beginning to wonder how secure your job is. After all, if it happened to two of your colleagues, it might happen to you, too. You are about to meet with Phil now. Discussion 1. What major motivational model(s) did Phil use with Sue, John, and Linda? 2. What other approaches might have worked better? 3. What are the major lessons you can derive from this exercise? Incident The Piano Builder22 Waverly Bird builds pianos from scratch and is also a consultant to a piano manufacturer. In the latter job, he is on call and works about one week a month, which sometimes includes traveling, to solve customers’ problems. He also rebuilds about a dozen grand pianos every year for special customers. However, according to Bird, the most satisfying part of his life Chapter 5 Motivation 143 is his hobby of building pianos from the beginning. “It’s the part that keeps a man alive,” he says. The challenge of the work is what lures Bird onward. He derives satisfaction from precision and quality, and he comments, “Details make the difference. When you cut a little corner here and a little corner there, you’ve cut a big hole. A piano is like the human body; all the parts are important.” Bird has a substantial challenge in making a whole piano. His work combines skills in cabinetmaking, metalworking, and engineering, with knowledge of acoustics and a keen ear for music. It requires great precision, because a tiny misalignment would ruin a piano’s tune. It also requires versatility: A keyboard must be balanced to respond to the touch of a finger; the pinblock, on the other hand, must withstand up to 20 tons of pressure. In addition, Bird had to make many of his own piano construction tools. Bird has built 40 pianos in his 34-year career. Though construction takes nearly a year, he sells his pianos at the modest price of a commercial piano. He is seeking not money but challenge and satisfaction. He says, “The whole business is a series of closed doors. You learn one thing, and there’s another closed door waiting to be opened.” Bird says his big dream is to build a grand piano: “It is the one thing I haven’t done yet and want to do.” Questions 1. Discuss the nature of Bird’s motivation in building pianos. What are his drives and needs? Would a behavior modification program affect his motivation? Why or why not? What would be the effect of setting a goal of two pianos per year for him? 2. How could a manufacturer of pianos build the motivation Bird has now into its employees? Experiential Exercise Are Grades Motivators? 1. Assess the valence of receiving an A in this course. Assign A a valence somewhere between 21 and 11, using gradations of one-tenth (e.g., 0.8, 0.9, 1.0). 2. Assess the probability (between 0.0 and 1.0) that the level of effort you expect to commit to this course will result in a high enough performance to merit an A. This constitutes your expectancy score. 3. Assess the probability (between 0.0 and 1.0) that your stellar performance in this course (an A) will substantially improve your overall grade-point average. This represents your instrumentality score. 4. Multiply your V, E, and I scores to produce an overall measure of your likely motivation (on this one task and for this reward). This overall score should fall between 21.0 and 11.0. Enter your name and data on line 1 in the following. 5. Share your four scores with classmates in a format like that shown here. Note the range of responses within the class for each item. Student’s Name 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Valence Expectancy Instrumentality Motivation 144 Part Two Motivation and Reward Systems Generating OB Insights An insight is a new and clear perception of a phenomenon, or an acquired ability to “see” clearly something you were unaware of previously. It is sometimes simply referred to as an “ah-ha! moment,” in which you have a minirevelation or reach a straightforward conclusion about a topic or issue. Insights need not necessarily be dramatic, for what is an insight to one person may be less important to another. The critical feature of insights is that they are relevant and memorable for you; they should represent new knowledge, new frameworks, or new ways of viewing things you want to retain and remember over time. Insights, then, are different from the information you find in the “Advice for Future Managers” boxes within the text. That advice is prescriptive and action-oriented; it indicates a recommended course of action. A useful way to think of OB insights is to assume you are the only person who has read Chapter 5. You have been given the assignment to highlight, in your own words, the major concepts (but not just summarize the whole chapter) that might stand out for a naive audience who has never heard of the topic before. What 10 insights would you share with them? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Nurturing Your Critical Thinking and Reflective Skills (Example) Employees have a complex set of needs that are ever-changing and not always clear (even to themselves). ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Take a few minutes to review the discussion in the Roadmap for Readers of critical thinking and reflection. Remind yourself that if you can hone these abilities now, you will have a substantial competitive advantage when you apply for jobs and are asked what unique skills you can bring to the position and the organization. Critical Thinking Think back on the material you read in this chapter. What are three unique and challenging critical questions you would like to raise about this material? (These might identify something Chapter 5 Motivation 145 controversial about which you have doubts, they may imply that you suspect that a theory or model has weaknesses, they could examine the legitimacy of apparent causal relationships, or they might assess the probable value of a suggested practice.) Be prepared to share these questions with class members or your instructor. 1. 2. 3. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Reflection This process often involves answering the parallel questions of “What do you think about the material you have read?” and “How do you feel about that material?” Therefore, express your personal thoughts and feelings (reactions) to any of the ideas or topics found in this chapter, and be prepared to share these reflections with class members or your instructor. 1. 2. 3. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 146 Part Two Motivation and Reward Systems Chapter Six Appraising and Rewarding Performance Seventy-five percent of all U.S. companies (have) connected at least part of an employee’s pay directly to performance. Charles Coy1 If you look at the modern workplace, I would say it’s one of the most feedback-deprived places in American civilization. It’s a feedback desert. Daniel Pink2 CHAPTER OBJECTIVES AFTER READING THIS CHAPTER, YOU SHOULD UNDERSTAND 6-1 Total Reward Systems 6-2 Money as an Economic and Social Medium of Exchange 6-3 The Role of Money in Motivational Models 6-4 Behavioral Considerations in Performance Appraisal 6-5 The Characteristics of Good Feedback Programs 6-6 The Process of Attribution 6-7 How and Why to Link Pay with Performance 6-8 Uses of Profit-Sharing, Gain-Sharing, and Skill-Based Pay Programs 146 Facebook Page Student B: It’s Friday night, and some friends are chillin’ at my place. What’s up with you? Student A: I’m reading a new OB chapter on pay. I thought I was done with all those motivational models, but now I’m seeing how money fits into some of them. Student B: I thought it was pretty simple; doesn’t more pay motivate more effort? Student A: It’s not that simple at all. There are service and sacrifice rewards, and nonwork and noneconomic awards, that help constitute a complete pay system beyond just paying for results. Student B: I’ve heard of pay for performance before, and I think I’d like that idea. What else is there? Student A: In addition to wage incentives, there are profit sharing systems, gain sharing plans, and skill-based pay. Each has its pros and cons. Student B: That’s all fine, but how does a manager decide how big a reward to give an employee? Student A: First you have to know the relevant laws, such as equal pay for equal work and nondiscrimination based on sex of the employee. Then you set objectives for each worker, give them useful performance feedback, provide praise if it is earned, and conduct periodic appraisals. Student B: This sounds pretty straightforward. Where does OB fit in? Student A: A ton of ways. I’ve got to learn about intrinsic rewards, attribution biases, and the self-fulfilling prophecy. As a matter of fact, I’m going to practice one idea (the Galatea effect) right now—if I set high expectations for myself, I’m more likely to perform well. See ya! The board of directors for a regional health care system were in executive session, discussing the CEO’s performance for the past year. After determining that it was “outstanding,” they set about establishing the appropriate level of compensation for her. All of the directors agreed that a substantial pay increase was in order. However, when the newly adjusted level of compensation was calculated, one director (a physician) made a poignant comment. “I don’t care how much you pay her,” he contended, “as long as it isn’t any higher than the average of the physicians working in the clinic. After all, the hospital wouldn’t be able to function if it weren’t for us.” This case illustrates how economic rewards are powerfully important to employees and how pay relationships carry immense social value. Management has not always recognized this. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, employees were presumed to want primarily money; therefore, money was believed to produce direct motivation—the more money offered, the more motivation. Researchers successfully buried this idea by showing that economic rewards operated through the attitudes of workers in the social system to produce an indirect incentive. In this chapter, we discuss the complex relationship between economic reward systems and organizational behavior. More details about these systems will be found in books about compensation and human resource management; only their significant behavioral aspects 147 Engaging Your Brain 1. This chapter suggests that there may be a tradeoff between extrinsic rewards and intrinsic satisfaction. If you could allocate 100 total points to the two factors for yourself, how would you prefer to divide it up? 50-50? 70-30? 100-0? 2. Some writers have suggested that managers hate giving (critical) feedback, and employees detest receiving it. How well do you handle critical comments on your performance? 3. Many employees report being hungry for praise, but claim that they seldom receive it. Why might this be so? are examined here. This chapter focuses first on how incentives are combined with other parts of wage and salary administration to build a complete reward system that encourages motivation. Then, we discuss money as a means of rewarding employees, motivational models applied to pay, cost–reward comparisons, and behavioral considerations in performance appraisal. Finally, we discuss incentive pay, an approach in which each worker’s pay varies in relation to employee or organizational performance. A COMPLETE PROGRAM Relating pay to objectives 148 Many types of pay are required for a complete economic reward system.3 Job analysis and wage surveys rate jobs, comparing one job with another to determine base pay (according to levels of responsibility and market pressure). Performance appraisal and incentives rate employees on their performance and reward their contributions. Profit sharing rates the organization in terms of its general economic performance and rewards employees as partners in it. Together, these three systems—base pay, performance rewards, and profit sharing—are the incentive foundation of a complete pay program, as diagrammed in the reward pyramid in Figure 6.1. Each can contribute something to the employee’s economic satisfaction. The three systems are complementary because each reflects a different set of factors in the total situation. Base pay and skill-based pay motivate employees to progress to jobs of higher skills and responsibility. Performance pay is an incentive to improve performance on the job. Profit sharing motivates workers toward teamwork to improve an organization’s performance. Other payments, primarily nonincentive in nature, are added to the incentive foundation. Seniority pay adjustments are made to reward workers for extended service and to encourage them to remain with their employer. If an employer asks workers to sacrifice by working overtime, working on their day off, or working undesirable hours, the workers may be paid extra for the inconvenience. Other payments are given for periods when an employee does not work, such as vacations, holidays, jury service, and layoffs subject to guaranteed pay. The additions to the foundation of the reward pyramid have little direct incentive value because they do not increase according to improved job performance. Some of these additions may result in indirect incentive through better attitudes, however. Other additions, such as seniority pay, actually may decrease worker incentive since they are not tied to performance outcomes. It is clear that not one factor but many enter into computation of a worker’s paycheck. Some of these factors are related less to incentive than they are to such broad objectives as security, equity, and social justice. An effective program of On the Job: Lincoln Electric Company Lincoln Electric Company provides a classic and unique combination of compensation programs to its employees to create a complete reward program, in conjunction with other distinctive management policies.4 It offers piecework pay, shared profits, suggestion systems, year-end bonuses, and stock-ownership opportunities. It couples these with no paid holidays or sick days, mandatory overtime, no seniority system, and no definite lines of promotion. It does, however, boast a 50-year record of no layoffs, which provides a huge measure of job security in this era of downsizing. The results are clear: Its sales level per employee is two to three times the manufacturing standard; its products are noted for their reliability; and the postprobationary turnover rate is less than 3 percent per year—including deaths and retirements. economic rewards is a balance of most of these factors, as shown in “On the Job: Lincoln Electric Company.” A wide range of noneconomic programs also exists to supplement an organization’s complete pay program. Some firms reward their employees with contingent time off for exemplary performance; others allow employees to earn “comp time” (compensatory time) for hours worked but not paid for. Many firms provide a wide array of other benefits for their employees, such as on-site day care facilities and wellness-promotion programs. The number of options and their costs to employers have risen dramatically and are often as much as 35 to 50 percent of total compensation. MONEY AS A MEANS OF REWARDING EMPLOYEES Money has social value It is evident from Figure 6.1 that money is important to employees for a number of reasons. Certainly, money is valuable because of the goods and services it will purchase. This aspect is its economic value as a medium of exchange for allocation of economic resources; however, money also is a social medium of exchange. All of us have seen its importance as a status symbol for those who have it and can thus save it, spend it conspicuously, or give it away generously. Money has status value when it is being received and when it is being spent. It represents to employees what their employer thinks of them. It is also an indication of one employee’s status relative to that of other employees. It has about as many values as it has possessors. The following is an example of how people respond differently to it: A manager gave two field sales representatives the same increase in pay because each had done a good job. One sales representative was highly pleased with this recognition. She felt she was respected and rewarded because the raise placed her in a higher income bracket. The other sales representative was angered because he knew the raise amounted to the minimum standard available; he considered it an insult rather than an adequate reward for the outstanding job he felt he was doing. He felt that he was not properly recognized, and he saw this small raise as a serious blow to his own esteem and self-respect. This same raise also affected the security of the two employees in a different manner. The first employee now felt she had obtained more security, but the second employee felt that his security was in jeopardy. Application of the Motivational Models A useful way to think about money as a reward is to apply it to some of the motivational models presented in Chapter 5. 149 150 Part Two Motivation and Reward Systems FIGURE 6.1 The Reward Pyramid: The Makeup of a Complete Pay Program (read it from the bottom) Noneconomic award Nonwork award Sacrifice reward Service reward (Comp time, on-site day care, etc.) (Vacations, pensions, unemployment compensation, etc.) (Overtime, shift differential, etc.) (Seniority increases, etc.) Real pay adjustment (cost-of-living adjustments, etc.) Skill-based pay adjustment Performance reward (Incentive and gain-sharing systems, etc.) Money satisfies many drives and needs Base pay (Internally aligned by job evaluation; determined primarily by market factors) Profit reward (Profit-sharing systems, etc.) Drives Achievement-oriented employees maintain a symbolic scorecard in their minds by monitoring their total pay and comparing it with that of others. Their pay is a measure of their accomplishments. Money also relates to other drives, since people can use it to buy their way into expensive clubs (affiliation) and give them the capacity (power) to influence others, such as through political contributions. Needs In the Herzberg model, pay is viewed primarily as a hygiene factor, although it may have at least short-term motivational value as well. In the other need-based models, pay is most easily seen in its capacity to satisfy the lower-order needs (such as Maslow’s physiological and security needs or Alderfer’s existence needs). However, we can easily see how it relates to other levels as well, like the physician’s esteem needs in the opening example for this chapter. Expectancy As you will recall, expectancy theory states that: Valence 3 Expectancy 3 Instrumentality 5 Motivation This means that if money is to act as a strong motivator, an employee must want more of it (valence), must believe that effort will be successful in producing desired performance (expectancy), and must trust that the monetary reward will follow better performance (instrumentality). Chapter 6 Appraising and Rewarding Performance 151 Money often has high valence High instrumentality is desired Valence of money is not easily influenced by management. It is contingent upon an employee’s personal values, experiences, and needs as well as the macromotivational environment. For example, if an employee has independent income or personal wealth, a small increase in pay may have little valence. The same conclusion applies to an employee who cherishes other values and desires only a subsistence income. Similarly, the direct value of money to people in an affluent society tends to decline, since money tends to satisfy lower-order needs more directly than higher-order needs. However, since money has many social meanings to people, employees may seek it for its social value (a measure of status and esteem) even when its economic value has low valence. This dual role means that most employees do respond to money as a reward (it has valence for them). With regard to instrumentality, many employees are not sure that additional performance will lead to additional pay (the performance–reward connection). They see some employees deliver minimum performance, yet receive almost the same pay increases as high performers. They often believe that promotions are based more on seniority or personal relationships than on performance. Instrumentality is an area where management has much opportunity for building trust and taking positive action, because it can change substantially the connection between increased performance and reward. Behavior Modification The two desired conditions for applying contingent rewards under behavior modification principles are shown in Figure 6.2 as situations 1 and 4. In each case, employees can see that there is a direct connection between performance and reward (instrumentality is high). The undesirable states are situations 2 and 3, where rewards are withheld from high performers or given to low performers (instrumentality is low). When these conditions are allowed to occur, many employees will at least be confused about how to perform and may even be highly dissatisfied with the reward system. Consider the cases of four employees, each of whom was treated differently by the employer, and the possible thoughts running through their minds. Shannon received a substantial pay increase for her outstanding performance (“I think I’ll try even harder in the future, since good work is obviously noticed”). Chet’s productivity record mirrored Shannon’s, but he received only a token salary increase (“If that’s all my effort is worth to them, I’m going to really cut back next year”). Travis did not have a good performance record, but because the organization enjoyed a successful year, he was still given a healthy raise (“This is a great place to work; I can slide by and still do all right”). Pam had an equally poor record, so her supervisor withheld any increase from her (“I guess if I want to get ahead, I need to perform better in the future”). In each case the reward received (when compared with performance) sent a strong signal—but not always the intended one—to the employee about the likelihood of future rewards based on performance. FIGURE 6.2 Desirable and Undesirable Instrumentality Conditions Situation Level of Performance Level of Economic Reward Instrumentality Condition 1 2 3 4 High High Low Low High Low High Low Desirable Undesirable Undesirable Desirable What Managers Are Reading INSTILLING INTRINSIC MOTIVATION Intrinsically motivating jobs are those that generate positive emotions in employees and are rewarding in and of themselves. Intrinsic motivation results best from selfmanagement, which is critical for organizational success in the twenty-first century. Four paths lead to intrinsic motivation: 1. A sense of meaningfulness (brought about through identified passions, an exciting vision, relevant and whole tasks). 2. A sense of choice (created by delegated authority, demonstrated trust, provision of security, clear purpose, and relevant/timely information). 3. A sense of competence (created through training, positive feedback, skill recognition, fit between tasks and abilities, and challenging standards). 4. A sense of progress (stimulated by a collaborative climate, tracking of milestones, celebrations of progress, access to customers, and measured improvements). Source: Kenneth W. Thomas, Intrinsic Motivation at Work: Building Energy and Commitment. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2000. Cost–reward comparison Equity There is no simple answer for employers in their attempts to create workable systems of economic rewards for increased productivity, but they must at least attempt to understand the employee’s perspective. The employee’s approach to this complex problem is to make a rough type of cost–reward comparison, similar to the break-even analysis that is used in financial assessments. The employee identifies and compares personal costs and rewards to determine the point at which they are approximately equal, as shown in Figure 6.3. Employees consider all the costs of higher performance, such as effort, time, acquisition of knowledge and new skills, and the mental energy that must be devoted to innovation and problem solving. Then, they compare those costs with all the possible rewards, both economic (such as pay, benefits, and holidays) and noneconomic (such as status, esteem, and autonomy, although the value of these may be more difficult to assess). This input–outcome comparison process is similar to part of the equity model of motivation discussed in Chapter 5, except that Cost of Performance in Relation to Reward for an Employee Value of cost and reward to employee FIGURE 6.3 High Cost B Reward A Low Low A’ Performance level 152 B’ High On the Job: Wells Fargo Bank The Wells Fargo Bank developed a program to recognize and reinforce the behavior of individuals who made exceptional contributions to customer service.5 Although the program included both cash rewards and a wide array of other prize selections of substantial value, its peak experience revolved around a recognition dinner and celebration for the award winners with the top company executives at a classy San Francisco restaurant. in this analysis we assume that the employees do not yet compare themselves with others. Both costs (inputs) and rewards (outcomes) are always valued. The break-even point is the point at which costs and rewards are equal for a certain level of expected performance, as shown by point B on the chart. Employee performance tends to be near the break-even point, but generally below it, for two reasons. First, the employee typically cannot be so precise as to pinpoint the exact break-even point. Second, the employee tries to maintain a personally satisfactory relationship in which rewards are relatively favorable in relation to costs.6 Performance tends to be somewhere in the range of line A9B9. Many salespeople work on some form of commission plan that provides them with periodic bonuses. In many cases, the bonuses become larger as the salesperson reaches higher levels of performance, under the assumption that this will prompt the employee to excel. However, this principle is sometimes ignored, as it was by a distributor interviewed by the author. He actually reduced the level of bonuses provided as his salespeople reached new plateaus of sales during the month. His self-serving explanation? “I don’t want my employees getting rich off of me,” he said. Additional Considerations in the Use of Money Difficult to integrate Extrinsic and Intrinsic Rewards Money is essentially an extrinsic reward rather than an intrinsic one, so it is easily administered in behavior modification programs. However, it also has all the limitations of extrinsic benefits. No matter how closely management attaches pay to performance, pay is still something that originates outside the job and is useful only away from the job. Therefore, it tends to be less immediately satisfying than intrinsic job rewards. For example, the personal satisfaction of a job well done is a powerful motivator for many people. Economic rewards, by contrast, cannot provide all the needed rewards for a psychologically healthy person. An important task for management is integrating extrinsic and intrinsic rewards successfully. One problem is that employees differ in the amount of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards that they want, and jobs and organizational conditions also differ. Another problem occurs when employers begin paying employees for work they previously found satisfying, since some evidence indicates that payment of an extrinsic reward decreases the intrinsic satisfaction received.7 In addition, it is difficult for managers to administer intrinsic rewards on a systematic basis. These conditions suggest that what is needed is a contingency approach to rewards that considers needs of workers, type of job, organizational environment, and different rewards. Special benefits, such as recognition or status, are sometimes especially valuable to employees because they have more psychological and social meaning. “On the Job: Wells Fargo Bank” illustrates how extrinsic and intrinsic rewards are often intertwined in recognition programs. Compliance with the Law In addition to the complexities involved in applying various motivational models and building on both extrinsic and intrinsic factors, compensation 153 154 Part Two Motivation and Reward Systems Comparable worth management is also complicated by the need to comply with a wide range of federal and state laws. The most significant one is the federal Equal Pay Act of 1963, which affects employers who are engaged in interstate commerce and most employees of federal, state, and local governments. Also legislated by many states, the law demands that reward systems be designed and administered so people doing the same work receive equal pay regardless of the sex of the person holding the job. This law is designed to prevent one form of sexual discrimination, eliminating historical discrepancies in which females were sometimes paid less than males. The 1963 Equal Pay Act was strengthened by the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. This newer act established a reasonable rule for filing claims of pay discrimination, allowing workers to file a claim within 180 days of an offending paycheck (versus using the date of the original employer action to discriminate). Another program, called comparable worth, also seeks to guarantee equal pay for equal work. This approach demands that reward systems be designed so people in different but comparable jobs—those of equal value to the employer—receive similar levels of pay. For example, a hospital might determine that a laboratory technician position requires comparable education, decision-making ability, and stress management skills as that of an internal auditor and therefore might set comparable levels of compensation for each. This program also has the intent of ending historical patterns of discrimination against those people who hold sex-stereotyped jobs (such as females working as secretaries or registered nurses). Other Factors Many other elements confound the compensation process. Equality, secrecy, control, and flexibility are considerations • In contrast to legal and psychological pressures for equity (matching inputs and outcomes in comparison with those of others), some individuals advocate equality. They would prefer that all employees receive the same rewards, regardless of their unique skills or level of performance. Clearly, equity and equality are totally different bases for comparing compensation. • Secrecy in pay programs is sometimes subject to debate. Some organizations guard all information about compensation from employees; others freely share it in the belief that openness and transparency are preferable.8 It is even questionable as to whether or not secrecy is possible. • Control can also be an issue. Should reward systems be designed by staff experts, or should employees be allowed to participate in their creation and governance? • The level of flexibility has been subject to debate. Even though some clothing products claim “one size fits all,” to expect that all dimensions of compensation will meet the needs of all employees may not be reasonable. Clearly, the administration of organizational reward systems involves many issues, and unique answers will be provided by different firms. ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR AND PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL Organizations require consistent levels of high performance from their employees in order to survive in a highly competitive global environment. Many firms use some form of results-oriented planning and control systems. Management by objectives (MBO) is a cyclical process that often consists of four steps as a way to attain desired performance: Four typical steps in MBO 1. Objective setting—joint determination by manager and employee of appropriate levels of future performance for the employee, within the context of overall unit goals and resources. These objectives are often set for the next calendar or fiscal year. Chapter 6 Appraising and Rewarding Performance 155 2. Action planning—participative or even independent planning by the employee as to how to reach those objectives. Providing some autonomy to employees is invaluable; they are more likely to use their ingenuity, as well as feel more committed to the plan’s success. 3. Periodic reviews—joint assessment of progress toward objectives by manager and employee, performed informally and sometimes spontaneously. 4. Annual evaluation—more formal assessment of success in achieving the employee’s annual objectives, coupled with a renewal of the planning cycle. Some MBO systems also use performance appraisal to tie rewards for employees to the level of results attained. Reasons for employee appraisal MBO systems capitalize on the desire for self-management expressed by many employees today. They are more committed to achieving goals that they themselves have set, for this allows them to have an impact on organizational success. Where MBO systems have failed, it has usually been the result of autocratic managers, rigid adherence to rules, and the extensive costs in terms of time and effort to document the results. Performance appraisal plays a key role in reward systems. It is the process of evaluating the performance of employees, sharing that information with them, and searching for ways to improve their performance. Appraisal is necessary in order to (1) allocate scarce resources in a dynamic environment, (2) motivate and reward employees, (3) give employees feedback about their work, (4) maintain fair relationships within groups, (5) coach and develop employees, and (6) comply with regulations. Appraisal systems, therefore, are necessary for proper management and for employee development. The social environment surrounding organizations has changed considerably in recent years. Federal and state laws have added to the complexity and difficulty of appraisal plans. For example, as shown in Figure 6.4, criteria for compliance with equal employment opportunity laws are stringent. Management needs to design and operate its appraisal systems carefully in order to comply with these laws. Appraisal Philosophy Performance emphasis and goals A few decades ago, appraisal programs tended to emphasize employee traits, deficiencies, and abilities, but modern appraisal philosophy emphasizes present performance and future goals. Modern philosophy also stresses employee participation in mutually setting goals with the supervisor and knowledge of results. Thus the hallmarks of modern appraisal philosophy are as follows: 1. Performance orientation—it is not enough for employees to put forth effort; that effort must result in the attainment of desired outcomes (products or services). 2. Focus on goals or objectives—as the discussion of MBO shows, employees need to have a clear idea of what they are supposed to be doing and the priorities among their tasks. FIGURE 6.4 Necessary Criteria to Ensure Equal Employment Opportunity in Performance Appraisal The performance appraisal system • Is an organizational necessity • Is based on well-defined, objective criteria • Is based on careful job analysis • Uses only job-related criteria • Is supported by adequate studies • Is applied by trained, qualified raters • Is applied objectively throughout the organization • Can be shown to be nondiscriminatory as defined by law 156 Part Two Motivation and Reward Systems Mutual goal setting and feedback As the saying goes, “If you know where you want to go, you are more likely to get there.” 3. Mutual goal setting between supervisor and employee—this is the belief that people will work harder for goals or objectives that they have participated in setting. Among their desires are to perform a worthwhile task, share in a group effort, share in setting their objectives, share in the rewards of their efforts, and continue personal growth. The (Theory Y) assumption is that people want to satisfy some of their needs through work and they will do so if management will provide them with a supportive environment. 4. Clarification of behavioral expectations—this is often done via a behaviorally anchored rating scale (BARS), which provides the employee and manager with concrete examples of various levels of behaviors. Brief descriptions of outstanding, very good, acceptable, below average, and unacceptable behaviors are specified for each major dimension of a job, thus cueing the employee in advance regarding the organization’s expectations. BARS help reduce a manager’s tendency to focus on attitudes, personality, and quirks of an employee and shift the emphasis toward productive behaviors. 5. Extensive feedback systems—employees can fine-tune their performance better if they know how they are doing in the eyes of the organization, and receive this information regularly and candidly. The Appraisal Interview Most organizational appraisal systems require supervisors to assess employees on various aspects of their productivity (results) and work-related behaviors. Examples of these dimensions include quality of work, quantity of output, attendance, and initiative. Many appraisal systems also point toward both historical performance and the individual’s potential for growth and advancement. The actual forms and procedures used for assessing this information vary widely. Some organizations (and the military) ask supervisors to write essays describing the employee’s performance; others recommend that they accumulate a record of critical incidents (both positive and negative); many firms use various types of graphic rating scales that grade employees on A-B-C-D-E or 1-2-3-4-5 systems. General Electric’s forced ranking system General Electric Company popularized the forced ranking approach to performance appraisals for its top level employees. This system required executives to assess employees on various dimensions and differentiate among employees as being top, middle, or low performers; they could not all receive high (or low) ratings. Then, the rankings were used to reward top producers, while the bottom 10 percent were strongly encouraged to improve their performance or leave the company. However, forced rankings can hurt morale, confuse employees who don’t understand why they were ranked low, and lead to mistrust in management. Caution is clearly in order.9 Regardless of the system used, the assessment is then communicated to the employee in an appraisal interview. This is a session in which the supervisor provides feedback to the employee on past performance, discusses any problems that have arisen, and invites a response. Then, the two parties set objectives for the next time period. In some organizations, the employee is then informed about her or his future salary; in others, the pay issue is delayed until several months later. The appraisal interview also provides a rich opportunity to motivate the employee. Using the Herzberg model, for example, might encourage a manager to explore which maintenance factors currently create dissatisfaction for an employee. If those can be resolved, then the discussion can turn toward ways to build into the job more opportunities for achievement, responsibility, and challenge. Chapter 6 Appraising and Rewarding Performance 157 Suggested Approaches Extensive research has been done on the appraisal process and the characteristics of the most effective ones. Appraisal interviews are most likely to be successful when the appraiser: • • • • • • • • • Self-appraisal Is knowledgeable about the employee’s job Has previously set measurable performance standards Has gathered specific evidence frequently about performance Seeks and uses inputs from other observers in the organization Sharply limits the amount of criticism to a few major items (so the employees can focus their improvement efforts) Provides support, acceptance, and praise for tasks well done Listens actively to the employee’s input and reactions Shares responsibility for outcomes and offers future assistance Allows participation in the discussion The last point has been extended even further in recent approaches to the performance appraisal interview. Some organizations in both the private and public sectors include, as a formal part of the process, self-appraisal. This is an opportunity for the employee to be introspective and to offer a personal assessment of his or her accomplishments, strengths, and weaknesses. Questions directed to the employee might include “What has gone extremely well for you during this period?” “What kinds of problems have you had?” “What ideas do you have for improving your contributions?” Employee responses to these questions are then compared with the supervisor’s evaluation of the employee. This approach allows differences of opinion to be discussed openly and resolved. Problems can arise in self-appraisals, however. Some poor performers tend to diminish their level of difficulties and attribute their problems to situational factors around them, and a few will rate themselves too leniently or try to impress their manager by stretching the truth. These limitations, however, are offset by the fact that most employees are quite candid when asked to identify their strengths and weaknesses, and are able to accurately compare their performance with previous expectations. In addition, self-assessments are much less threatening to one’s self-esteem than are those received from others. Therefore, self-appraisals provide a more fertile soil for growth and change. Performance Feedback All appraisal systems build on the assumption that employees need feedback about their performance (a basic element of the communication model described in Chapter 3). Feedback helps them know what to do and how well they are meeting their goals. It shows that others are interested in what they are doing. Assuming that performance is satisfactory or better, feedback enhances an employee’s self-image and feeling of competence. Generally, performance feedback leads to both improved performance and improved attitudes—if handled properly by the manager. Critical Thinking Exercise Performance feedback is used widely by employers Question: What positive and negative results can you safely predict for this approach? 158 Part Two Motivation and Reward Systems FIGURE 6.5 Guidelines for Effective Performance Feedback Make it well-timed. Be specific. Relate it to the job. Establish priorities for change. Include positive factors to praise. PERFORMANCE FEEDBACK Check for understanding. Determine if it is desired. State it objectively. Focus on a few items. Allow choice. Electronic performance reviews Acquire information from multiple sources Giving critical or constructive feedback is a challenging task for managers, however. Poorly phrased feedback accusingly attacks the person rather than behavior, fails to provide useful illustrations, remains abstract and confusing, and makes global or “blanket” assertions that can easily be refuted by the recipient. Feedback is more likely to be accepted and cause some improvement when it is properly presented (see the guidelines for effective feedback in Figure 6.5). In general, it should focus on specific job behaviors, rely on objective data rather than subjective opinions and inferences, be well-timed by being given soon after a critical event, and be checked for understanding by the receiver. Overall, it has the greatest chance for inducing a behavioral change if it is genuinely desired by the employee (and even actively sought out), is connected to job tasks, and if the receiver is allowed to choose a new behavior from alternative recommendations offered. To be concise, feedback must clearly point the way toward clear goals and newly targeted actions to achieve them, just as an arrow is more likely to find its target if it is properly aimed in the right direction.10 A more contemporary approach to appraisals is to combine the features of electronic monitoring of performance with electronic feedback. These software systems allow data collection that is detailed, unobtrusive, and continuous, while also accumulating information from a variety of sources in real time. Some employees prefer receiving feedback electronically (via e-mail or websites), due to less emotions being expressed and received, as well as diminished evaluation apprehension. The biggest features, however, are the speed and quantity of information available to both appraiser and recipient.11 In spite of the importance of performance feedback, many managers fail to provide enough of it on an ongoing basis (you may wish to review the second opening quote at the beginning of this chapter). They may feel too busy, they may assume that employees are already aware of their performance level, or they may be reluctant to share bad news because of the negative reaction they expect it to generate. Another possible reason for poor feedback—not having enough valid information to create a substantive conclusion—can be overcome by the use of 360-degree feedback (see “On the Job: HCL Technologies”). This is the process of systematically gathering data on a person’s skills, abilities, and behaviors from a variety of sources—the manager, peers, subordinates, and even customers or clients.12 These perspectives are examined to see where On the Job: HCL Technologies A progressive illustration of 360-degree feedback has been implemented by India’s HCL Technologies, a large info-tech outsourcer. Not only are the CEO and his top 20 managers rated by those around them, but the results are then compiled and broadcast throughout the organization for all 50,000 employees to see. This places immense pressure on managers to respond to employee concerns and quickly make changes in their behaviors. As a result, attrition rates have been lowered substantially.13 problems exist in the eyes of one or more groups. The results can also be compared across time to see if improvements have been made or compared with organizational norms to see if a person is better or worse than others. The 360-degree feedback system works best if individuals match the data gathered with their own self-assessments, for this approach encourages candid confrontation of one’s need for change. The product of this multidirectional appraisal approach is rich feedback (both positive and negative) that, if used properly, can aid in performance improvements. To provide honest feedback, assurances that the data will remain confidential, and skilled facilitators to help recipients understand the complex information and develop useful action plans for improvement requires the cooperation of others. However, 360-degree feedback programs can be time-consuming, intimidating to the recipients, and expensive (development and administration of rating forms and training in how to use them). Sometimes managers become so focused on performance issues and correcting problems that they neglect a vitally important element of feedback—positive recognition (see “What Managers Are Reading: Giving Recognition to Employees”). Praise is the provision of approval or admiration for an employee’s positive qualities or worthwhile achievements. Many workers have a strong desire to be valued and have their contributions be acknowledged, and therefore they crave praise. Timely, meaningful, and personalized praise communicates a strong message to both the recipient and the entire organization, adds to feelings of self-esteem and self-efficacy, and builds stronger employee commitment. Unfortunately, a number of surveys have shown that managers don’t always fulfill this need for praise; whereas a majority of executives believe that employees are regularly recognized, nearly two-thirds of employees feel that they don’t receive adequate recognition. Clearly, there is room for improvement.14 Appraisals can be confrontational, emotional, judgmental, and complex Appraisal Problems The need to perform the multiple functions in the appraisal process makes the appraisal interview difficult and even threatening for many managers. In addition, several behavioral problems are inherent in the process. It can be confrontational, because each party is trying to convince the other that her or his view is more accurate. (These views are distorted by attributional tendencies, as we discuss later in this chapter.) It is typically emotional, since the manager’s role calls for a critical perspective, while the employee’s desire to save face easily leads to defensiveness. It is judgmental, because the manager must evaluate the employee’s behavior and results, and this aspect places the employee in a clearly subordinate position. Further, performance appraisals are complex tasks for managers, requiring job understanding, careful observation of performance, and sensitivity to the needs of employees. Managers are also called upon to handle the issues that arise spontaneously within the discussion itself. Managers sometimes fail to conduct effective appraisal interviews because they lack vital skills. Perhaps they failed to gather data systematically. Maybe they weren’t specific on the expected performance improvements in the previous appraisal. They could be reluctant to address difficult or sensitive topics, or they could fail to involve the 159 What Managers Are Reading GIVING RECOGNITION TO EMPLOYEES Lack of appropriate (and desired) appreciation is a commonly cited reason for employees to leave an organization. By contrast, the payoff from investments in recognition are often as much as 20 times its cost, along with gains in motivation, trust, productivity, and even customer satisfaction. Effective recognition sends messages of caring, gratitude, and respect, but must be tailored to each employee’s needs and administered consistently. The best recognition programs are: • Inclusive, so all employees have a chance to experience them • Meaningful, not just superficial • Performance-based Source: Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton, The Carrot Principle: How the Best Managers Use Recognition to Engage Their Employees, Retain Talent, and Drive Performance. New York: Free Press, 2007. employee in the assessment process and discussion. Some managers may have grown cynical about the probability that attitudinal or behavioral changes will occur in their employees. A few may see appraisals as a meaningless game and even intentionally distort the ratings and feedback given. All these factors can place powerful limits on the usefulness of the appraisal interview, unless it is conducted properly or modified through the use of other inputs. Attributions are causal explanations Personal versus situational attributions Nature of Attributions Attribution theory has provided an intriguing contribution to the appraisal literature. Attribution is the process by which people interpret and assign causes for their own and others’ behavior. It stems from the work of Fritz Heider and has been expanded and refined by Harold Kelley and others.15 The attribution process closely parallels the four basic goals of organizational behavior outlined in Chapter 1. As shown in Figure 6.6, a manager observes some employee’s behavior or its consequences and often describes it as functional or dysfunctional for the work unit. Seeking to understand and diagnose the behavior, the manager makes a causal attribution (tentative explanation) for it. Then, the manager tries to predict and control (influence) future employee behaviors as a product of that attribution. The assessment of functionality results in several potential explanations for an employee’s performance on a task. It could be attributed to high or low ability, to greater or lesser effort, to a difficult or an easy task, or to good or poor luck. Ability and effort are personal attributions; they tend to be given as explanations when there is a judgment of high consistency and low distinctiveness and low consensus. Task difficulty and luck are FIGURE 6.6 The Process of Making and Using Attributions 160 Observation/description Understanding Prediction /control Employee behavior occurs: • Functional? • Dysfunctional? Attributions are made to personal or situational factors such as: • Ability • Effort • Task difficulty • Luck Future behavior is predicted; methods to assure it are implemented Chapter 6 Appraising and Rewarding Performance 161 situational attributions; they tend to be used as explanations when the behavior stands out as distinctive and different from that of peers, while also being inconsistent. Following is an example of how the attribution process can be used: Ability, effort, difficulty, and luck play a role in attributions Self-serving bias Fundamental attribution bias Perceptual set Self-fulfilling prophecy FIGURE 6.7 Different Attributions for an Employee’s Behavior After each professional football game, the head coach sits down with the assistant coaches and grades each player’s performance. Did the athlete play better or worse than normal? Did the player perform better or worse than teammates? Did the player excel at some tasks and not at others? After appraising the athlete’s conduct, the coach must also determine whether the strong or weak performance was the result of superior or inferior ability, greater or lesser effort, an experienced or inexperienced opponent, or good or bad luck (attributions). Then, the coach will likely give some praise and constructive feedback to the players. Since attributions are subjective assessments, we are interested in what affects the choice of explanations. One important factor is whether we are evaluating our own behavior or interpreting another’s. In general, people tend to exhibit a self-serving bias, claiming undue credit for their success and minimizing their own responsibility for problems. This tendency is seen when they overestimate the influence of internal factors (personal traits) when assessing their own successes and assign external (situational) causes for their own less successful outcomes (Figure 6.7). Self-serving bias is also known as unconscious over-claiming, a practice that can lead to an increased sense of entitlement in oneself, and strong resentment among one’s peers. The opposite pattern—a fundamental attribution bias—is often exhibited when judging others. People tend to attribute others’ achievements to good luck or easy tasks, and they assume that others failed to try hard enough or simply lacked the appropriate personal characteristics or overall ability if they failed. The interpersonal comparison process is at work, with each party trying to improve his or her own relative self-image by manipulating assessments and attributions. Attributional tendencies accent the existing role differences between managers and employees, and these biases emerge clearly during managerial appraisals of employees. Related Ideas Attributions illustrate the effects of perceptual set—that is, people tend to perceive what they expect to perceive. The relatively passive idea of perceptual set extends into the behavior of individuals when we witness the power of the self-fulfilling prophecy, or the Pygmalion effect. The self-fulfilling prophecy suggests that a manager’s expectations for an employee may cause the manager to treat the employee differently and that the employee will then respond in a way that confirms the initial expectations. For example, if a supervisor is told that a new employee is highly competent, the supervisor is more likely not only to perceive that competence but also to provide opportunities for the employee to demonstrate competence on the job. The supervisor then attributes the successful task performance to the employee’s ability. Level of Employee Performance Perceived by Probable Attribution Success Employee Success Failure Failure Manager Employee Manager Personal characteristics (high ability or strong effort) Situational factors (easy task or good luck) Situational factors (hard task or bad luck) Personal characteristics (low ability or poor effort) 162 Part Two Motivation and Reward Systems The self-fulfilling prophecy is closely related to another behavioral phenomenon called positive contagion.16 In this process, something predisposes an employee to behave in a defined manner, much as “priming the pump” on an old country farm was necessary to help a well deliver its water. Through positive contagion, employees who have a positive self-image and high degree of confidence believe they will perform better, and often do. This shows that even seemingly subtle factors can influence performance, if they are managed well. Self-expectations Explore a related process—the Golem effect—by searching the Internet for explanations of it Applications of Attribution The attribution model can be easily integrated with our earlier discussion (see Chapter 5) of other motivational approaches. For example, achievementoriented people may claim that their accomplishments are the direct result of their high level of effort. Although goals are most motivational when they are challenging, employees will examine them closely to determine if they are too difficult to attain. In conjunction with the expectancy model, an employee who fails on a task may feel that the environment prevents success and, therefore, may reduce the level of future effort. Users of behavior modification are cautioned to consider carefully their response to an employee’s successful performance. A manager may assume it was due to luck or an easy task, and withhold appropriate recognition. The employee, who believes that success was the result of ability or effort, may experience a decline in motivation for the lack of a reward. Managers benefit from greater awareness of their own attributional processes and how those processes affect their behavior toward employees. They could also seek to reinforce among subordinates the belief that success is due to the workers’ own efforts (effortperformance expectancies) and abilities, while discouraging the employee attribution that failure is due to task difficulty or bad luck. This psychological process is known as the Galatea effect, in which high expectations by employees themselves lead to high performance. The Galatea effect stems from employee perceptions of self-efficacy on the task, as well as general self-confidence. Both the Pygmalion effect and the Galatea effect rest on the underlying belief that people’s behaviors tend to be consistent with (someone’s) expectations (either their own or another’s).17 Overly simple attributions by managers should be avoided, since employee behavior is also partly determined by the task, social context, and environment, as outlined in Chapter 1. Other perceptual problems Numerous perceptual distortions (inaccurate mental records or interpretations of events) often arise during the performance assessment process. If they are not recognized, they can have seriously detrimental effects on the validity of the appraisal process. A few of these distortions, which result in rating errors, will be briefly introduced here: • Halo effect—Allowing an appraiser’s overall assessment of an employee (whether positive or negative) to affect the rating of specific performance factors. • Central tendency—The act of avoiding the use of very high or very low ratings (even when they are legitimate), such that the vast bulk of individual ratings fall into the middle of the scale. Critical Thinking Exercise Attributions of employee behaviors are made by managers on a frequest basis. Question: What are the likely effects of making accurate, and inaccurate, attributions? Chapter 6 Appraising and Rewarding Performance 163 • Leniency effect—The distortion or skewing of most ratings toward the high end of the scale, either consciously (to make one’s employees, and therefore oneself look good to others), or unconsciously (to avoid conflict when giving feedback). • Harshness effect—This is the opposite of leniency; it is the distortion of ratings toward the low end of the scale. It may be done to avoid appearing “soft,” or it may be used to catch the attention of an employee who needs substantial improvement. • Recency effect—This is the act of allowing employee behaviors or accomplishments that occurred just before the appraisal to have more impact than earlier factors during the appraisal period. • First impression—This occurs when a manager initially likes (or dislikes) an employee and his/her early behavior, and then clings to that same assessment despite actual declines (or improvements) across time. Managerial Effects Conducting performance appraisals also has substantial impact on the appraiser. On the positive side, a formal appraisal system encourages managers to do more analytical and constructive thinking about their employees. The requirement of a face-toface interview encourages managers to be more specific about identifying each employee’s abilities, interests, and motivation. Managers often begin to perceive that each employee is truly different and must be treated that way. For example, greater participation may be more appropriate when an employee is knowledgeable, has a strong independence need, and has demonstrated acceptable performance in the past. Realistically, however, managers sometimes avoid giving appraisals because they do not want to disrupt an existing smooth relationship with an employee by providing negative feedback. Low-performing employees, who may require more frequent monitoring and reviews, are particularly difficult to deal with. In other cases, managers simply do not see any organizational rewards coming to them from the appraisal process. With no extrinsic or intrinsic incentive to perform the task, managers may neglect it entirely, as in this example: Gordy, an employee in a utility, reported that for many years his supervisor would simply hand him a folded slip of paper with his next year’s salary written on it. This was the sum total of his “performance appraisal”! Only recently did the utility become concerned about effective organizational behavior practices and begin training and rewarding its managers for appraising employees. Now Gordy enjoys the benefits of open discussion of his performance and mutual goal setting. Even when appraisal interviews are capably conducted, they still may fail to produce long-term performance changes by themselves. The appraisal acts only as a source of An Ethics Question Managers are often caught in a bind between conflicting pressures, with no apparent “perfect” solution. For example, consider a behaviorally aware manager who accepts the need to provide performance feedback to employees. While practicing the guidelines for effective feedback, however, the manager discovers that employees often experience a profound face-saving issue—they hear that their actual performance is not as good as they had perceived it to be. Upon hearing this, some become stoic and quiet, others cry, and a few become overtly angry, hostile, and verbally abusive. After reflecting on this situation, the manager wonders “Is it ethical for me to share my honest perceptions of employee performance, at the risk of hurting them?” Question: What do you think? 164 Part Two Motivation and Reward Systems feedback and a psychic reward, and economic incentives are still needed to obtain employee motivation. Various economic incentive approaches are described next, along with assessments of their advantages and disadvantages. ECONOMIC INCENTIVE SYSTEMS Purposes and Types Many firms today, fighting for their very existence, have turned their attention to a focus on performance management. This stems from a belief that employee performance can be managed and improved, whether it comes about through goal setting, a streamlined organizational structure, better technology, new arrangements of working schedules, high involvement of employees, or better motivation of employees. One component of performance management is the use of various systems of rewards and incentives to encourage better productivity, as the following example illustrates. A creative example of a performance management system is used at Not Your Average Joe’s restaurant chain. They have designed a merit-based system that begins with identifying servers who have higher average sales per customer, higher customer satisfaction ratings, and better tips. In this “winner take all” system, high-performing employees are then given preferential assignments (i.e., high-volume shifts, more tables). This gives those “winners” better pay, while simultaneously encouraging poorer performers either to shape up or depart. The overall workforce at the restaurants then improves, and pays off for the employer through higher gross revenue and a more satisfied labor force. The success of the system implicitly rests on four key pillars: • Clearly defining the desired objective • Identifying a cause-effect model to assess drivers of results that are both persistent (reliable) and predictive (valid) • Defining specific activities that employees need to engage in for success • Collecting data regularly to demonstrate the results to employees18 An economic incentive system of some type can be applied to almost any job. The basic idea of such systems is to induce a high level of individual, group, or organizational performance by making an employee’s pay contingent on one or more of those dimensions. Additional objectives include facilitating recruitment and retention of good employees, stimulating desirable role behaviors such as creativity, encouraging the development of valued skills, and satisfying key employee needs. The criteria for these incentives could include employee output, company profit, cost savings, units shipped, level of customer service, or the ratio of labor cost to total sales. Evaluation of performance may be individual or collective, and the payment may be immediate (e.g., cash awards) or delayed, as in a profit-sharing plan. The discussion of economic incentives focuses on their overall nature, purpose, and behavior implications. The programs selected for presentation are wage incentives, which are a widely used individual incentive, and profit sharing and gain sharing, which are popular group incentives. Skill-based pay systems are increasing in popularity, especially in new industrial operations. Readers are urged to review Figure 6.1 to see how incentives are combined with other parts of wage administration to make a complete pay program. Incentives Linking Pay with Performance Several broad types of variable reward incentives link pay with performance. Major ones are shown in Figure 6.8. Perhaps the most popular measure is for the amount of output to Chapter 6 Appraising and Rewarding Performance 165 FIGURE 6.8 Major Incentive Measures to Link Pay with Performance Incentive Measure Example Amount of output Quality of output Piece rate; sales commission Piece rate only for pieces meeting the standard; commission only for sales that are without bad debts Bonus for selling an established number of items during a predetermined time span Profit sharing Gain sharing Skill-based pay Success in reaching goals Amount of profit Cost efficiency Employee skills Piece rate Improved motivation Evaluate pros and cons determine pay, as illustrated by a sales commission or a piece rate. It provides a simple, direct connection between performance and reward. Those workers who produce more are rewarded more. Often pay is determined by a combination quantity–quality measure in order to ensure that a high quality of product or service is maintained. Regardless of the type of incentive used, its objective is to link a portion of a worker’s pay to some measure of employee or organizational performance (output, goals, profits, cost efficiencies, or skills). Advantages Incentives provide several potential employee advantages. A major advantage is that they increase employee beliefs (instrumentality) that reward will follow high performance. If we assume that money has valence to an employee, then motivation should increase. Incentives also appear favorable from the point of view of equity theory. Those who perform better are rewarded more. This kind of escalating input–outcome balance is perceived by many people to be equitable. Further, if more pay is a valued reward, then incentive systems are favorable from the point of view of behavior modification. They provide a desirable consequence (pay) that should reinforce behavior. Rewards, such as sales commissions, often are rather immediate and frequent, which is consistent with the philosophy of behavior modification. Another advantage from the employee’s point of view is that incentives are comparatively objective and verifiable. They can be computed from the number of pieces, dollars, or similar objective criteria. Compared with a supervisor’s subjective performance ratings, the objective approach tends to have higher acceptance by employees. Difficulties With so many favorable conditions supporting incentives, it seems that workers would welcome almost any incentive because of the rewards it could bring. However, inherent difficulties tend to offset some of the advantages. Potential equity is offset by other developments that are perceived as inequities. In behavior modification terms, certain unfavorable consequences exist alongside the favorable consequences of more pay, so they tend to reduce the potential advantages of incentive pay. The organization, too, can experience problems. To establish a fair basis for incentive pay—one that motivates higher performance across a broad range of employees without producing undesirable side effects—is difficult. Some incentive systems are also costly to monitor, requiring extensive record-keeping procedures. The key thought is that incentive systems produce both positive and negative employee consequences, as shown in Figure 6.9. Both must be evaluated in determining the desirability of an incentive system. Economic consequences are likely to be positive, but the direction of psychological and social consequences is less certain. On the Job: Nucor Steel Co. One example of a pay for performance incentive system is Nucor, a builder and operator of steel-producing minimills. It pays weekly bonuses, based on a measure of acceptable production. Groups typically receive a bonus more than 100 percent above base pay. Turnover rates, after the startup period, are so small that the company does not even bother measuring them.19 Wage Incentives Criteria for incentive systems Disruption of social systems FIGURE 6.9 Advantages and Disadvantages of Incentives Linking Pay with Performance 166 Pay for Performance Basically, wage incentives, which are a form of merit pay, provide more pay for more output or results, often referred to as pay for performance.20 The main reason for use of wage incentives is clear: They nearly always increase productivity while decreasing labor costs per unit of production. Workers under normal conditions without wage incentives have the capacity to produce more, and wage incentives are one way to induce employees to work up to their potential. The increased productivity and reduced turnover (see “On the Job: Nucor Steel Co.”) often is substantial. In order to be successful, a wage incentive needs to be simple enough for employees to have a strong belief that reward will follow performance. If the plan is so complex that workers have difficulty relating performance to reward, then higher motivation is less likely to develop. The objectives, eligibility requirements, performance criteria, and payment system all need to be established and understood by the participants. When incentive systems operate successfully, they are evaluated favorably by participants, probably because they provide psychological as well as economic rewards. Employees receive satisfaction from a job well done, which fulfills their achievement drive. Their self-image may improve because of greater feelings of competence. They may even feel they are making a contribution to society by helping in the attempt to regain a productivity leadership position among nations. Some incentives may encourage cooperation between workers because of the need for employees to work together to earn incentive awards. Difficulties Wage incentives furnish an example of the kinds of difficulties that may develop with many incentive plans, despite their potential benefits. Management’s job is to try to prevent or reduce the problems while increasing benefits, so that the incentive plan works more effectively. The basic human difficulty with wage incentives of this type is that disruptions in the social system may lead to feelings of inequity and dissatisfaction. At times these disruptions are severe enough to make incentive workers less satisfied with their pay than workers who are paid an hourly wage, even though the incentive workers are earning more. Advantages Disadvantages • Strengthen instrumentality beliefs • Create perceptions of equity • Reinforce desirable behaviors • Provide objective basis for rewards • Cost (to both employer and employee) • System complexity and rigidity • Unpredictable levels of pay • Unintended consequences • Narrowness of performance criteria Chapter 6 Appraising and Rewarding Performance 167 For any pay for performance plan to be successful, it needs to be coordinated carefully with the whole operating system. If employees must wait for long periods for work to arrive at their workplace, then the incentive loses its impact. If the incentive is likely to replace workers, then management needs to plan for their use elsewhere so employee security is not threatened. If work methods are erratic, then they must be standardized so a fair rate of reward can be established. This is a complex process leading to many difficulties: Rate setting Loose rates Output restrictions 1. Wage incentives normally require establishment of performance standards. Rate setting is the process of determining the standard output for each job, which becomes the fair day’s work for the individual. Rate setters are often resented not only because subjective judgment is involved but also because they are believed to be a cause of change and more difficult standards. 2. Wage incentives may make the supervisor’s job more complex. Supervisors must be familiar with the system so they can explain it convincingly to employees. The system’s complexity may increase the chance of error and contribute to more employee dissatisfaction. Relationships are compounded, and supervisors are required to resolve different expectations from higher management, rate setters, workers, and unions. 3. A thorny problem with wage incentives involves loose rates. A rate is “loose” when employees are able to reach standard output with less than reasonable levels of effort. When management subsequently adjusts the rate to a higher standard, employees predictably experience a feeling of inequity. 4. Wage incentives may cause disharmony between incentive workers and hourly workers. When the two groups perform work in a sequence, hourly workers may feel discriminated against because they earn less. If the incentive workers increase output, hourly workers further along the process must work faster to prevent a bottleneck. The incentive workers earn more for their increased output, but the hourly workers do not. 5. Another difficulty with wage incentives is that they may result in output restriction, by which workers limit their production and thus defeat the purpose of the incentive. This phenomenon is caused by several factors—group insecurities that the production standard will be raised, resistance to change by the informal social organization, and the fact that people are not comfortable always working at full capacity. Profit Sharing Mutual interest is emphasized Nature and Merits Profit sharing is a system that distributes to employees some portion of the profits of business, either immediately (in the form of cash bonuses) or deferred until a later date (held in trust in the form of employee-owned shares). The growth of profit sharing has been encouraged by federal tax laws that allow employee income taxes to be deferred on funds placed in profit-sharing pension plans. Basic pay rates, performance pay increases, and most other incentive systems recognize individual differences, whereas profit sharing recognizes mutual interests. Employees become interested in the economic success of their employer when they see that their own rewards are affected by it. Greater institutional teamwork tends to develop. Smaller organizations in competitive industries that demand high commitment from employees in order to make technological breakthroughs or bring new products to market faster are prime candidates for profit-sharing programs. If the firms are successful, the rewards are great. This possibility builds strong motivation among employees to see the big picture and allows the organization to forge ahead of its competitors. On the Job: The Andersen Corporation The Andersen Corporation is a billion-dollar company that makes various types of windows for the housing industry. The company began a profit-sharing plan in 1914, and it has grown with the success of the company ever since then. In a recent year, the company distributed more than $100 million to its full-time employees through its profit-sharing plan. This bonus amounted to an astounding 43 weeks of extra compensation for each employee in this peak year. In general, profit sharing tends to work better for fast-growing, profitable organizations that offer opportunities for substantial employee rewards. It also works better, of course, when general economic conditions are favorable. It is less likely to be useful in stable and declining organizations with low profit margins and intense competition. Profit sharing generally is well received and understood by managers and high-level professional people, because their decisions and actions are more likely to have a significant effect on their firm’s profits. Since operating workers, especially in large firms, have more difficulty connecting their individual actions with the firm’s profitability, profit sharing may have less initial appeal to them. In situations where it has worked effectively, managers have openly shared financial reports with all levels of workers, actively trained employees to understand financial statements, and provided on-site computer terminals for immediate access to relevant information whenever employees want it. Difficulties Even in those situations where profit sharing seems appropriate, some general disadvantages exist: Indirect relationship Delay Lack of predictability Union skepticism 1. Profits are not directly related to an employee’s effort on the job. Poor market conditions may nullify an employee’s hard work. 2. Employees must wait for their reward, and this lengthy delay diminishes its impact. 3. Since profits are somewhat unpredictable, total worker income may vary from year to year. Some workers may prefer the security of a more stable wage or salary. 4. Some union leaders have historically been suspicious of profit sharing. They fear it would undermine union loyalty, result in varied total earnings from company to company, and weaken their organizing campaigns. More progressive unions have, however, welcomed the opportunity for their members to share in corporate profits. Gain Sharing Another useful group incentive is gain sharing, or production sharing. A gain-sharing plan establishes a historical base period of organizational performance, measures improvements, and shares the gains with employees on some formula basis. Examples of the performance factors measured include inventory levels, labor hours per unit of product, usage of materials and supplies, and quality of finished goods. The idea is to pinpoint areas that are controllable by employees and then give them an incentive for identifying and implementing ideas that will result in cost savings, as the “On the Job: Turner Brothers Trucking” example shows. Behavioral Basis Gain-sharing plans use several fundamental ideas from organizational behavior and are much more than pay systems. They encourage employee suggestions, provide an incentive for coordination and teamwork, and promote improved communication. Union–management relations often improve, since the union gains status because it takes responsibility for the benefits gained. Attitudes toward technological change improve because workers are aware that greater efficiency leads to larger bonuses. Gain sharing 168 On the Job: Turner Brothers Trucking Gain-sharing plans are used at Turner Brothers Trucking—a company that tears down and reassembles drilling rigs, services pipe, and operates large cranes.21 To reduce its huge liability and workers’ compensation premiums, the company offered a group of employees $50 each for every month in which total losses from injuries, cargo damage, and driving accidents were less than $300. The results were dramatic; the ratio of the gain-sharing amount paid to employees compared with expected safety costs was 1:4 for the first few years after the program was introduced, and it dropped even further thereafter. This win–win program demonstrated that employees could not only control their safety record but would do so for a fairly modest cost to the organization. broadens the understanding of employees as they see a larger picture of the system through their participation rather than confining their outlook to the narrow specialty of their job. Contingency Factors The success of gain sharing is contingent upon a number of key factors, such as the moderately small size of the unit, a sufficient operating history to allow the creation of standards, the existence of controllable cost areas, and the relative stability of the business. In addition, management must be receptive to employee participation, the organization must be willing to share the benefits of production increases with employees, and the union should be favorable to such a cooperative effort. Managers need to be receptive to ideas and tolerant of criticism from employees. Skill-Based Pay In contrast to salaries (which pay someone to hold a job) and wage incentives (which pay for the level of performance), skill-based pay (also called knowledge-based pay or multiskill pay) rewards individuals for what they know how to do. Employees are paid for the range, depth, and types of skills in which they demonstrate capabilities.22 They start working at a flat hourly rate and receive increases for either developing skills within their primary job or learning how to perform other jobs within their work unit. Some companies provide increases for each new job learned; most others require employees to acquire blocks of related new skills, which may take several years to learn. Substantial amounts of training must be made available for the system to work, and methods for fairly pricing jobs and certifying employee skill levels need to be established. Some skill-based pay systems have supervisors evaluate the knowledge and skill of their employees; others allow work teams to assess the progress of each trainee. Advantages Skill-based pay systems have several potential strengths. They provide strong motivation for employees to develop their work-related skills, they reinforce an employee’s sense of self-esteem, and they provide the organization with a highly flexible workforce that can fill in when someone is absent. Since workers rotate among jobs to learn them, boredom should be reduced, at least temporarily. Pay satisfaction should be relatively high, for two reasons. First, the employee’s hourly rate received (for having multiple skills) is often higher than the rate that would be paid for the task being performed, since only in a perfect system would all employees be constantly using their highest skills. As a result, some employees may even feel temporarily overpaid. Second, workers should perceive the system as equitable both in the sense of their costs and rewards being matched and in the knowledge that all employees with the same skills earn the same pay. Disadvantages Skill-based pay presents several disadvantages, and some firms have backed away from early experiments with it. First, since most employees will voluntarily 169 Advice to Future Managers 1. Seek to establish accurate measures of performance, and make the connection between performance and rewards clear to all. 7. Utilize the advantages of 360-degree feedback systems for providing employees with a broad and rich source of performance feedback. 2. Provide rewards that people value; if you don’t know what they value, ask them. 8. Monitor your own behavior, and that of your employees, for signs of inappropriate attributions of behavior during performance appraisals. 3. Make it clear to employees how the organization’s monetary rewards relate to their various needs and drives. 4. Make sure employees believe their goals are attainable if they perform well. 5. If you are trying to promote teamwork, provide team-based, not individual, rewards. 9. Remember that providing performance feedback to some employees can be threatening; provide opportunities for them to save face. 10. Encourage employees to become feedback seekers; this will help open up productive and ongoing dialogue with them. 6. Be aware of the unintended consequences associated with any reward system, and try to minimize these. learn higher-level jobs, the average hourly pay rate will be greater than normal. (This increased cost should be more than offset by productivity increases, however.) Second, a substantial investment in employee training must be made, especially in the time spent coaching by supervisors and peers. Third, not all employees like skill-based pay because it places pressure on them to move up the skill ladder. The subsequent dissatisfaction may lead to a variety of consequences, including employee turnover. Fourth, some employees will qualify themselves for skill areas that they will be unlikely to use, causing the organization to pay them higher rates than they deserve from a performance standpoint. Skill-based pay, like other incentive programs, works best when the organizational culture of the firm is generally supportive and trusting. The system should be understood by employees, they must have realistic expectations about their prospects for higher pay levels, it must be possible for them to learn new skills and to have these skills promptly evaluated, and there must be some limits on which skills they can qualify for. Under these conditions, the program is consistent with the other incentives discussed in this chapter, since it links employee pay with the potential for increased performance. Summary 170 Economic rewards provide social as well as economic value. They play a key role within several motivational models, blending with expectancy, equity, behavior modification, and need-based approaches. Employees perform a rough cost–reward comparison and work somewhat near but below the break-even point. Performance appraisal provides a systematic basis for assessment of employee contributions, coaching for improved performance, and distribution of economic rewards. Modern appraisal philosophy focuses on performance, objectives, mutual goal setting, and feedback. Newer appraisal approaches, such as self-appraisal and 360-degree feedback systems, provide additional perspectives on employee performance and suggestions for improvement. Nevertheless, the appraisal interview can be difficult for both manager and employee. One significant confounding factor in appraisals is the likelihood that one or both parties will engage in inappropriate attributions. These are the perceptual assignment of alternative Chapter 6 Appraising and Rewarding Performance 171 causes to one’s behavior based on preconceptions and faulty reasoning; they serve to cause difficulties between the manager and the appraisee unless resolved through careful analysis. Performance management often relies on incentive systems to provide different amounts of pay in relation to some measure of performance. They tend to increase employee expectations that rewards will follow performance, although the delay may range from a week to a year. Incentives often stimulate greater productivity but also tend to produce some offsetting negative consequences. Wage incentives reward greater output by individuals or groups, whereas profit sharing emphasizes mutual interest with the employer to build a successful organization. Gain sharing emphasizes improvement in various indexes of organizational performance, whereas skill-based pay rewards employees for acquiring greater levels or types of skills. Since employees have different needs to be served, many types of pay programs are required for a complete economic reward system. Speaking OB: Terms and Concepts for Review Discussion Questions 360-degree feedback, 158 Appraisal interview, 156 Attribution, 160 Comparable worth, 154 Complete pay program, 164 Cost–reward comparison, 152 Economic incentive system, 164 Equal Pay Act of 1963, 154 Fundamental attribution bias, 161 Gain-sharing plan, 168 Galatea effect, 162 Incentives, 148 Loose rates, 167 Management by objectives (MBO), 154 Output restriction, 167 Pay for performance, 166 Perceptual distortions, 162 Perceptual set, 161 Performance appraisal, 155 Performance feedback, 157 Performance management, 164 Piece rate, 165 Positive contagion, 162 Praise, 159 Profit sharing, 167 Rate setting, 167 Self-appraisal, 157 Self-fulfilling prophecy, 161 Self-serving bias, 161 Skill-based pay, 169 Wage incentives, 166 1. Explain how money can be both an economic and a social medium of exchange. As a student, how do you use money as a social medium of exchange? 2. Think of a job that you formerly had or now have. a. Discuss specifically how the expectancy model applied (applies) to your pay. b. Discuss how you felt (feel) about the equity of your pay and why you felt (feel) that way. c. Develop and explain a cost–reward comparison chart for your pay and effort. 3. Think of a time when you assessed, either formally or informally, someone else’s level of performance and found it deficient by your standards. To what did you attribute the reasons for the inadequate performance? Were you engaging in any attributional tendencies? How could you avoid doing so? 4. Assume that, in the first six months of your first job, your manager asks you to participate in filling out a feedback form describing his or her strengths and weaknesses. How comfortable will you feel in doing this? Now assume your manager asks you to engage in the same process, seeking feedback from your peers, manager, and customers about yourself. Now what is your reaction? Explain. 172 Part Two Motivation and Reward Systems 5. What are the major measures used to link pay with outputs? Which ones, if any, were used in the last job you had? Discuss the effectiveness of the measure or measures used. 6. Would you use profit sharing, gain sharing, skill-based pay, or wage incentives in any of the following jobs? Discuss your choice in each instance. a. Employee in a small fast-growing computer company b. Teacher in a public school c. Insurance claims processor in an insurance office d. Automobile repair mechanic in a small repair shop e. Farm worker picking peaches f. Production worker in a shoe factory making men’s shoes 7. Divide into small groups, each led by a member who has worked for a sales commission. Discuss how the commission related to both equity theory and expectancy theory, and report highlights of your discussion to your entire classroom group. 8. Have you ever participated in restriction of output in a job or in an academic course? If so, discuss why you did it and what its consequences were. 9. “Skill-based pay is a waste of company money, because we are paying for potential performance instead of actual performance.” Discuss this statement. 10. Rate your level of performance in this class relative to all others. What percentage of classmates do you think are below you? Now seek that information from your instructor and match it with your own. If the two figures do not match, provide several explanations for it. Assess Your Own Skills How well do you exhibit good reward and performance appraisal skills? Read the following statements carefully. Circle the number on the response scale that most closely reflects the degree to which each statement accurately describes you when you reward employees and conduct a performance appraisal. Add up your total points, and prepare a brief action plan for self-improvement. Be ready to report your score for tabulation across the entire group. Good description 1. I recognize and understand the roles that money plays in each of the motivational models. 10 2. I plan to administer monetary rewards on a contingent basis, providing high rewards for good performance and much lesser rewards for weaker performance. 10 3. I recognize the importance of helping employees understand the need for balance between their rewards and their contributions. 10 Poor description 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Chapter 6 Appraising and Rewarding Performance 173 4. I understand the necessity of providing employees with opportunities for both extrinsic and intrinsic rewards. 5. I am comfortable with the five hallmarks of modern appraisal philosophy and would use those in my own appraisals of employees. 6. I envision the performance appraisal interview as an opportunity for much more than simply giving feedback to employees. 7. I would be comfortable receiving feedback from all participants in a 360-degree appraisal process. 8. I could readily follow the guidelines for giving performance feedback to employees. 9. I can easily see how an employee’s self-serving bias could distort that person’s self-appraisal. 10. I understand the fundamental attribution bias and believe that I could successfully avoid it. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Scoring and Interpretation Add up your total points for the 10 questions. Record that number here, and report it when it is requested. Finally, insert your total score into the “Assess and Improve Your Own Organizational Behavior Skills” chart in Appendix A. • If you scored between 81 and 100 points, you appear to have a solid capability for demonstrating good reward and performance appraisal skills. • If you scored between 61 and 80 points, you should take a close look at the items with lower self-assessment scores and explore ways to improve those items. • If you scored under 60 points, you should be aware that a weaker skill level regarding several items could be detrimental to your future success as a manager. We encourage you to review relevant sections of the chapter and watch for related material in subsequent chapters and other sources. Now identify your three lowest scores, and write the question numbers here: _____, _____, _____. Write a brief paragraph, detailing to yourself an action plan for how you might sharpen each of these skills. Incident Plaza Grocery Brad Holden was the executive vice president for Plaza Grocery, a family-owned chain of six grocery stores in a medium-sized metropolitan area. The current problem he was facing dealt with the stock clerks/carryout workers in the stores. Despite paying them the usual wage rate (the minimum federal hourly wage), he had trouble obtaining enough 174 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior applicants for the job. Worse still, many of them seemed to lack motivation once he hired them. This situation created problems of empty shelves and slow service at the checkout lanes. In an attempt to solve the problem, Brad met with small groups of the workers to get their ideas. He also consulted with a local expert on compensation issues. Some workers said they wanted a higher hourly wage rate; others said they wanted some incentive to work faster; some had no comment whatsoever. The consultant recommended that Brad consider using some of the more contemporary compensation systems. Questions 1. Which of the major economic incentive systems discussed in this chapter has the best chance of working for Brad? 2. Can two or more incentive systems be combined, with an even greater likelihood of success? What might be gained through a combination, and what would be the costs (for both Plaza Grocery and the employees)? 3. In your recommendation, which motivational theories are you most specifically using? Experiential Exercise Performance Appraisal/Reward Philosophy 1. Read the following set of statements about people and indicate your degree of agreement or disagreement on the rating scales. Strongly agree a. Most people don’t just want equity; they want to earn more than their peers. b. Skill-based pay won’t work well because employees will learn the minimum necessary to earn a higher rate and then forget what they learned. c. Most employees are too comfortable with the status quo to want to devote effort to learning new skills. d. Most employees neither understand what profits are nor appreciate their importance; therefore, profitsharing systems are doomed to fail. e. If asked to participate in a 360-degree feedback program appraising their own manager, most employees would distort their assessments in some way rather than be honest. f. The division between management and labor is so great that both gain-sharing and profit-sharing systems are likely to fail. g. Since people do not want to hear about their weaknesses and failures, performance appraisal interviews will not change employee behavior. h. The idea that employees assess the costs and rewards associated with any major behavior is ridiculous. They simply decide whether or not they feel like doing something and then do it or don’t do it. Strongly disagree 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 Chapter 4 Social Systems and Organizational Culture 175 2. Meeting in small discussion groups, tabulate the responses to each question (frequency distribution and mean) and explore reasons for any significant disagreements within your group’s ratings. 3. In your group, develop alternative statements for any items you do not support (ratings of 3, 4, or 5) at present. Explain how your new statements reflect your knowledge of human behavior gained through reading the early chapters of this book. Generating OB Insights An insight is a new and clear perception of a phenomenon, or an acquired ability to “see” clearly something that you were unaware of previously. It is sometimes simply referred to as an “ah-ha! moment,” in which you have a minirevelation or reach a straightforward conclusion about a topic or issue. Insights need not necessarily be dramatic, for what is an insight to one person may be less important to another. The critical feature of insights is that they are relevant and memorable for you; they should represent new knowledge, new frameworks, or new ways of viewing things that you want to retain and remember over time. Insights, then, are different from the information you find in the “Advice for Future Managers” boxes within the text. That advice is prescriptive and action-oriented; it indicates a recommended course of action. A useful way to think of OB insights is to assume you are the only person who has read Chapter 6. You have been given the assignment to highlight, in your own words, the major concepts (not just summarize the whole chapter) that might stand out for a naive audience who has never heard of the topic before. What 10 insights would you share with them? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. (Example) Most employees place a relatively high valence on money as both an economic and social reward. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 176 Part One Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior Nurturing Your Critical Thinking and Reflective Skills Take a few minutes to review the discussion in the Roadmap for Readers of critical thinking and reflection. Remind yourself that if you can hone these abilities now, you will have a substantial competitive advantage when you apply for jobs and are asked what unique skills you can bring to the position and the organization. Critical Thinking Think back on the material you read in this chapter. What are three unique and challenging critical questions you would like to raise about that material? (These might identify something controversial about which you have doubts, they may imply that you suspect that a theory or model has weaknesses, they could examine the legitimacy of apparent causal relationships, or they might assess the probable value of a suggested practice.) Be prepared to share these questions with class members or your instructor. 1. 2. 3. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Reflection This process often involves answering the parallel questions of “What do you think about the material you have read?” and “How do you feel about that material?” Therefore, express your personal thoughts and feelings (reactions) to any of the ideas or topics found in this chapter, and be prepared to share these reflections with class members or your instructor. 1. 2. 3. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Part Three Leadership and Empowerment Chapter Seven Leadership Tyrannical leadership can lead to extraordinary performance and intolerable human effects. Hao Ma, Ranjan Karri, and Kumar Chittipeddi1 If you’re a leader, authenticity is your most precious commodity, and you’ll lose it if you attempt techniques that don’t fit your strengths. Marcus Buckingham2 CHAPTER OBJECTIVES AFTER READING THIS CHAPTER, YOU SHOULD UNDERSTAND 7-1 The Nature of Leadership and Followership 7-2 The Difference between Traits and Behaviors 7-3 Different Leadership Styles 7-4 Early Approaches to Leadership 7-5 Contingency Approaches to Leadership 7-6 Substitutes for Leadership 7-7 Coaching as a Leadership Role 178 Facebook Page Student A: I’m going to be a leader! Student B: LOL. Student C: Explain, and it had better be good. Student A: No, really. I’m learning what leadership is, and I think I’ve got many of the five key traits for a good leader—desire, drive, self-confidence, and maybe integrity. I’m not sure yet what “authenticity” means. Student B: One thing for sure; you’ve got a healthy ego! Are you sure you don’t just want to be an “alpha dog”? Student C: OK, so are traits the same as behaviors? And what is the best leadership style to use? Student A: That’s where it gets a bit confusing for me. Traits are intellectual and personality characteristics, while behaviors are skills and abilities that leaders exhibit. There are several different classification schemes, leadership models, and choices. I’m mostly intrigued by the contingency approaches to leadership. I don’t think there is a one best style, BTW. Student B: I’ll bite. What’s a contingency approach? Student A: That’s when you study some critical variables, and they point you in the direction of using a particular leadership style for that situation. But you’ve got to be flexible enough to adapt your style to the situation. It’s called sensemaking. Student C: Now you’re starting to “make sense.” Different results at Scott Paper and Sunbeam Al Dunlap was the CEO of Scott Paper Company for two years. Soon after being selected to lead the company, he acquired the nickname “Chainsaw Al” for the dramatic way in which he chopped up the organization and scaled back its operations. All in all, he cut 11,000 employees, slashed R&D by 50 percent, forbade community involvement by managers, and eliminated all corporate gifts to charities. His toughness and tenacity were focused on maximizing shareholder value. The result was an increase in stock price for Scott Paper of approximately 225 percent, and a successful merger with Kimberly-Clark. However, his autocratic leadership style antagonized many of his employees. Dunlap’s later attempt to duplicate his feat at Sunbeam was disastrous, illustrating perfectly the painful lesson in the opening quote for this chapter. THE NATURE OF LEADERSHIP Leadership is the process of influencing and supporting others (both individually and collectively) to work enthusiastically toward achieving shared objectives. It is the critical factor that helps an individual or a group identify its goals, and then motivates and assists in achieving the stated goals. The three important elements in the definition are influence/ support, voluntary effort, and goal achievement. Without leadership, an organization would be only a confusion of people and machines, just as an orchestra without a conductor would be only musicians and instruments. The orchestra and all other organizations require leadership to develop their precious assets to the fullest. 179 Engaging Your Brain 1. What traits and behaviors characterize many effective leaders? How about the ineffective leaders? 2. Think of a national or international leader such as U.S. President Barack Obama or Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel. What positive leadership characteristics have they exhibited? Did they exhibit any leadership weaknesses or deficiences? 3. If you could choose an ideal leader to follow, how might your selection differ from that of a co-worker who is several decades older? What problems does this create for a leader who has an age-diverse group of employees? A catalyst The leadership process is similar in effect to that of the secret chemical that turns a caterpillar into a butterfly with all the beauty that was the caterpillar’s potential. Leadership, then, is the catalyst that transforms potential into reality. This role is often seen dramatically in rapid-growth organizations, as when Sergey Brin and Larry Page founded Google, Jerry Yang and David Filo started up Yahoo, or Jeff Bezos guided Amazon to its role as an online retailing giant noted for its outstanding customer service.3 It was equally important in organizations like Microsoft Corporation, which Bill Gates and Paul Allen started and guided to national prominence as a developer of microcomputer software and operating systems. The chapter-opening illustration about the successes and failures of Al Dunlap accents the catalyst role that leaders play while demonstrating the fact that many leadership styles have a “dark side” to them (e.g., the hardship to laid-off employees and the dangers of a narrow focus on a single goal). In all cases, the ultimate test of leadership is the degree to which it identifies, develops, channels, and enriches the potential that is already in an organization and its people—and then sustains it across both good and bad times. In this chapter, we discuss the nature of leadership—the behaviors, roles, and skills that combine to form different leadership styles. Behavioral approaches are descriptive, offering a variety of ways in which the actions of leaders often differ (e.g., leaders can be positive or negative, autocratic or participative, employee-oriented or task-oriented). Contingency approaches are more analytical, encouraging managers to examine their situation and select a style that best fits it. We conclude with a look at some of the newer ideas, such as substitutes for leadership and coaching. Management and Leadership Leadership is an important part of management, but it is not the whole story. The primary role of a leader is to influence others to voluntarily seek defined objectives (preferably with enthusiasm).4 Managers also plan activities, organize appropriate structures, and control resources. Managers hold formal positions, whereas anyone can use his or her informal influence while acting as a leader. Managers achieve results by directing the activities of others, whereas leaders create a vision and inspire others to achieve this vision and to stretch themselves beyond their normal capabilities. Because there is a substantial difference between management and leadership, strong leaders may still be weak managers if poor planning causes their group to move in the wrong directions. Though they can get their group going, they just cannot get it going in directions that best serve organizational objectives. Other combinations also are possible. A person can be a weak leader and still be a reasonably effective manager, especially if she or he happens to be managing people who have a clear understanding of their jobs and a strong internal drive to work. This set of circumstances is less likely, and therefore we expect excellent managers to have reasonably high leadership ability among their other skills. Fortunately, leadership ability can be 180 On the Job: Mackay Envelope Company Harvey Mackay, a corporate executive and author of several best-selling business books, has offered his “ABCs” of leadership traits. They are: accountability, boundary respect, courage, decision making, enthusiasm, fearlessness, growth, heart, influence, judgment, knowledge, learning, mentor- ing, new experiments, organization, people sensitivity, quick thinking, recognition for achievements, strength of ethics, team building, ubiquitous, visible, wisdom, example setting (inspiration), yeoman’s hard work, and zest.5 Question: How do you stack up against these characteristics? acquired and improved through the study of leadership research, observation of effective role models, participation in management training, and learning from work experiences. However, as managers are promoted to higher levels of responsibility, they must learn to change roles. As one author describes it, executives must shift from bricklayer to architect, problem solver to agenda setter, tactician to strategist, and specialist to generalist.6 Traits of Effective Leaders Positive traits People have been concerned about the nature of leadership since the beginning of history. Early research tried to identify the traits—physical, intellectual, or personality characteristics—that differed between leaders and nonleaders or between successful and unsuccessful leaders. Many cognitive and psychological factors, such as intelligence, ambition, and aggressiveness, were studied. Other researchers examined physical characteristics, such as height, body size and shape, and personal attractiveness. Clearly, interest and speculation have remained high about what characteristics make a good leader. The current research on leadership traits suggests that some factors do help differentiate leaders from nonleaders (see Figure 7.1).7 The most important (primary) traits are: • A high level of personal drive (characterized by energy, determination, willpower, and tenacity) • The desire to lead (motivation to influence others) • Personal integrity (sense of ethics, honesty, and authenticity) • Self-confidence (optimism and belief in self-efficacy as a leader) • Authenticity (being real and genuine; believable) Negative traits Cognitive (analytical) ability, business knowledge, charisma, creativity, flexibility (resilience), and personal warmth (sociability, humility, and modesty) are also frequently desired but are seen as secondary in their importance. One important conclusion about these leadership traits is that they do not necessarily guarantee successful leadership. They are best viewed as personal competencies or resources that may or may not be developed and used. Many people have the capabilities to be effective leaders, but some choose not to demonstrate the traits they have. Others may have the necessary traits and the desire to use them, but the opportunity to do so never arises. A final issue is whether leadership traits can be acquired or embellished over time if someone aspires to leadership. While some traits may be difficult to accumulate in the short run, others (such as self-confidence and knowledge of the business) can likely be acquired by dedicated students. Unfortunately, some leaders (such as Vladimir Putin, president of Russia), exhibit negative traits (paranoia, anger, inflexibility) that can be dysfunctional for their unit’s performance and their personal success. One common negative trait is narcissism, in which leaders become filled with their own importance, exaggerate their own achievements, seek out special favors, and exploit others for their personal gain. Unless it is carefully controlled, narcissism is at best self-deceptive and at worst produces leaders who are dangerously 181 FIGURE 7.1 Primary Traits: Ho ne sty e riv ld na rgy rso ne Pe nd e a Positive Leadership Traits De sir et ol ea d 182 Part Three Leadership and Empowerment an di nte gr ity ce en fid n o lf-c Se city enti Auth Secondary Traits: Knowledge of business Cognitive ability Crea tivity and isma Char ss ne ve i t p da da n a lity ibi x e Fl Po sit ive origin ality aff ec tiv ity (w arm th) overconfident—power-seeking persons who desperately want to feed their own egos. This leads them to disregard the rights of others, dismiss the importance of empathy, and fail to appreciate the feelings of their subordinates. Other leaders may act in a manner similar to alpha dogs, who are intensely aggressive, egocentric, domineering, and controlling. Alpha dogs in the corporate world ruthlessly use their personal characteristics, skills, or positions to intimidate others and maintain personal control. Predictably, this produces an unhealthy environment for most employees. An effective alternative is to practice the art of humility. Humble leaders exhibit self-awareness, are open to new ideas from others, are candid about their own limitations, acknowledge their mistakes, and often project an aura of calmness and quietness. As a consequence, followers may feel more valued, experience psychological freedom, and increase their level of engagement with the organization.8 Leadership Behavior Much research has focused on identifying leadership behaviors. In this view, successful leadership depends more on appropriate behavior, skills, and actions, and less on personal traits. The difference is similar to that between latent energy and kinetic energy in physics: One type (the traits) provides the basic potential, and the other (the behaviors, skills, and actions) is the successful release and expression of those traits, much like kinetic energy. The distinction is a significant one, since behaviors and skills can be learned and changed, while many traits are relatively fixed in the short term. The three broad types of skills leaders use are technical, human, and conceptual. Although these skills are interrelated in practice, they can be considered separately. On the Job: Southwest Airlines Herb Kelleher, co-founder and former CEO of Southwest Airlines, was widely recognized for his “social intelligence.” Through the use of smiles, handshakes, expressions of appreciation, compassion, enthusiasm, and warmth, he demonstrated his empathy, listened attentively, obtained support, solicited input, and developed teamwork. These human skills helped grow the airline from a tiny operation to a national success.9 Technical Skill Technical skill refers to a person’s knowledge of, and ability in, any type of process or technique. Examples are the skills learned by accountants, engineers, computer programmers, and toolmakers. Technical skill is the distinguishing feature of job performance at the operating and professional levels, but as employees are promoted to leadership responsibilities, their technical skills become proportionately less important, as shown in Figure 7.2. As managers, they increasingly depend on the technical skills of their subordinates. In many cases, they have never practiced some of the technical skills that they supervise. Human Skill Human skill is the ability to work effectively with people and to build teamwork. It involves a wide range of behaviors—energizing individuals, giving feedback, coaching, care-giving, demonstrating empathy and sensitivity, and showing compassion and support for people who need it. Herb Kelleher (see “On the Job: Southwest Airlines”) demonstrated valuable human skills. One Gallup poll even showed that most workers rated “having a caring boss” as being more valuable to them than monetary rewards and fringe benefits.10 No leader at any organizational level escapes the requirement for effective human skill. It is a major part of leadership behavior and is discussed throughout this book. Lack of human skills has been the downfall of many managers and CEOs.11 Conceptual Skill Conceptual skill is the ability to think in terms of models, frameworks, and broad relationships, such as long-range plans. It becomes increasingly important in higher managerial jobs. Conceptual skill deals with ideas, whereas human skill concerns people, and technical skill involves things. FIGURE 7.2 100 Variations in the Use of Leadership Skills at Different Organizational Levels Percentage of job Conceptual Human 50 Technical 0 Supervisor Middle management Top management 183 184 Part Three Leadership and Empowerment Analysis of leadership skills helps explain why outstanding department heads sometimes make poor vice presidents. They may not be using the proper mixture of skills required for the higher-level job, particularly additional conceptual skill. Situational Flexibility Three elements to consider Successful leadership requires behavior that unites and stimulates followers toward defined objectives in specific situations. All three elements—leader, followers, and situation—are variables that affect one another in determining appropriate leadership behavior. Leadership clearly is situational. In one situation, action A may be the best cluster of leadership acts, but in the next situation, action B will be best. To try to have all an organization’s leaders fit a standard pattern will suppress creative differences and result in inefficiency as well, because many square pegs will be trying to fit into round holes. Leadership is part of a complex system, so there is no simple way to answer the question: What makes a leader be effective? Sometimes leaders must resist the temptation to be visible in a situation. Even though good leadership involves a set of behaviors, it should not be confused with mere activity when activity is not needed. Aggressiveness and constant interaction with others will not guarantee good leadership. At times the appropriate leadership action is to stay in the background keeping pressures off the group, to keep quiet so that others may talk, to be calm in times of uproar, to hesitate purposefully, and to delay decisions. At other times, a leader must be more decisive, directive, and controlling. The key task for a leader is to recognize different situations and adapt to them on a conscious basis. Followership With few exceptions, leaders in organizations are also followers. They nearly always report to someone else. Even the president of a public firm or nonprofit organization reports to a board of directors or trustees. Leaders must be able to wear both hats, relating effectively both upward and downward. And just as leaders give something to their superiors and employees, they need validation from higher authority as much as they need support from followers. In formal organizations of several levels, ability to follow (dynamic subordinancy) is one of the first requirements for good leadership. Being an effective follower is a testing ground for future leaders, a place where employees are closely observed to see if they exhibit potential for leadership. Skillful performance in current roles unlocks the door to An Ethics Question Leaders are needed, and good leaders are valued by their organizations. They energize workforces with compelling visions of the future, guide their firms through difficult crises, create supportive corporate cultures, and increase shareholder value. When performance is positive, leaders are revered. But how much are they worth? Many CEOs today are richly rewarded, earning several million dollars per year in salary, bonuses, and stock options. This is distressing to some observers, who feel that these corporate leaders are getting rich at the expense of other employees. The ratio of top CEO pay to that of the average worker has risen sharply in the past few decades, from about 20:1 to its current level of approximately 300:1 or even 400:1. During a period when average worker compensation has been relatively steady, is it ethical to use corporate resources to pay CEOs increasingly huge sums while the gap between them and their employees widens? Question: What do you think? Chapter 7 Leadership 185 Followership behaviors future leadership opportunities. By contrast, many people fail in their jobs not as a result of any skill deficiencies, but because they lack followership skills. These skills help employees support their current leader, be effective subordinates, and play constructive team roles. Positive followership behaviors include: • • • • • Being loyal and supportive, a team player Becoming actively engaged by pursuing dialogues and generating suggestions Acting as a devil’s advocate by raising penetrating questions Constructively confronting the leader’s ideas, ethical values, and actions Anticipating potential problems and actively preventing them By contrast, negative followership behaviors often involve: • • • • Competition (opposing the leader so as to be in the limelight) Uncritical (being a “yes” person who automatically agrees) Rebellion (actively opposing a good leader, or supporting a bad one) Passivity (failing to actively participate when the opportunity is provided to them)12 Good followers, then, need to succeed at their own jobs while helping their managers succeed at theirs. At the same time, effective subordinates can also prepare themselves for promotion by developing their conceptual and leadership skills. Similarly, good leaders should never forget what it is like in the trenches. Many effective leaders remind themselves of the importance of followership roles by periodically spending time visiting their stores, working a shift in a plant, and doing other things to remain in contact with firstlevel employees. (This behavior is illustrated in the Emmy award-winning television show, Undercover Boss.) BEHAVIORAL APPROACHES TO LEADERSHIP STYLE The total pattern of explicit and implicit leaders’ actions as seen by employees is called leadership style. It represents a consistent combination of philosophy, skills, traits, and attitudes that are exhibited in a person’s behavior. Each style also reflects, implicitly or explicitly, a manager’s beliefs about a subordinate’s capabilities (Theory X or Theory Y, discussed in Chapter 2). As emphasized throughout this book, employee perceptions of leadership style are all that really matters to them. Employees do not respond solely to what leaders think and do and say and intend, but to what they perceive leaders are. Leadership is truly in the eyes of the beholders. This section discusses a variety of styles that differ on the basis of motivation, power, or orientation toward tasks and people. Many different classifications of leadership style have been proposed and found to be useful. The simplest of these are based on a single dimension; others focus on two or more ways to distinguish among styles. Although each style is typically used in combination with others or even applied differently to various employees, the style classifications are discussed separately to highlight the contrasts among them. In general, the early classification schemes all took a universalist approach as they sought to identify the one best leadership style. However, this objective has subsequently proved to be impossible to attain. Positive and Negative Leaders Rewards or penalties? Leaders approach people to motivate them in many ways. If the approach emphasizes rewards—economic or otherwise—and a supportive approach, the leader uses positive What Managers Are Reading BAD LEADERSHIP Bad leaders are of two broad types—those who are simply ineffective and those who are unethical. Bad leadership emerges from a leader’s basic (flawed) character, from inappropriate (selfish) personal objectives, or from poor choices among options available to them. Seven basic types of bad leaders have been identified: • • • • • • • Incompetent persons, who lack the will or skill to be effective Rigid persons, who inflexibly stick to doomed paths and processes Intemperate persons, who lack self-control in pursuing their own desires Callous individuals, who are uncaring and unkind when expressing their feelings Corrupt leaders, who place their self-interest first and foremost Insular leaders, who disregard the health and welfare of other persons and groups Evil leaders, who cause physical or psychological harm through pain or atrocity Source: Barbara Kellerman, Bad Leadership: What It Is, How It Happens, Why It Matters. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2004. leadership. Better employee education, greater demands for independence, and other factors have made satisfactory employee motivation more dependent on positive leadership. Positive leaders are also more likely to use a conversational approach to their communications, characterized by four primary features: • Intimacy (using physical and emotional proximity to “get close” to the employees; gaining trust, listening well, and soliciting feedback) • Interactivity (promoting open and fluid dialogue between two parties) • Inclusion (increasing emotional engagement by soliciting the knowledge, ideas, and reactions of others) • Intentionality (having a sense of intended outcomes so that the purpose is clear). Conversational communication is highly consistent with the leadership trait of authenticity, discussed earlier in this chapter.13 If emphasis is placed on threats, fear, harshness, intimidation, and penalties, the leader is applying negative leadership. This approach may possibly get acceptable short-term performance in many situations, but it has high human costs. Negative leaders act domineering and superior with people. To get work done, they hold over their personnel such penalties as loss of job, reprimand in the presence of others, and a few days off without pay. They display authority in the false belief that it frightens everyone into productivity. They are bosses who are feared more than leaders who are admired. Negative leaders are usually known as workplace bullies, but they have no more place in work organizations than in the elementary school playground. These bullying bosses intimidate, ridicule, insult, blame, bark, harass, and make unreasonable demands. Some effects on employees are subtle but no less real (psychological distress), while other effects involve undesired behaviors (e.g., absenteeism or turnover) or performance declines. Worst of all, bullying by one manager begets bullying by others, who reflect the same behaviors that they see in their superiors or peers. A continuum of leadership styles exists, ranging from strongly positive to strongly negative. Almost any manager uses a mix of positive and negative styles somewhere on the continuum every day, but the dominant style sets a tone within the group. Style is related to one’s model of organizational behavior. The autocratic model tends to produce a negative 186 Chapter 7 Leadership 187 style; the custodial model is somewhat positive; and the supportive, collegial, and system models are clearly positive. Positive leadership generally results in higher job satisfaction and performance.14 Autocratic, Consultative, and Participative Leaders Styles and the use of power The way in which a leader uses power also establishes a type of style. Each style—autocratic, consultative, and participative—has its benefits and limitations. A leader often uses all three styles over a period of time, but one style tends to be the dominant one. An illustration is a plant supervisor who is normally autocratic, but she is participative in determining vacation schedules, and she is consultative in selecting a department representative for the safety committee. Autocratic leaders centralize power and decision making in themselves. They structure the complete work situation for their employees, who are expected to do what they are told and not think for themselves. The leaders take full authority and assume full responsibility. Autocratic leadership typically is negative, based on threats and punishment, but it can appear to be positive, as demonstrated by the benevolent autocrat who chooses to give some rewards to employees. Some advantages of autocratic leadership are that it is often satisfying for the leader, permits quick decisions, allows the employment of less competent subordinates, and provides security and structure for employees. The main disadvantage is that most employees dislike it, especially if it is extreme enough to create fear and frustration. Further, it seldom generates the strong organizational commitment among employees that leads to low turnover and absenteeism rates. The leadership style of Al Dunlap, described in the opening for this chapter, was clearly an autocratic one. Consultative leaders approach one or more employees and ask them for input prior to making a decision. These leaders may then choose to use or ignore the information and advice received, however. If the input is seen as used, employees are likely to feel as though they had a positive impact; if their input is consistently rejected, employees are likely to feel their time has been wasted. Participative leaders clearly decentralize authority. Participative decisions are not unilateral, as with the autocrat, because they use inputs from followers and participation by them. The leader and group are acting as a social unit. Employees are informed about conditions affecting their jobs and encouraged to express their ideas, make suggestions, and take action. The general trend is toward wider use of participative practices because they are consistent with the supportive, collegial, and systems models of organizational behavior and because they are strongly desired by many younger employees. Because of its importance and increasingly widespread usage, participative management is discussed thoroughly in the next chapter. Leader Use of Consideration and Structure Employee and task orientations Two different leadership styles used with employees are consideration and structure, also known as employee orientation and task orientation. Considerate leaders are concerned about the human needs of their employees. They try to build teamwork, provide Critical Thinking Exercise Negative (or bad, bullying) leadership is still in use today—especially in some countries. Question: Why do you think this primitive and dysfunctional behavior still persists? 188 Part Three Leadership and Empowerment psychological support, and help employees with their personal problems. They invite suggestions, listen with open minds, explain their own reasoning, and cultivate a network of supporters. Structured, task-oriented leaders, on the other hand, believe that they get results by keeping people constantly busy, closely monitoring employee actions, ignoring their personal issues and emotions, and urging them to produce at ever-higher levels. Consideration and structure appear to be somewhat independent of each other, so they should not necessarily be viewed as opposite ends of a continuum. A manager may have both orientations in varying degrees. The most successful managers are those who ombine relatively high consideration and structure, giving somewhat more emphasis to consideration. Early research on consideration and structure was done at the University of Michigan and at the Ohio State University. In several types of environments, such as truck manufacturing, railroad construction, and insurance offices, the strongly considerate leader was shown to have achieved somewhat higher job satisfaction and productivity. Subsequent studies confirm this general tendency and report desirable side benefits, such as lower grievance rates, lower turnover, and reduced stress within the group.15 Conversely, turnover, stress, and other problems seemed more likely to occur if a manager was unable to demonstrate consideration. There has been much debate in recent decades about the glass ceiling in organizations—an invisible barrier that has prevented many females from reaching important positions. In place of that barrier, Alice Eagly and Linda Carli use the metaphor of a labyrinth to suggest that women must travel through a maze of more complex passages in their attempt to reach their career goals. They are often stalled in their progress because of common perceptions that women tend to exhibit consideration-oriented qualities (friendly, compassionate, kind, sympathetic), whereas men tend to display more aggressive, forceful, and controlling (structure-oriented) characteristics. Frustratingly, men can show both sets of features without penalty, whereas women are commonly criticized if they accent their “softer” side.16 Models of leadership that incorporate consideration and structure (or similar behaviors) have been useful for highlighting multiple dimensions of leadership, getting managers to think and talk about their styles (and the impact of them), and stimulating debate and further studies about leadership. Together, the early approaches to leadership styles served as a useful springboard to newer models, which are discussed in the next section. CONTINGENCY APPROACHES TO LEADERSHIP STYLE The positive, participative, considerate leadership style is not always the best style to use. At times there are exceptions, and the prime need for leaders is to identify when to use a different style. A number of models have been developed that explain these exceptions, and they are called contingency approaches. These models state that the most appropriate style of leadership depends on an analysis of the nature of the situation facing the leader. Key factors in the situation need to be identified first. When combined with research evidence, these factors will indicate which style should be more effective under certain types of conditions. Four contingency models of this nature are briefly examined. Fiedler’s Contingency Model An early, but often controversial, contingency model of leadership was developed by Fred Fiedler and his associates.17 This model builds upon the previous distinction between Chapter 7 Leadership 189 task and employee orientation and suggests that the most appropriate leadership style depends on whether the overall situation is favorable, unfavorable, or in an intermediate stage of favorability to the leader. As the situation varies, leadership requirements also vary. Fiedler shows that a leader’s effectiveness is determined by the interaction of employee orientation with three additional variables that relate to the followers, the task, and the organization. They are leader–member relations, task structure, and leader position power. Leader–member relations are determined by the manner in which the leader is accepted by the group. If, for example, there is group friction with the leader, rejection of the leader, and reluctant compliance with orders, then leader–member relations are low. Task structure reflects the degree to which one specific way is required to do the job. Leader position power describes the organizational power that goes with the position the leader occupies. Examples are power to hire and fire, status symbols, and power to give pay raises and promotions. The relationship among these variables is shown in Figure 7.3. High and low employee orientations are shown on the vertical scale. The eight distinct combinations of the other three variables are shown on the horizontal scale (leader favorableness), arranged from leaderfavorable conditions (far left end) to leader-unfavorable conditions (far right end). Each dot on the chart represents the data from a specific research project. The chart clearly shows that the considerate employee-oriented manager is most successful in situations that have intermediate favorableness to the leader (the middle of the chart). At the chart’s extremes, which represent conditions either quite favorable or quite unfavorable to the leader, the structured task-oriented leader seems to be more effective. For example, the members of an automobile Three situational variables FIGURE 7.3 Research Results as Applied to Fiedler’s Contingency Model of Leadership Source: Adapted from A Theory of Leadership Effectiveness, by Fred E. Fiedler, p. 146. Copyright © 1967 by McGraw-Hill Book Company. Used with permission of McGraw-Hill Book Company. 1.00 Correlations between employee orientation and group performance High employee orientation Low employee orientation (task-oriented) .80 .60 .40 .20 0 −.20 −.40 −.60 −.80 Favorable for leader Unfavorable for leader −1.00 Octant: I Leader–member relations Good Task structure Leader position power II III IV Good Good Good Strong Weak Structured Structured Strong Weak V Moderately poor Unstructured Unstructured Structured Strong VI VII VIII Moderately Moderately Moderately poor poor poor Structured Unstructured Unstructured Weak Strong Weak 190 Part Three Leadership and Empowerment assembly-line crew traditionally have a structured task and a supervisor with strong position power. If leader–member relations are positive, the situation is favorable for task-oriented leaders who can use their strengths. Similarly, a structured leader is more effective in a position of weak power, low task structure, and poor leader–member relations. However, in intermediate conditions of favorableness, the considerate leader is often the most effective, and these situations are the most common ones in work groups. The conclusions of the Fiedler model may be explained in the following manner. In highly unstructured situations (e.g., situations VII and VIII), the leader’s structure and control are seen as removing undesirable ambiguity and the anxiety that results from it, so a structured (task-oriented) approach may actually be preferred by employees. In situations where the task is highly routine and the leader has good relations with the employees (e.g., situations I and II), they may perceive a task orientation as supportive to their job performance (clearing the path). The remaining broad middle ground requires better leader–member relations to be established, so a more considerate, employee-oriented leader is effective. Despite criticism, Fiedler’s contingency model has played a major role in stimulating discussions on leadership style and in generating useful guidelines. For example, managers are encouraged to: • Use their analytical skills to examine their situation—the people, task, and organization • Draw upon their research-based knowledge to see the causal relationship between situation and style effectiveness • Be flexible in the contingent use of various skills within an overall style • Reflectively modify elements of their situations to obtain a better match with their preferred style • Examine a subordinate’s preferred style before placing him/her in a supervisory role Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership Model Competence and commitment determine the development level Four styles match four levels of employee development Another contingency approach, the situational leadership (or life-cycle) model developed by Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard, suggests that the most important factor affecting the selection of a leader’s style is the development (maturity) level of a subordinate.18 Development level is the task-specific combination of an employee’s task competence and motivation to perform (commitment). Managers assess development level by examining an employee’s level of job knowledge, skill, and ability, as well as their willingness to take responsibility and their capacity to act independently. Employees typically (according to Theory Y assumptions) become better developed on a task as they receive appropriate guidance, gain job experience, and see the rewards for cooperative behavior. Both the competence to perform a given task and the commitment to do so can vary among employees; therefore, different development levels demand different responses from leaders. Hersey and Blanchard use a combination of guidance and supportive (also called task and relationship) orientations to create four major styles—telling, selling (coaching), participating (supporting), and delegating. These are matched with the progressive development levels of the employees (see quadrants 1–4 in Figure 7.4), suggesting that a manager’s leadership style should not only vary with the situation but also evolve over time toward the delegating style. The model is simple and intuitively appealing and accents an important contingency factor (the individual employee’s capabilities on a specific task) that is sometimes overlooked. However, it ignores several other critical elements that determine leadership style, and it does not have a widely accepted research base. Despite these limitations, it has achieved considerable popularity and also awakened many managers to the idea of Chapter 7 Leadership 191 FIGURE 7.4 High Participating Employee ability (Competence) Situational Leadership Model Recommendations for Appropriate Leadership Styles to Be Used for Each of Four Combinations of Employee Ability (competence) and Employee Willingness (commitment) Low Delegating 3 4 1 2 Telling 4 Selling Low Employee willingness (Commitment) Key: Telling = high directiveness and low supportiveness Selling = high directiveness and high supportiveness Participating = low directiveness and high supportiveness Delegating = low directiveness and low supportiveness High contingency approaches to leadership style. The following is an example of the situational leadership model in use: Two employees named Cindi and Mary were hired by the same firm to perform similar jobs. Although they had comparable educational backgrounds, Cindi had several more years of relevant work experience than Mary did. Applying the situational leadership model, their supervisor identified Mary as being moderately low in development (“willing, but not yet fully able to perform”), while Cindi was assessed as having a moderately high development level (“fully able, but lacking some confidence to perform”). Following this analysis, the supervisor decided to treat them differently during their first months on the job, by “selling” with Mary and “participating” with Cindi. Approximately two years later, the supervisor was able to use different styles with each, now “participating” with Mary and “delegating” with Cindi, since each had gained some additional skills and self-confidence. The Path-Goal Model of Leadership Two roles are emphasized Robert House and others have further developed a path-goal view of leadership initially presented by Martin G. Evans, which is derived from the expectancy model of motivation (see Chapter 5).19 Path-goal leadership states that the leader’s job is to use structure, support, and rewards to create a work environment that helps employees reach the organization’s goals. The two major roles involved are to create a goal orientation and to improve the path toward the goals so they will be attained. 192 Part Three Leadership and Empowerment FIGURE 7.5 The Path-Goal Leadership Process Leader identifies employee needs. Appropriate goals are established. Leader provides assistance on employee path toward goals. Effective performance occurs. Leader connects rewards with goals. Employees become satisfied and motivated, and they accept the leader. Both employees and organization are better able to reach their goals. Figure 7.5 shows the path-goal process. Leaders identify employee needs, provide appropriate goals (as discussed in Chapter 5), and then connect goal accomplishment to rewards by clarifying expectancy and instrumentality relationships. Barriers to performance are removed, and guidance is provided to the employee. The expected results of the process include job satisfaction, acceptance of the leader, and greater motivation. These should pay off further in effective performance and goal attainment. Leaders need to provide a balance of both task and psychological support for their employees, as logic would suggest. They provide task support when they help assemble the resources, budgets, power, and other elements that are essential to get the job done. Equally important, they can remove environmental constraints that sometimes inhibit the performance of the employee, exhibit upward influence, and provide recognition contingent upon effective effort and performance. But psychological support is also needed. Leaders must stimulate people to want to do the job and attend to their emotional needs. The combination of task and psychological support in a leader is described by a telephone company employee as follows: There is a supervisor here in the western area who is the epitome of a leader. The reason? He cares. He cares about people (psychological support) and about getting the job done right (task support). His enthusiasm is real, not forced, and it’s quite contagious. His employees want to work for him and learn from him. It all stems from two basic reasons: He knows what he’s talking about and he treats subordinates as though they are rational human beings with the ability to do the job. And he expects them to do it. He gives them the recognition that their work is important. Therefore, people get the feeling that they are working with him to get the entire job done. Leadership Styles According to path-goal theory, the leader’s roles are to help employees understand what needs to be done (the goal) and how to do it (the path). Further, leaders need to help employees see how achieving the goals will be beneficial to them and the Chapter 7 Leadership 193 organization. This leadership action should result in perceptions of high expectancy (effort leading to goal achievement and hence to valued rewards). Leaders, however, must decide which style to use with each employee; the path-goal model identifies four alternatives: • Directive leadership—the leader focuses on clear task assignments, standards of successful performance, and work schedules. • Supportive leadership—the leader demonstrates concern for employees’ well-being and needs, while trying to create a pleasant work environment. • Achievement-oriented leadership—the leader sets high expectations for employees, communicates confidence in their ability to achieve challenging goals, and enthusiastically models the desired behavior. • Participative leadership—the leader invites employees to provide input to decisions, and seriously seeks to use their suggestions as final decisions are made. Employee characteristics must be assessed Contingency Factors Two major factors must be analyzed—the general work environment and the specific characteristics of the employee. In the work environment, a leader must identify whether the employee’s task is already structured or not, whether the formal authority system is most compatible with a directive or participative approach, and whether the existing work group already provides for satisfaction of employee social and esteem needs. Similarly, the leader must assess three significant variables in each employee. Locus of control refers to alternative beliefs about whether an employee’s achievements are the product of his or her own effort (an internal locus, which is more compatible with a participative style) or the result of outside forces (an external locus, which is more receptive to a directive approach). A second factor is the employee’s willingness to accept the influence of others. If this variable is high, a directive approach will be more successful; if it is low, a participative style is more appropriate. The third individual characteristic is self-perceived task ability. Employees who have high confidence in their potential will react most favorably to a supportive leader. Alternatively, employees lacking a perception of their own task ability will more likely embrace an achievement-oriented leader. Stereotypically, Generation Y employees have a stronger internal locus of control, an unwillingness to accept the influence of superiors, and a strong image of their own task competence, capacity to learn, and ability to act independently. Consequently, this analysis suggests they are more successful under a participative leadership style. The path-goal model has made a contribution by identifying additional contingency variables, as well as broadening the range of leader behaviors to choose from. It is also pragmatic since it explicitly relates leadership style to an underlying motivational model. Existing research indicates that use of the model does correlate with employee satisfaction with leadership, but its impact on performance is not yet fully documented. Vroom’s Decision-Making Model A useful decision-making model for selecting among various degrees of leadership style (autocratic to participative) was developed by V. H. Vroom and others.20 They recognized that problem-solving situations differ, so they developed a structured approach for managers to examine the nature of those differences and to respond appropriately. Problem Attributes In this model, managers assess a current decision situation along fivepoint scales according to its problem attributes (see the eight questions in Figure 7.6)— especially the perceived importance of technical quality and employee acceptance. Decision-quality dimensions include cost considerations and the availability of information and whether or not the problem is structured. Employee-acceptance dimensions include the need for their commitment, their prior approval, the congruence of their goals 194 Part Three Leadership and Empowerment FIGURE 7.6 Guiding Questions in the Vroom DecisionMaking Model 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. How important is technical quality with regard to the decision being made? How important is subordinate commitment to the decision (employee acceptance)? Do you already have sufficient information to make a high-quality decision? Is the problem well structured? If you made the decision, would the subordinates be likely to accept it? Do subordinates share the goals to be attained in solving the problem? Is there likely to be conflict among subordinates over alternative solutions? Do subordinates have sufficient information to allow them to reach a high-quality solution? with the organization’s objectives, and the likelihood of conflict among the employees. By carefully following this analysis in a structured decision-tree format, managers can identify and classify several unique kinds of problems. Leadership Options After the type of problem being faced is determined, guidelines are then offered to help managers select one of five approaches to use. For example, items to consider are the time constraints, the geographical dispersion of subordinates, the leader’s motivation to conserve time, and the leader’s motivation to develop subordinates into independent decision makers. These considerations all have an impact on the choice of whether to use a more autocratic or a more consultative approach from among the five described here: • Autocratic I—leader individually solves the problem using the information already available. • Autocratic II—leader obtains data from subordinates and then decides. • Consultative I—leader explains problem to individual subordinates and obtains ideas from each before deciding. • Consultative II—leader meets with group of subordinates to share the problem and obtain inputs, and then decides. • Group II—leader shares problem with group and facilitates a discussion of alternatives and a reaching of group agreement on a solution. The usefulness of Vroom’s model rests on several key assumptions. First, it assumes managers can accurately classify problems according to the criteria offered. Second, it assumes managers are able and willing to adapt their leadership style to fit the contingency conditions they face for each major decision. Third, it assumes managers are willing to use a rather complex analytical model. Finally, it assumes employees will accept the logic of different styles being used for different problems, as well as the validity of the leader’s classification of the situation at hand. If all these assumptions are valid, the model holds considerable promise for helping managers choose the appropriate leadership style. ALTERNATIVE PERSPECTIVES ON LEADERSHIP The preceding sections of this chapter traced the development of different views on leadership—those focusing on traits, behaviors, and contingency factors. Each model touches on something different, producing a different conclusion. In this way, they are similar to the ancient parable of the blind men encountering an elephant, with each describing it very differently, depending on whether he had touched an ear, a tail, a trunk, or a leg. Despite the seemingly substantial differences among the leadership models, Chapter 7 Leadership 195 FIGURE 7.7 Similarities across Leadership Models Model Soft Emphasis Hard Emphasis University of Michigan and Ohio State University studies Fiedler’s contingency model Hersey and Blanchard’s situational model Path-goal model Vroom’s decision-making model Consideration Structure Employee orientation Relationships Task orientation Task guidance Psychological support Employee acceptance Task support Decision quality they are remarkably consistent in some ways. Figure 7.7 identifies their common emphasis on two types of factors—“soft” and “hard.” Several additional perspectives—substitutes and enhancers for leadership, coaching, and two other approaches—are presented briefly in the following sections. These perspectives provide useful new ways of looking at leadership. Chapter 8 explores participative approaches in depth. Neutralizers, Substitutes, and Enhancers for Leadership A totally different approach to leadership that still has a modest contingency flavor has been proposed by Steven Kerr and others.21 Previous leadership models suggested that a formal leader is necessary to provide task direction, structure, and rewards, plus the consideration and social support that employees require. Unfortunately, these leadership roles may create an unhealthy dependency on the leaders that stifles the growth and autonomy of subordinates. A leader may also lack the necessary traits, knowledge, and skills to fulfill those roles effectively or may not be able to be present at all times. Further, some neutralizers may intervene. These are attributes of subordinates, tasks, and organizations that actually interfere with or diminish the leader’s attempts to influence the employees. Neutralizers include physical distance, rigid reward systems, and a practice of bypassing the managers by either subordinates or superiors. If the situation or leader cannot be readily changed, there may be substitutes or even enhancers for leadership. Substitutes for leadership are factors that make leadership roles unnecessary through replacing them with other sources. Examples of such factors are listed in Figure 7.8; they are found in the contingency factors of the task, organization, and employees. Presence of such substitutes as strong subordinate experience, clear rules, or a cohesive work group helps decrease the need for a leader’s traditional task orientation. Other factors, such as intrinsically satisfying tasks, professional orientations by employees, or an employee’s high need for independence, may diminish the need for a leader’s consideration-oriented behavior. Critical Thinking Exercise Sometimes a leader (either consciously or unconsciously) will exhibit a variety of approaches (e.g., autocratic, consultative, or group) on different employees across a period of days. Question: What do you think are the predictable consequences on the employees who are recipients (or observers) of such behaviors? 196 Part Three Leadership and Empowerment FIGURE 7.8 Potential Neutralizers, Substitutes, and Enhancers for Leadership Neutralizers Substitutes Enhancers Physical distance between leader and employee Employee indifference toward rewards Intrinsically satisfying tasks Inflexible work rules Rigid reward systems Cohesive work groups Employees with high ability, experience, or knowledge Practice of bypassing the manager (by subordinates or superiors) Peer appraisal/feedback Gain-sharing reward systems Staff available for problems Jobs redesigned for more feedback Methods for resolving interpersonal conflict Team building to help solve work-related problems Intrinsic satisfaction from the work itself Cohesive work groups Employee needs for independence Superordinate goals Increased group status Increased leader’s status and reward power Leader as the central source of information supply Increased subordinates’ view of leader’s expertise, influence, and image Use of crises to demonstrate leader’s capabilities Alternatively, a leader’s existing characteristics and abilities may become clarified and aided through other factors. Enhancers for leadership are elements that amplify a leader’s impact on the employees (see Figure 7.8).22 A directive orientation may be improved by an increase in the leader’s status or reward power or when that leadership style is used in jobs with frequent crises. A supportive leadership style may be enhanced by encouraging more team-based work activities or by increasing employee participation in decision making. The important contribution of the neutralizers/substitutes/enhancers approach is that organizations have an alternative remedy in those cases where it is not feasible to replace or train the leader or to find a better match between leader and job. However, the leader’s emotions are also at stake here; someone who previously thought she or he was critically important and now finds her- or himself partially replaceable can suffer a demoralizing loss of self-esteem. Coaching A leader’s coaching roles A rapidly emerging metaphor for the leader is that of a coach. Borrowed and adapted from the sports domain, coaching means that the leader prepares, guides, and directs a “player” but does not play the game. These leaders recognize they are on the sidelines, not on the playing field. Their role is to select the right players, to teach and develop subordinates, to be available for problem-oriented consultation, to review resource needs, to ask questions, and to listen to inputs from employees. Some managers report that they spend 50 to 60 percent of their time coaching.23 They cajole, prod, clarify, enable, inspire, exhibit warmth and support, and hold informal conversations. Coaches see themselves as cheerleaders and facilitators while also recognizing the occasional need to be tough and demanding. One role of any executive—and managerial coaches in particular—is that of sensemaking. According to psychologist Karl Weick, sensemaking is similar to cartography (map making). It is the process of finding order in complex or ambiguous situations, requiring situational awareness, data gathering from multiple sources, the two-way act of fitting data into a mental model and/or adapting a mental framework to fit the data, and checking with others on an ongoing basis to gain from their perspectives. The product—making sense of Chapter 7 Leadership 197 the world around oneself—is never-ending and often requires other persons (coaches and collaborators) for assistance.24 Coaching can be a powerful leadership tool, if handled correctly. It has been described as a secret weapon of some outstanding organizations that allows them to build an arsenal of well-prepared managers. Good coaching focuses mostly on enhanced performance as supported by high expectations and timely feedback while building on the tools of trust, mutual respect, integrity, openness, and common purpose. The specific areas that most managers admit needing coaching in are: • Improving their interaction style • Dealing more effectively with change • Developing their listening and speaking skills To facilitate change through coaching, skillful leaders initiate periodic dialogues that maintain a healthy balance between building the employee’s self-esteem and introducing creative tension for change. Prerequisites to successful coaching include the employee’s willingness to change, capability of changing, and the opportunity to practice new behaviors. AN INTEGRATIVE MODEL OF LEADERSHIP BEHAVIORS It would be easy for readers to thrown up their hands in frustration at this point and ask “Which leadership model should I use?” or “Which approach is most helpful?” or “Which one is based on the most solid research evidence?” Those questions have no easy answers. Fortunately, Gary Yukl and his colleagues have developed a proposed taxonomy of leadership behaviors. This taxonomy identifies four major categories and fifteen component behaviors, as follows: • Task-oriented (accomplishing objectives by clarifying, planning, and monitoring operations; problem solving) • Relations-oriented (improving human capital by supporting, developing, recognizing, and empowering people) • Change-oriented (stimulating creativity, mutual learning, and environmental adaptation by envisioning, advocating, and encouraging change) • External-oriented (acquiring resources for the organization and promoting the unit to its stakeholders by networking, external monitoring, and engaging in representational behaviors).25 This conceptual integration of major themes and dimension draws upon the underlying concepts in most of the models discussed earlier in the chapter, and simplifies somewhat the primary ideas. It reminds leaders to accomplish a goal, relate well to employees, stimulate appropriate change, and connect with the environment. Other Approaches Two other perspectives on leadership deserve mention. Visionary leaders—those who can paint a portrait of what the organization needs to become and then use their communication skills to motivate others to achieve the vision—play especially important roles during times of transition. Transformational leadership and the leadership trait of charisma are discussed in Chapter 14. A second approach looks at the reciprocal nature of influence between managers and their employees and studies the exchanges that take place between them. Since this approach serves as the basis for participative management, in which both parties give and gain something, it is introduced in the next chapter. Advice to Future Managers 1. Build upon your positive leadership traits (both primary and secondary), while seeking to turn your weaknesses into strengths and eliminate any semblance of dysfunctional narcissism. 2. Recognize that many leadership models exist and many different dimensions as a foundation for them; accept their lessons while seeking ways to integrate them. 3. Embrace the contingency nature of leadership, recognizing that strong analytical skills are a prerequisite to effective application of most leadership models. 4. Remain appropriately wary of simplistic leadership models, especially those for which there is little available research support. 5. Recognize the need to flexibly vary your leadership style according to situational demands while also demonstrating some degree of consistency from day to day. 6. Accept the importance of your role as a coach, whose greatest assets include experience, empathy, objectivity, questioning skills, and listening capabilities. 7. Practice your sensemaking skills for yourself and others, by developing and testing mental models that clarify ambiguous situations. 8. Recognize when leadership is not necessary (due to substitutes) or not likely to be effective, and conserve your efforts. 9. Become the most ethical leader you can be, by continually searching for and confronting the ethical dimensions surrounding the issues you face. 10. Prepare yourself for inevitable crises by anticipating future events and training yourself to be a decisive action-oriented problem solver who is sensitive to the needs of your employees. Summary Leadership is the process of influencing and supporting others to work enthusiastically toward achieving objectives. It is determined partially by traits, which provide the potential for leadership, and also by role behavior. Leaders’ roles combine technical, human, and conceptual skills, which leaders apply in different degrees at various organizational levels. Their behavior as followers is also important to the organization. Leaders apply different leadership styles, ranging from consultative to autocratic. Although a positive, participative, considerate leader tends to be more effective in many situations, the contingency approaches suggest that a variety of styles can be successful. Leaders must first analyze the situation and discover key factors in the task, employees, or organization that suggest which style might be best for that combination. Leaders should also recognize the possibility that they are not always directly needed because of available substitutes or enhancers. Also, it may be desirable to develop employees through effective coaching behaviors. Speaking OB: Terms and Concepts for Review Alpha dogs, 182 Autocratic leaders, 187 Coach, 196 Conceptual skill, 183 Consideration, 187 Consultative leaders, 187 Contingency model, 188 Decision-making model, 193 Development level, 190 Enhancers for leadership, 196 Glass ceiling, 188 198 Human skill, 183 Leader–member relations, 189 Leader position power, 189 Leadership, 179 Leadership style, 185 Locus of control, 193 Model, 190 Narcissism, 181 Negative Followership, 185 Neutralizers, 195 Participative leaders, 187 Path-goal leadership, 191 Positive Followership, 185 Psychological support, 192 Self-perceived task ability, 193 Sensemaking, 196 Situational leadership, 190 Structure, 187 Substitutes for leadership, 195 Chapter 7 Leadership 199 Task structure, 189 Task support, 192 Taxonomy of leadership behaviors, 197 Technical skill, 183 Traits, 181 Willingness to accept the influence of others, 193 Workplace bullies, 186 Discussion Questions 1. Explain the difference between management and leadership. Discuss why conceptual leadership skills become more important, and technical skills less important, at higher organizational levels. 2. A manager once told a subordinate, “To be a good leader, you must first become a good follower.” Discuss what it means to be a good follower, whether you agree with the statement, and why or why not. 3. Think of the best leader you ever worked with on a job, in sports, or in any other activity. Then, think of the worst leader. Discuss the contrasting styles and skills used by the two. How did you respond to each? What could they have done differently? 4. Explain how Theory X and Theory Y relate to leadership styles, especially the contingency approaches and superleadership. Comment on the statement “management philosophy controls practice.” 5. Think of situations in which you were a leader. What leadership style did you use? Using hindsight and the material in this chapter, what would you have done differently? 6. The contingency models are all more complex than the earlier trait or “one best style” approaches. Discuss the likelihood that practicing managers will understand, accept, and use each of the contingency models. 7. Consider the various substitutes for leadership and enhancers. Identify the three that you think have the greatest potential for positive impact, and explain why. 8. Vroom’s decision-making model assumes that managers have the f lexibility to shift from one style to another, whereas Fiedler’s model does not. Debate the feasibility of these models. 9. Why would a typical manager attempt to create independent-thinking employees? Would this competition between manager and employees eventually result in the loss of the manager’s job if the attempt were fully successful? Why or why not? 10. Review the idea of the leader as a coach. Which of the leadership models relates more closely with coaching? Explain. Assess Your Own Skills How well do you exhibit good leadership traits? Read the following statements carefully. Circle the number on the response scale that most closely reflects the degree to which each statement accurately describes you as a leader. Add up your total points and prepare a brief action plan for self-improvement. Be ready to report your score for tabulation across the entire group. Good description 1. I exhibit a healthy degree of authenticity. 2. I have a high degree of cognitive ability. 3. I possess substantial creativity/ originality. Poor description 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 200 Part Three Leadership and Empowerment 4. I have a strong desire to be a leader. 5. I exhibit a powerful degree of drive. 6. I demonstrate high energy and enthusiasm. 7. I am generally flexible and adaptable. 8. I am known for my honesty and integrity. 9. I have a healthy degree of self-confidence. 10. I exhibit a high degree of warmth toward others. 10 10 9 9 8 8 7 7 6 6 5 5 4 4 3 3 2 2 1 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Scoring and Interpretation Add up your total points for the 10 questions. Record that number here, and report it when it is requested. Finally, insert your total score into the “Assess and Improve Your Own Organizational Behavior Skills” chart in Appendix A. • If you scored between 81 and 100 points, you appear to have a solid capability for demonstrating appropriate leadership traits. • If you scored between 61 and 80 points, you should take a close look at the items with lower self-assessment scores and explore ways to improve those items. • If you scored under 60 points, you should be aware that a weaker level regarding several items could be detrimental to your future success as a leader. We encourage you to review relevant sections of the chapter and watch for related material in subsequent chapters and other sources. Now identify your three lowest scores, and write the question numbers here: _____, _____, _____. Write a brief paragraph, detailing to yourself an action plan for how you might sharpen each of these traits. Incident The Work Assignment Effie Pardini supervised 11 accounting clerks in the budget and planning department of a large computer manufacturer. None of the clerks had accounting degrees, but all were skilled in handling records and figures. They primarily prepared budgetary plans and analyses for operating departments. Data inputs were secured from the departments and from company records. Pardini assigned projects to the clerks on the basis of their interests and skills. Some projects were more desirable than others because of prestige, challenge, the contacts required, or other factors; thus, there were occasional conflicts over which clerk was to receive a desirable project. One clerk who seemed especially sensitive and regularly complained about this issue was Sonia Prosser. On one occasion Pardini received a desirable project and assigned it to a clerk by the name of Joe Madden. Prosser was particularly distressed because she felt she should have had the assignment. She was so distressed that she retaliated by gathering up her present assignment and putting it away in her desk. Then, she took a book from her desk and started reading it. Since all the clerks were together in the same office, most of them observed her actions. She announced to one in a voice loud enough to be heard by others, “Nobody around here ever gives me a good assignment.” Chapter 7 Leadership 201 Pardini overheard Prosser’s comment and looked up from her desk, noting what was happening. Pardini was angered, but she sat at her desk for five minutes wondering what to do. Meanwhile, Prosser continued reading her book. Questions 1. What leadership issues are raised by this incident? 2. Discuss what action Pardini should take. Consider the path-goal model of leadership and the contingency approaches to leadership before making your decision. Experiential Exercise Application of Leadership Models 1. Divide into small groups of five to seven persons. 2. Select, as a focus of discussion, a visible leader with whom all members are reasonably familiar (e.g., your college’s president, a local mayor, the state governor, or a major corporation’s CEO). 3. Each group member should choose a different leadership model and relate it to that leader. Spend a few minutes explaining to the other group members how: a. Your model applies to that leader b. Your model fails to apply neatly to that leader and why 4. Hold a brief discussion to explore ways in which the models are similar, different, and potentially complementary to each other. 5. Derive a set of action implications for yourselves as future leaders, based on this discussion. Generating OB Insights An insight is a new and clear perception of a phenomenon, or an acquired ability to “see” clearly something you were unaware of previously. It is sometimes simply referred to as an “ah-ha! moment,” in which you have a minirevelation or reach a straightforward conclusion about a topic or issue. Insights need not necessarily be dramatic, for what is an insight to one person may be less important to another. The critical feature of insights is that they are relevant and memorable for you; they should represent new knowledge, new frameworks, or new ways of viewing things that you want to retain and remember over time. Insights, then, are different from the information you find in the “Advice for Future Managers” boxes within the text. That advice is prescriptive and action-oriented; it indicates a recommended course of action. A useful way to think of OB insights is to assume you are the only person who has read Chapter 7. You have been given the assignment to highlight, in your own words, the major concepts (but not just summarize the whole chapter) that might stand out for a naive audience who has never heard of the topic before. What 10 insights would you share with them? 1. 2. 3. (Example) Personality traits such as energy/drive, self-confidence, motivation to lead, and integrity/ethics are important prerequisites to leadership success, but so are a multitude of behaviors that must be used contingently. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 202 Part Three Leadership and Empowerment 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Nurturing Your Critical Thinking and Reflective Skills ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Take a few minutes to review the discussion in the Roadmap for Readers of critical thinking and reflection. Remind yourself that if you can hone these abilities now, you will have a substantial competitive advantage when you apply for jobs and are asked what unique skills you can bring to the position and the organization. Critical Thinking Think back on the material you read in this chapter. What are three unique and challenging critical questions you would like to raise about this material? (These might identify something controversial about which you have doubts, they may imply that you suspect that a theory or model has weaknesses, they could examine the legitimacy of apparent causal relationships, or they might assess the probable value of a suggested practice.) Be prepared to share these questions with class members or your instructor. 1. ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ 2. ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ 3. ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ Reflection This process often involves answering the parallel questions of “What do you think about the material you have read?” and “How do you feel about that material?” Therefore, express your personal thoughts and feelings (reactions) to any of the ideas or topics found in this chapter, and be prepared to share these reflections with class members or your instructor. 1. ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ 2. ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ 3. ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ This page intentionally left blank Chapter Eight Empowerment and Participation Fifty-five percent of all workers are disengaged (warm chair attrition). Margaret Wheatley1 We live in the”‘Democratic Age.” And the command and control system that worked before simply doesn’t work in this new age. Traci Fenton2 CHAPTER OBJECTIVES AFTER READING THIS CHAPTER, YOU SHOULD UNDERSTAND 8-1 The Nature of Empowerment and Its Prerequisites 8-2 The Participative Process 8-3 Benefits of Participation 8-4 Types of Participative Programs 8-5 Limitations of Participation 8-6 Servant Leadership 204 Facebook Page Student A: Guess what? I’m empowered! Student B: I don’t think so. I’ve seen you wear a T-shirt, and I doubt you could lift a bag of chips and a two-liter bottle of soda at the same time. Student C: OK, what does empowerment mean, and how did you get it? Student A: It’s being given autonomy and control over things leading to my performance. My instructor told us last week that anyone who wanted to could meet together to decide how class should be structured in the future. I was excited! Student B: How’d that play out? Student A: To my surprise, some classmates didn’t want to do it after the first meeting; they said they thought it was overparticipation and more than they could handle. Others loved it and wanted to have the opportunity to do it again; I guess they’ve experienced underparticipation in the past. Anyway, the ones who remained told the instructor that we didn’t want any more tests this semester. Student B: Really? How’d that go over? Student A: Like a lead balloon. The instructor admitted that he had failed to adequately define our area of job freedom in advance, but should have done so. Then, to our dismay, the instructor reneged on his promise of empowerment and admitted that he never intended to accept our recommendations. He faked the exercise to demonstrate the detrimental impact of pseudoparticipation (and we fell for it). Lesson learned! A large aircraft manufacturer employed up to 20,000 assembly workers during a 10-year period. It used a safety committee system in which each department was represented on the committee by one of its workers. During those 10 years a surprising phenomenon emerged. When people became safety committee members, they ceased having disabling injuries. This record occurred despite the fact that there were hundreds of rotating members during the decade, and sometimes even the seemingly accident-prone workers were appointed committee members. The facts in this case show a significant difference between committee members and nonmembers with regard to disabling injuries. The safety committee members in the aircraft firm probably changed their own behavior for at least four major reasons. They became more aware of safety problems, they were involved in the process of improving safety practices, they were given some resources, and they felt as though they had not only responsibility but also some power to affect the outcomes. The idea of empowering employees serves as the foundation for participation. As discussed in the preceding chapter, an employee orientation and a participative style are often important for effective leadership. Participation has excellent potential for developing employees and building teamwork, but it is a difficult practice and can fail if it is poorly applied or if executives do not truly believe in its value. When it is used effectively, two of the best results are acceptance of change and a strong commitment to goals that encourage better performance. 205 Engaging Your Brain 206 Part Three Leadership and Empowerment 1. The author suggests that some employees (particularly highly trained professionals) experience doubts about their competence, expertise, and achievements (the impostor phenomenon). Since this seems illogical, explain why you think this might occur. 2. It is conceivable that not all employees have the same need to participate in relevant decisions and may even feel more comfortable working in a more authoritarian work environment. On a scale of 1 (very low) to 10 (very high) rate your own perceived desire to work in a high-involvement organization. Why do you feel this way? 3. Much of the popular management literature portrays empowerment and participation as panaceas for solving many of the problems in organizations today. If this is true, why is the practice not even more widespread than it is? THE NATURE OF EMPOWERMENT AND PARTICIPATION What Is Empowerment? Powerlessness causes low self-efficacy Empowerment Almost every society has within it some minority groups that feel incapable of controlling their own destiny. Similarly, most work organizations have a number of individuals or groups of employees who believe they are dependent on others and that their own efforts will have little impact on performance. As the first chapter-opening quote suggests, they have become disengaged and essentially become “chair warmers.” This powerlessness contributes to the frustrating experience of low self-efficacy—the conviction among people that they cannot successfully perform their jobs or make meaningful contributions. Problems with self-efficacy are often caused by major organizational changes that are beyond the employees’ control (such as mergers). Problems may also stem from having to work under an authoritarian leader, within a reward system that fails to reinforce competence or innovation, or in a job that lacks variety, discretion, or role clarity. Feelings of low self-efficacy are similar to the well-known impostor phenomenon in which individuals at all levels and in all industries (but notably in academia and medicine) fail to acknowledge properly their own expertise and accomplishments.3 Instead, they feel like a fake and erroneously attribute their success to luck, charm, personal contacts, or timing, instead of talent, competence, or perseverance. Fortunately, individual perceptions of low levels of self-efficacy can be raised by empowering employees. Empowerment is any process that provides greater autonomy to employees through the sharing of relevant information and the provision of control over factors affecting job performance. Empowerment helps remove the conditions that cause powerlessness while enhancing employee feelings of self-efficacy.4 Empowerment authorizes employees to cope with situations and enables them to take control of problems as they arise. Five broad approaches to empowerment have been suggested: 1. Helping employees achieve job mastery (giving proper training, coaching, and guided experience that will result in initial successes) 2. Allowing more control (giving them discretion over job performance and then holding them accountable for outcomes) 3. Providing successful role models (allowing them to observe peers who already perform successfully on the job) 206 Chapter 8 Empowerment and Participation 207 FIGURE 8.1 The Process of Empowerment Requires a Two-Pronged Attack Remove conditions of powerlessness • Unwanted changes • Negative leadership • Unfair reward system • Overwhelming jobs Enhance job-related self-efficacy • Job mastery • Control and accountability • Role models • Reinforcement • Support Perception of empowerment • Competence • Autonomy • Job meaning • Sense of impact • Opportunity Effectiveness Satisfaction 4. Using social reinforcement and persuasion (giving praise, encouragement, and verbal feedback designed to raise self-confidence) 5. Giving emotional support (providing reduction of stress and anxiety through better role definition, task assistance, and honest expressions of caring) When managers use these approaches, employees begin believing they are competent and valued, that they truly have some autonomy, that their jobs have meaning and impact, and that they have opportunities to use their talents. In effect, when they have been legitimately empowered, their efforts are more likely to pay off in both personal satisfaction and the kind of results that the organization values. This chain of events is illustrated in Figure 8.1, where powerlessness is diminished and self-efficacy is enhanced. A major review of the theoretical literature on empowerment concluded that it is the result of four cognitions by employees—meaning and purpose to one’s work role, competence in the skills and abilities required, autonomy and control over how one does the work assigned, and a sense of personal impact over relevant organizational outcomes. A study conducted in a manufacturing firm and a service organization showed that all four of those dimensions were necessary to produce a positive impact on organizational effectiveness and individual satisfaction.5 Managers have many behavioral tools available to them to attack the powerlessness problem. Some of these tools, such as mutual goal setting, job feedback, modeling, and contingent reward systems, have already been discussed in previous chapters. A major approach, however, lies in the use of various programs for participative management. Such programs provide employees with varying degrees of perceived (psychological) ownership, input into various steps in the decision-making process, and the key feeling of choice in their work environment. What Is Participation? Participative managers consult with their employees, bringing them in on problems and decisions so they work together as a team. The managers are not autocrats, but neither are they managers who abandon their management responsibilities. Participative 208 Part Three Leadership and Empowerment Elements in participation Ego involvement Employees use their creativity Responsibility builds teamwork managers still retain ultimate responsibility for the operation of their units, but they have learned to share operating responsibility with those who perform the work. The result is that employees feel a sense of involvement in group goals. (You may wish to refer to Figure 2.4, which shows that the employee psychological result of supportive management is participation.) It follows that participation is the mental and emotional involvement of people in group situations that encourages them to contribute to group goals and share responsibility for them. This definition entails three important ideas—involvement, contribution, and responsibility. Involvement First and foremost, participation means meaningful involvement rather than mere muscular activity. A person who participates is ego-involved instead of merely taskinvolved. Some managers mistake task involvement for true participation. They go through the motions of participation, but nothing more. They hold meetings, ask opinions, and so on, but all the time it is perfectly clear to employees (or safely assumed) that their manager is an autocratic boss who wants no ideas. These empty managerial actions constitute pseudoparticipation (fake involvement, or merely a façade). As a result, employees fail to become ego-involved. By contrast, Robert J. Murray (CEO of iProspect) uses two participative approaches that make it clear to his employees that he values their inputs and wants them to engage their minds. First, he conducts managerial “roundtables,” where he asks them to give examples of difficult employee situations they have faced—and successfully dealt with. Second, he asks volunteers to share a portrait of a situation they are currently confronting but are still unsure how to deal with it. In doing so, he is intentionally creating a participative environment where everyone is both sharing and learning.6 Motivation to Contribute A second concept in participation is that it stimulates people to contribute. They are empowered to release their own resources of initiative and creativity toward the objectives of the organization, just as Theory Y predicts. In this way, participation differs dramatically from consent. The practice of consent uses only the creativity of the manager, who brings ideas to the group and uses persuasiveness to obtain the members’ consent. The consenters do not contribute; they merely acquiesce and passively approve. Participation is more than getting consent for something that has already been decided. Its great value is that it taps the creativity of all employees. Participation especially improves motivation by helping employees understand and clarify their paths toward goals. According to the path-goal model of leadership, the improved understanding of path-goal relationships produces a heightened sense of responsibility for goal attainment. The result is improved motivation, as illustrated in “On the Job: Xerox Corporation.” Acceptance of Responsibility Participation encourages people to accept responsibility in their group’s activities. It is a social process by which people become self-involved in an organization, committed to it, and truly want to see it work successfully. When they talk about their organization, they begin to say “we,” not “they.” When they see a job problem, it is “ours,” not “theirs.” Participation helps them become good organizational citizens who take ownership for results rather than nonresponsible, machinelike performers. As individuals begin to accept responsibility for group activities, they see in it a way to do what they want to do—that is, to accomplish a job for which they feel responsible. This idea of getting the group to want teamwork is a key step in developing it into a successful work unit. When people want to do something, they will find a way. Under these conditions employees see managers as supportive contributors to the team. Employees are likely ready to work actively with managers rather than reactively against them. On the Job: Xerox Corporation One of Xerox Corporation’s manufacturing plants in New York was losing money. Top management concluded that the only alternative was to subcontract the production of some components. In an attempt to save 180 employees from being laid off, an employee team was formed to gather proposals for cost savings. After six months of intense effort and analysis, the team proposed a wide-ranging series of changes that projected an annual savings of $3.7 million. The recommendations were accepted by management and the union, avoiding the layoffs and making the plant profitable again. The team members, with the help of many other interested employees, had a strong motivation to contribute, and they succeeded. Why Is Participation Popular? Research conclusion Spirit at work Desires, expectations, and ethical imperatives The benefits of participation were first demonstrated experimentally in classic studies in industry by Roethlisberger, Coch and French, and others.7 Conducted by skillful social scientists under controlled conditions, these experiments were useful in drawing attention to the potential value of participation. Their collective results suggested the general proposition that, especially in the introduction of changes, participation tends to improve performance and job satisfaction. Later research in organizations has repeatedly supported this proposition, as suggested by the authors of a comprehensive review: “Participation can have statistically significant effects on performance and satisfaction” (although the size of the effects is not always large).8 There are good reasons for the enhanced interest in participation. U.S. businesses are struggling to compete in the global marketplace. Consequently, they are showing a keen interest in any managerial practice that offers to aid in the attraction or retention of qualified employees, increase productivity, or to speed the introduction of products to market.9 Participative practices expedite these goals by placing more responsibility at lower levels of the organization and by speeding up the approval process. Participative practices may also provide power opportunities earlier to minority workers in an increasingly diverse workforce, since such workers need not wait until reaching higher organizational levels before being allowed to contribute meaningfully. Participation also seems to help satisfy the awakening employee need for meaning and fulfillment at work. This search for spirit or harmony among all facets of life as guided by a higher (religious) power, has challenged organizations such as Tom’s of Maine, Boeing, Lotus Development, and Medtronic to search for ways to restore a “soul” to their workplaces.10 These organizations have found that employees are searching for a sense of significance, the opportunity to use their minds, and a chance to devote their efforts to a higher purpose in their work. Meaningful participation can help satisfy those needs. Other reasons for the popular use of participative practices are noteworthy. The educational level of the workforce often provides workers with unique capacities that can be applied creatively to work problems. These employees have also acquired both a greater desire for influencing work-related decisions and a strong expectation that they will be allowed to participate in these decisions. An equally strong argument can be made that participation is an ethical imperative for managers. This view rests on the conclusion that highly nonparticipative jobs cause both psychological and physical harm to employees in the long run. A participative approach, then, is the “right” thing to do if a manager cares about employee welfare. As a result of these multiple driving forces (see Figure 8.2), managers need to create participative conditions that will allow interested employees to experience feelings of empowerment in their work. 209 210 Part Three Leadership and Empowerment FIGURE 8.2 Forces Affecting the Greater Use of Participation Research results Productivityimprovement pressures Utilization of workforce diversity Employee desires for meaning P A R T I C I P A T I O N Employee desires and expectations Ethical arguments HOW PARTICIPATION WORKS The Participative Process A simple model of the participative process is shown in Figure 8.3. It indicates that in many situations participative programs (discussed later in this chapter) result in mental and emotional involvement that produces generally favorable outcomes for both the employees and FIGURE 8.3 The Participative Process Outcomes Situation Participative programs Involvement • Mental • Emotional Outcomes • Organization: Higher output Better quality Creativity Innovation • Employees: Acceptance Self-efficacy Less stress Satisfaction On the Job: University of Minnesota Duluth An example of the participative process in the public domain occurred recently. Faced with a major state funding shortfall, the Chancellor of the University of Minnesota Duluth needed to reduce her campus budget by 8 percent. She invited individual departments to generate ideas for cost reductions. One unit responded with three single-spaced pages of costsaving ideas, and several of these were ultimately found to have value. This participative process not only produced creative solutions for the campus, but also helped gain faculty acceptance of some painful decisions. the organization. Participating employees are generally more satisfied with their work and their supervisor, their stress from working under an authoritarian manager diminishes, and their self-efficacy rises as a result of their newfound empowerment.11 There is evidence to suggest that the intellectual resources of many employees today are underutilized. One researcher, for example, discovered a shocking phenomenon. She found that while 88 percent of workers reported they can see a variety of ways to improve their work, only 15 percent currently make suggestions.12 Among the probable reasons are an unreceptive manager, a lack of recognition for offering ideas, and general disengagement (see the opening quote for this chapter). Much of the remaining portion of this chapter identifies important participative programs and discusses their relative merits. Before we review the range of practices in use today, three questions are addressed: What happens to a manager’s power under participative programs? What are the prerequisites for successful participation? What factors in the situation affect the success of participative programs? The Impact on Managerial Power Reciprocal relationships develop Managerial fears are unfounded Leader–Member Exchange Participation is a sharing process between managers and employees. It is built upon the leader–member exchange model of leadership.13 This model suggests that leaders and their followers develop a unique reciprocal relationship, with the leader selectively delegating, informing, consulting, mentoring, praising, or rewarding each employee. In exchange, each subordinate contributes various degrees of task performance, loyalty, and respect to the manager. The quality of the relationships varies, depending on the balance of exchanges made, with some employees attaining favored status (the in-group) and others perceiving some unfairness in their treatment (the out-group). Managerial perceptions are important, too. If a manager believes an employee has high ability and that a high-quality exchange relationship exists, the manager is more likely to allow a greater degree of influence in decisions. When managers first consider the need to empower employees through participation, they often ask, “If I share authority with my employees, don’t I lose some of it?” This is a natural fear that stems from a view of managers as controllers, but it is not a justifiable one because participative managers often still retain final authority. All they do is share the use of authority so employees will experience a greater sense of involvement in the organization. Managers engage in a two-way social exchange with workers, in contrast to imposing ideas from above. They demonstrate their trust in employee potential by giving employees some power, and they receive employee creativity and commitment in return. Two Views of Power Strange as it may seem, participation actually may increase the power of both managers and their employees. Employees clearly gain more power with participation, but what about managers? The autocratic view of management is that power is a fixed quantity, is legitimate, and flows downward, so someone must lose what another gains. 211 212 Part Three Leadership and Empowerment FIGURE 8.4 Two Views of Power and Influence Autocratic View Power Participative View Power • Is a fixed amount • Comes from the authority structure • Is a variable amount • Comes from people through both official and unofficial channels • Is applied by shared ideas and activities in a group • Flows in all directions • Is applied by management • Flows downward Participation expands influence Autocratic managers use their personalized power to control and manipulate others, and this makes employees feel weak. However, as shown in Figure 8.4, the participative view is that power in a social system can be increased without taking it from someone else. The process works like this: Managerial power depends partly on employee trust in management, a feeling of teamwork, and a sense of responsibility. Participation improves these conditions through the application of socialized power. Since employees feel more cooperative and responsible, they are likely to be more responsive to managerial attempts to influence them. In a sense, managers make social transactions with their work groups that build assets such as improved goodwill and responsibility. Employees feel supported, enabled, and more capable.14 These assets are similar to a savings deposit that managers can draw upon later, perhaps with interest, in crisis situations when they need to apply their power. The following is an example that shows how a manager may increase power by sharing it: The manager of a computer operation having more than 50 employees felt that some changes were needed. In the beginning she tried her usual autocratic approach, aided by a consultant. Desired changes were proposed, but the employees would not accept them. Finally, the effort was abandoned. The manager continued to think that changes were necessary, so a year later she tried again, using more participatory approaches. She discussed the need with her supervisors and several key employees. Then, she set up committees to work on designated parts of a self-examination study. The groups worked hard, and in a few months they submitted a comprehensive report that recommended a number of important changes. In this instance, the members felt a sense of pride and ownership in the report. It was theirs. They had created it. The result was that they made a genuine effort to implement it. With the full support of the whole group, they made substantial changes. Participation had increased the manager’s power and influence. Prerequisites for Participation The success of participation is directly related to how well certain prerequisite conditions are met, as shown in Figure 8.5. Some of these conditions occur in the participants; some FIGURE 8.5 Prerequisites for Participation 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Adequate time to participate Potential benefits greater than costs Relevance to employee interests Adequate employee abilities to deal with the subject Mutual ability to communicate No feeling of threat to either party Restriction to the area of job freedom Chapter 8 Empowerment and Participation 213 exist in their environment. They strongly suggest that participation works better in some situations than in others—and in certain situations it doesn’t work at all. Major prerequisites are as follows: 1. Employees must have enough time to participate before action is required. Participation is hardly appropriate in time-compressed emergency situations. 2. The potential benefits of participation should be greater than the costs. For example, employees cannot spend so much time participating that they ignore their regular work duties. 3. The subject of participation must be relevant and interesting to the employees; otherwise, employees will look upon it merely as busywork. 4. The participants should have the mental capacity, such as intelligence and technical knowledge, to participate. It is hardly advisable, for example, to ask custodians in a pharmaceutical laboratory to participate in deciding which of five chemical formulas deserve research priority; but they might participate in helping resolve other problems related to their work. 5. The participants must be mutually able to participate—to talk each other’s language— in order to be able to exchange ideas. 6. Neither party should feel that its position is threatened by participation. If workers think their status will be adversely affected, they will not participate. If managers feel their authority is threatened, they will refuse to allow participation or will be defensive about its products. If employees feel their job security is threatened, they will be more risk-averse and are less likely to participate fully. 7. Participation for deciding a course of action in an organization can take place only within the group’s area of job freedom. Some degree of restriction is required with regard to the parts of an organization in order to maintain unity for the whole. Each separate subunit cannot make decisions that violate policy, collective-bargaining agreements, legal requirements, and similar restraints. Similarly, the physical environment (a flood that results in the closing of a plant is an extreme example) and personal limitations (such as an employee’s not understanding electronics) impose restraints. The area of job freedom for any department is its area of discretion after all restraints have been applied. There is never complete freedom, even for the top executive. Within the area of job freedom, participation exists along a continuum, as shown in Figure 8.6. Over a period of time a manager will practice participation at various points along the continuum, sometimes moving up and down on the diagonal line. In other words, a manager may seek the group’s ideas before deciding vacation schedules, but that same manager may decide overtime schedules independently. Similarly, a manager may find it necessary to limit the participation used with one employee while consulting freely with another (this practice is consistent with the Hersey-Blanchard model discussed in Chapter 7). Since a consistent approach provides employees with a predictable environment, each manager gradually becomes identified with some general style of participation as a usual practice. The popular terms designated for amounts of participation along the continuum are representative of a broad area on the continuum instead of a certain point. Several of the terms are defined later in this chapter. Contingency Factors As with the use of many behavioral ideas, several contingency factors influence the success of participative programs. These may be found in the environment, the organization, its leadership, the nature of tasks performed, or the employees. For example, national cultures 214 Part Three Leadership and Empowerment FIGURE 8.6 Participation Exists along a Continuum Source: Adapted from Robert Tannenbaum and Warren H. Schmidt, “How to Choose a Leadership Pattern,” Harvard Business Review, March–April 1958, p. 96. Withdraws Total area of job freedom Area of authority applied by manager Joins Consults Sells Area of employee participation in decision making Tells Amount of participation Medium Low High Description of typical action Manager makes and announces decision Manager presents decision subject to change; seeks ideas; sells decision Manager seeks ideas before deciding Manager asks group for recommended action before deciding Manager decides with group; “one person, one vote” Manager asks group to decide Popular terms Autocratic management Benevolent autocracy Consultative management; suggestion systems Participative committees, such as quality circles Democratic management Consensus decision making; self-managing teams; empowerment Leaders need both self-awareness and selfmanagement skills and political systems vary sharply across the world, resulting in a restrictive environment for participation in a dictatorship and a more supportive one in a democracy. Organizational practices also need to be adapted to the pace of change in their environments, which can range from stable to turbulent. In Chapter 7, we discussed the impact of Theory X or Theory Y beliefs on a manager’s selection of a leadership style. Evidence also indicates that top executives’ beliefs and values, as reflected in the organization’s culture, have a strong impact on the use of participation by lower managers. Task characteristics need to be examined before choosing a participative program; intrinsically satisfying tasks may diminish the need for greater participation, while routine tasks may suggest that participation could produce fruitful results. Employees can be involved in a variety of tasks, including goal setting, decision making, problem solving, and planning major organizational changes. Emotional Intelligence One important contingency factor that affects the use of participation is a leader’s emotional intelligence. This is a combination of two personal abilities—self-awareness and self-management—and two social competencies—social awareness and relationship management. The personal qualities suggest that a leader On the Job: Avon Products Andrea Jung became CEO of Avon Products (with more than five million employees and sales of $8 billion per year) at age 41. She stresses not only her own need for emotional intelligence, but for all of her managers. “Of all a leader’s competencies, self-awareness is the most important,” she says. Further, she suggests that emotional intelligence and making Compare desired and actual participation Can you use too much participation? hard decisions about people are not incompatible—even when closing production plants. Jung’s experience and views are backed up by a study performed at Insead in France, which found that women were rated higher on emotional intelligence by both men and women.15 should be aware of and understand one’s own feelings, to realize why one is feeling that way, and to manage one’s own emotions effectively. A parallel set of social skills deals with a leader’s ability to assess and manage the emotions of his or her employees. Emotionally intelligent leaders use their empathy, compassion, optimism, humor, integrity, caring, and persuasiveness to build the kind of relationship with employees that assures them that their talents and inputs will be used effectively for the benefit of all. Managers who are low in emotional intelligence typically lack sensitivity to employee emotions and needs, and they are unlikely to be able to use participative approaches effectively. By contrast, effective leaders set an example through their sensitivity, persuasiveness, humility, and comfort with ambiguity to build a strong feeling of trust in the organization. They hire and train their workforce to be self-aware and self-confident, and to treat their peers with respect and understanding (see “On the Job: Avon Products”).16 Differing Employee Needs for Participation Some employees desire more participation than others. As indicated earlier, educated and higher-level workers often seek more participation, because they feel more prepared to make useful contributions. When they are not allowed to contribute, they tend to have lower performance, less satisfaction, lower self-esteem, and more stress. However, some other employees desire only a minimum of participation and are not upset if they are not actively involved. The difference between an employee’s desired and actual participation gives a measure of the potential effectiveness of participation, assuming the employee has the ability to contribute. When employees want more participation than they have, they are “participatively deprived” and there is underparticipation. In the opposite situation, when they have more participation than they want, they are “participatively saturated” and there is overparticipation. Where there is either underparticipation or overparticipation, people are less satisfied than those who participate in a degree that closely matches their needs. This relationship is shown in Figure 8.7. As participation comes closer to matching either high or low needs (boxes 1 and 3), satisfaction with the practice goes up. Conversely, if there is either too much or too little (boxes 2 and 4), employees will tend to be dissatisfied. Participation is not something that should be applied equally to everyone. Rather, it should match each person’s needs (if the other contingency factors allow it). A consultant was asked to assess employee attitudes within a department in one company. One question asked of the employees focused on the frequency with which they were allowed to participate in decision making. The contrast in responses was striking. For example, one employee replied, “All the time—about three or four times a week.” Another responded by saying, “Almost never—only three or four times a week.” It is apparent from this example that employee perceptions of the situation are highly important. The evidence suggests that participation will be more successful where employees 215 216 Part Three Leadership and Empowerment FIGURE 8.7 Amount of participation allowed by a manager Products of the Relationship between an Employee’s Desired Participation and a Manager’s Use of It High Low Appropriate participation Overparticipation Appropriate participation 2 3 1 4 Underparticipation Low High Amount of participation desired by an employee feel they have a valid contribution to make, it will be valued by the organization, and they will be rewarded for it. It is also imperative that they believe management is truly interested in their ideas and will use them, so that their time and energy will not be wasted. Responsibilities of Employees and Managers A critical contingency element in the success of any participative program is the degree to which all employees recognize that the opportunities provided are accompanied by a set of responsibilities. Ideally, all employees would agree to Expectations for employees • • • • • • Be fully responsible for their actions and their consequences Operate within the relevant organizational policies Be contributing team members Respect and seek to use the perspectives of others Be dependable and ethical in their empowered actions Demonstrate responsible self-leadership These responsibilities of employees provide a balance to those of the manager: Expectations for managers • • • • Identifying the issues to be addressed Specifying the level of involvement desired Providing relevant information and training (in advance) Allocating fair rewards Critical Thinking Exercise Some employees—notably from the “Millennial” generation—may feel that they are participatively underutilized. Question: What negative results can you safely predict from those feelings? Chapter 8 Empowerment and Participation 217 An Ethics Question Following the rash of totally unacceptable breaches of ethics in corporations across the nation, an astute manager decided that the best approach was to confront the issue head on— before any major problems emerged in his department. He called his staff together, identified a series of potentially unethical behaviors, and confidently invited the staff’s responses. To his shock and dismay, his employees provided numerous rationales for engaging in unethical behavior, such as the pressure for short-term results. In addition, they quoted a number of clichés, such as “Everybody’s doing it,” “No blood—no foul,” “They owe me,” and “It’s just part of the job, isn’t it?” Questions: How would you respond to them? How could the manager have foreseen, and prevented, this difficult situation? PROGRAMS FOR PARTICIPATION We can further understand how participation works if we examine selected systems to develop it. An array of programs, ranging roughly from modest to more substantial in their degree of participation, is presented in Figure 8.8. These programs usually are clusters of similar practices that focus on specific approaches to participation. One or more can be used within a single company. Some organizations give their managers some discretion to choose which program to use in their own areas, whereas other organizations mandate a particular approach throughout the company. In addition to differing considerably in nature, they also vary in their formality, degree of direct or indirect involvement, opportunity to exert influence, and time of involvement. When a company uses either a very significant approach with widespread application or a sufficient number of programs to develop a substantial sense of empowerment among its employees, it is said to practice participative management. Suggestion Programs Suggestion programs are formal plans to invite individual employees to recommend work improvements. In most companies, the employee whose suggestion results in a cost savings may receive a monetary award in proportion to the first year’s savings. Thus, the award can range from as low as $25 to as high as $50,000 or more in outstanding cases. The suggestions are screened for applicability and cost-benefit ratio, resulting in an acceptance rate of about 25 percent in most organizations. FIGURE 8.8 Selected Types of Participative Programs Participative programs Suggestion programs Quality circles Total Rapid-cycle quality decision management making Selfmanaging teams Flexible Employee work ownership arrangements plans 218 Part Three Leadership and Empowerment Problem areas Although many suggestion programs provide useful ideas, they are a limited form of participation that accents individual initiative instead of group problem solving and teamwork. Only a small fraction of employees are usually active participants who regularly make suggestions in most firms, and the rest may feel no significant level of involvement in the program. Many firms report receiving an average of only one suggestion per employee per year, which implies that most of the time the typical employee is not participating. In addition, delays in processing suggestions and rejections of seemingly good ideas can cause a backlash among contributors. Perhaps most significantly, some supervisors have difficulty looking constructively upon the suggestions and instead view them as criticisms of their own ability and practices, or as needless causes of more paperwork. Quality Emphasis For many years, both union and nonunion firms have organized groups of workers and their managers into committees to consider and solve job problems. These groups may be called work committees, labor–management committees, work-improvement task forces, or involvement teams. They have broad usefulness for improving productivity and communications because most of the employees can be involved. Popular approaches for this purpose are quality circles and total quality management. Quality Circles Voluntary groups that receive training in process improvements and problem-solving skills and then meet to produce ideas for improving productivity and working conditions are known as quality circles. They meet regularly, apply problem analysis/ problem-solving skills and statistical tools, and generate solutions for management to evaluate and implement. Quality circles gained utility as an involvement technique in the United States and Europe after achieving widespread success and popularity in Japan. One research study in a manufacturing firm compared the attitudes and performance of six quality circles with a matched group of noninvolved workers.17 Quality-circle participation favorably influenced employee attitudes toward decision making, group communication, and a feeling of having accomplished something worthwhile. Productivity rose by 23 percent, versus a 2 percent increase in the control group. Absenteeism declined steadily in the quality-circle group to a level 27 percent below where it began, while it showed erratic movement in the comparison group. Effects of quality circles The quality-circle approach helps employees feel they have some influence on their organization even if not all their recommendations are accepted by higher management. Quality circles provide opportunities for personal growth, achievement, and recognition. Further, employees are committed to the solutions they generate, because they “own” them. To be successful, quality circles should be used according to these guidelines: Guidelines • • • • • Use them for measurable, short-term problems. Obtain continuous support from top management. Apply the group’s skills to problems within the circle’s work area. Train supervisors in facilitation skills. View quality circles as one starting point for other more participative approaches to be used in the future. Total Quality Management Not all quality circles have been successful, and some firms using quality circles experienced a number of problems with them. Not all employees participated, and when they did, they often addressed rather trivial issues at first. Some qualitycircle groups felt isolated in their efforts, and they could not see their impact on the larger organization. Chapter 8 Empowerment and Participation 219 Wide involvement; high training In response to this checkered experience, continued competitive pressures, and the opportunity to compete for national recognition (for example, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award), several firms have initiated a total quality management (TQM) program. The TQM approach gets every employee involved in the process of searching for continuous improvements in their operations. Quality of product and service becomes a rallying cry for employees to focus on, and every step in the firm’s processes is subjected to intense and regular scrutiny for ways to improve it. Employees are provided with extensive training in problem solving, group decision making, and statistical methods. The total quality management approach constitutes a formal program with direct participation of all employees. Almost any issue is subject to exploration, and the process is a continuing one of long duration. Consequently, TQM has shown itself to be a substantial program in participative management. Rapid-Cycle Decision Making Involving employees in participative processes typically takes time and draws them away from immediately-productive tasks. Salespersons, waitstaff, physicians, and attorneys are just a few examples of professions where “time is money” and individuals are reluctant to spend hours in group meetings despite their desire to shape their own futures. One solution lies in the use of a rapid-cycle decision-making process. Its highlights are these: • Creation of a project steering committee • Identification of a constituent group of possibly affected employees • Framing of key issues and presentation via one-page overviews (and opposing views, if necessary) • Distribution by e-mail, with opportunity to comment and return votes cast for approval/ disapproval • Ruling that non-response on a timely basis implies lack of interest in that issue, and hence willingness to support the collective decision • Final judgments made by the steering committee where consensus could not be achieved This participative process is time-efficient, inclusive, genuine, transparent, and yields definitive outcomes.18 As a result, it provides one alternative to feelings of “death by committee meeting.” Self-Managing Teams Some firms have moved beyond limited forms of participation, allowing a number of major decisions to be made by employee groups (see extreme right side of Figure 8.6). These progressive approaches incorporate extensive use of group discussion, which makes full use of group ideas and group influence. These groups often seek to achieve consensus support for their actions, and this reflects many of the ideas adapted from successful Japanese firms. A more formal version of the group-decision approach is the self-managing team. Sometimes called semi-autonomous work groups or sociotechnical teams, self-managing teams are natural work groups that are given a large degree of decision-making autonomy; they are expected to control their own behavior and results. A key feature is the diminished (or dramatically changed) role of the manager as the team members learn to acquire new skills. Because of their widespread use and importance, teams are discussed more extensively in Chapter 13. 220 Part Three Leadership and Empowerment Employee Ownership Plans Does ownership imply involvement? Employee ownership of a firm emerges when employees provide the capital to purchase control of an existing operation. The stimulus often comes from threatened closings of marginally profitable plants, where workers see little hope of other employment in a devastated local economy. Employee ownership has been tried in diverse industries, such as plywood, meat packing, steel, and furniture manufacturing. On the surface, these plans appear to offer the highest degree of participative decision making, as employees take control. Better management, heightened morale, and improved productivity have all been predicted to follow. Today, over 10 million employees are covered by employee ownership plans in the United States alone. Although some large firms, such as Hallmark, Publix Supermarkets, and W. L. Gore, have some form of employee ownership or stock trusts, the financial benefits may be more apparent to employees in smaller firms. Job security has been gained for thousands of workers who were in danger of losing their jobs, but employment is still not guaranteed if business declines. In addition, employee ownership plans do not necessarily result in greater day-to-day control or direct involvement by employees in key decisions. Like captains at sea steering their ships, executives are still needed to guide the firm.19 Some firms have even found that the compensation gaps between workers and management have widened and labor–management relations have sometimes deteriorated from previous levels. Clearly, employee ownership has costs as well as benefits as a participative tool. Flexible Work Arrangements It is abundantly clear that many employees today value autonomy, choice, empowerment, and control. A parallel need is for an increasingly greater (and healthier) balance between the demands of work and family life. One broad response to these pressures is to grant employees more flexibility (independent choice) in determining how, when, and where work gets done. A variety of flexible work arrangements are now offered by a majority of U.S. employers. The primary forms include: • Telecommuting (working part-time or full-time off-site—often at home)—while using electronic technology to communicate with co-workers and receive/submit work products) • Compressed workweeks (adding hours to some days of work so as to have lessened work—or no work—on other days; examples include four 9-hour days and one halfday, or four 10-hour days/week) • Job sharing (two persons sharing one full-time position by dividing up the tasks and hours of work to provide the equivalent of full coverage) • Flexible schedules (employees are allowed to choose their starting and ending times of work, provided that they are present for an employer-defined set of core hours such as 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.) • Part-time work (employees contract for a limited number of hours per week) • Time away from work (employees are allowed to take personal time off [PTO] for a wide variety of reasons such as military service, volunteerism, maternity/paternity, family illness, or stress relief) The benefits of flexible work arrangements are well documented. For employees it includes higher levels of job satisfaction and reduced job (and commuting) stress; for employers it helps them recruit and retain valuable workers while often reducing the costly space needs On the Job: AK Steel Katie is the supervisor of a crew in a steel mill at AK Steel. When she began her duties, she discovered the annual cost for replacing work gloves (heavily insulated to withstand molten steel) was a phenomenal $144,000. She soon brought this problem to the attention of the work crew and asked for their involvement in reducing the cost. Based on their ideas and buy-in to their own solution, the cost of replacing the gloves soon plummeted to less than $1,000/month and stabilized at less than $9,000/year thereafter. Her participative approach had reduced this cost item to 6 percent of its previous level. for their staff. However, the evidence is still unclear as to whether employee careers suffer through their choice of flexible work arrangements.20 Traditionally, face time (frequent opportunities to interact personally with one’s manager) was highly valued but sacrificed through absence from the workplace. Now, however, a variety of apps (e.g., FaceTime, iChat, Skype) as well as e-mail and instant messaging allow regular and rapid communications to occur. IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS IN PARTICIPATION Benefits of Participation Benefits may emerge slowly As you can see from the preceding discussion of participative programs in various types of organizations under many different operating conditions, participation has contributed to a variety of benefits. Some of these are direct; others are less tangible. Participation typically brings higher output and a better quality of output. Sometimes the quality improvement alone is worth the time invested in participation. Employees often make suggestions for both quality and quantity improvements. Although not all the ideas are useful, those that are produce genuine long-run improvements (see “On the Job: AK Steel”). Participation tends to improve motivation because employees feel more accepted by their employer and more actively involved in the situation. Their self-esteem, job satisfaction, and cooperation with management also may improve. The results often are reduced conflict and stress, more commitment to goals, and better acceptance of change.21 Turnover and absences may be reduced because employees feel they have a better place to work and are more successful in their jobs. Organizational changes can often be implemented more rapidly because it is well known that people rarely argue with their own ideas that they have helped to develop. As we will discuss in Chapter 14, resistance to change is usually lessened through the process of realistic participation. Finally, the act of participation in itself establishes better communication as people mutually discuss work problems. Management tends to provide workers with increased information about the organization’s finances and operations, and this sharing of information allows employees to make better-quality suggestions. The results clearly show that participation has broad systems effects that favorably influence a variety of organizational outputs. The benefits may not appear immediately, however. When one company adopted participative management, it predicted 10 years would be needed to achieve the full effect. Once the organizational culture is changed (a slow process), then the system as a whole becomes more effective. Limitations of Participation In the early part of this chapter, we identified the major forces pushing toward an increase in the practice of participation. As strong as those forces are (along with the benefits 221 222 Part Three Leadership and Empowerment FIGURE 8.9 Forces Affecting the Lesser Use of Participation Theory X beliefs by managers Lack of support from higher levels Managerial fear of lost • Power • Status • Control Lack of adequate training for • Managers • Employees Problems encountered in early stages D E C R E A S E D P A R T I C I P A T I O N Substantial efforts needed to implement Impediments to success outlined earlier), they are partially offset by other factors pushing in the opposite direction, such as those shown in Figure 8.9. Some managers have difficulty adjusting to their new roles in a high-involvement system. They may still cling to Theory X beliefs and assumptions, they may fear losing their former status as key decision makers, or they may be concerned they will have less power and control than previously. To a large degree, these are perceptual sources of resistance but still very real factors. Even more powerful forces acting against the success of participative programs are an organization’s failure to properly prepare either their managers or employees for new roles in an empowered environment. A substantial investment in training is often required, and key issues need to be addressed, such as the philosophy underlying participation and the specific tools that help make it work effectively. Carefully designed pilot programs often help pave the way to later success, or else problems encountered in early stages may sabotage the larger effort. One of the greatest impediments to success is the lack of support for, or even resistance to, participative programs by top management. Just as it is important for the lead dog and all others on a sled dog team in Alaska’s Iditarod race to be pulling in the same direction for 1,100 miles, it is critical that participation receive both verbal and behavioral support from the CEO’s office on down throughout the organization. Chapter 8 Empowerment and Participation 223 A New Role for Managers Leaders are both stewards and servants In order for participative programs to work best, managers need to start relinquishing their roles of judge and critic and begin viewing themselves as partners with employees. They still need to communicate a direction for their unit, help set challenging goals, and monitor resources. But their new role invites them to view themselves as stewards (caretakers, guardians, and developers) of a broad range of human and technical resources. This stewardship paradigm shifts their emphasis from exclusively direction and control to that of servant leadership, where their challenge is to help others attain relevant goals while developing their skills and abilities. The essence of servant leadership is placing the needs of others above one’s own selfinterest.22 The goal is to help others develop their talents fully, make meaningful contributions, and succeed. To accomplish this, servant leaders typically exhibit several key behaviors: • • • • • • • • • They listen actively and empathetically. They engage in introspection to understand better their own attitudes and feelings. They treat others with respect, as equals. They admit mistakes, confess their own vulnerability, and ask for help from others. They seek to engage in dialogue and often paraphrase to ensure understanding. They affirm the worth and contributions of each participant. They are willing to admit mistakes and ask for help. They build trust by articulating their values and acting consistently with them. They place great emphasis on helping other people succeed. Concluding Thoughts In spite of its limitations, participation generally has achieved substantial success and popularity. It is not the answer to all organization problems, but experience does show its general usefulness. The demand of younger employees to gain more power and use their talents is neither a passing fancy nor a competitive advantage to be ignored. It appears to be rooted deeply in the culture of free people around the world, and it is probably a basic drive in human beings. Employees want some control over things that affect them and some meaning in their work. Organizational leaders need to devote long-range efforts and continuing discussion to promote participation as a means of building some of the human values needed at work. Participation has been so successful in practice that it has become widely accepted in more advanced nations, and will become an important tool in the progress of developing nations. Summary Many employees want to be empowered. When they are allowed to play a meaningful role in the organization, their feelings of self-esteem will increase, they will contribute their abilities and efforts to help the organization succeed, and they will be less likely to search for other jobs. Participation is an important vehicle for empowering employees. Participation is the mental and emotional involvement of people in group situations that encourages them to contribute to group goals and share responsibility for them. For employees, it is the psychological result of supportive management and the system model of organizational behavior. Advice to Future Managers 1. Let workers progress from involvement on simple issues to more complex ones. 6. Set realistic goals for the early stages of any participative process. 2. Provide employees with relevant training so they understand broader organizational issues and financial statements. 7. Keep the guiding philosophy behind participation firmly in mind at all times. 3. Communicate in advance their areas of decisional freedom and the associated boundaries. 4. Don’t force workers to participate if they do not wish to do so. 5. Provide counseling for supervisors so they will know how to handle power sharing. 8. Never attempt to manipulate a decision under the guise of participation. 9. Maintain a delicate balance between overparticipation and underparticipation. 10. Monitor employee perceptions of the level of empowerment experienced. Participation is a sharing process that may increase the power of both employees and the manager, because power is an expandable resource. When the prerequisites of participation are met, it can provide a wide variety of benefits for both employees and employers. Some employees desire more participation than others, so a participative approach is most effective when it reasonably matches individual needs. Where there is underparticipation or over-participation, both satisfaction and performance may decline. A number of participative programs can be effective, and they vary in the degree to which they meet the criteria for full involvement. All have their benefits as well as their limitations. A program that is desirable for some employees is not necessarily good for all of them. Managers need to redefine themselves as stewards of resources and seek to fulfill a servant leadership role that helps others grow and develop. Speaking OB: Terms and Concepts for Review Discussion Questions 224 Area of job freedom, 213 Emotional intelligence, 214 Employee ownership, 220 Empowerment, 206 Ethical imperative, 209 Face time, 221 Flexible work arrangements, 220 Impostor phenomenon, 206 Leader–member exchange model, 211 Overparticipation, 215 Participation, 208 Participative management, 217 Pseudoparticipation, 208 Quality circles, 218 Rapid-cycle decisionmaking, 219 Self-managing teams, 219 Servant leadership, 223 Spirit, 209 Stewards, 223 Suggestion programs, 217 Total quality management (TQM), 219 Underparticipation, 215 1. Explain what empowerment means to you. Give an illustration of a time when you truly felt empowered. 2. Ask several persons outside of class what “participation” means. If their answers differ, explain why you think they do. 3. How is it possible for participation to increase the power and influence of both manager and employee? 4. Discuss the prerequisites for effective participation. Which of these are more difficult to fulfill? Do the more difficult prerequisites help explain why some managers are still relatively autocratic? Chapter 8 Empowerment and Participation 225 5. Many employees desire a higher level of participation than they are currently allowed. Why is it that managers do not provide more opportunities for participation now? 6. List the several benefits that can flow from participation. Compare the various programs on the basis of the degree to which they are likely to provide those benefits. 7. Apply the leader–member exchange model to the professor–student relationship. What does each party have to give to the other? 8. What was the area of freedom in your last job? Was it adequate for your needs? What groups or institutions restricted this freedom? In what ways was it too large an area? 9. Consider the use of self-managing teams. What possible negative consequences can you predict once they are begun? 10. Consider your instructor’s fulfillment of the stewardship role. In what ways does she or he demonstrate partnership building, service, and empowerment? Assess Your Own Skills How well do you exhibit good reward and empowerment skills? Read the following statements carefully. Circle the number on the response scale that most closely reflects the degree to which each statement accurately describes you when you empower employees. Add up your total points and prepare a brief action plan for selfimprovement. Be ready to report your score for tabulation across the entire group. Good description 1. I fully believe in the value of providing greater autonomy to employees. 2. I fully believe in the value of widely sharing relevant information with employees. 3. I believe that some employees currently feel a sense of powerlessness in their jobs. 4. I believe that most employees want to feel a sense of competence in their jobs. 5. I believe that a participative approach can result in both performance and satisfaction improvements. 6. I believe in creating individualized relationships with each of my employees. 7. I place a high priority on developing the task-related sense of self-efficacy in each employee. 8. I accept the fact that power for both employee and manager can increase under-participative systems. Poor description 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 226 Part Three Leadership and Empowerment 9. I recognize that an effective way of providing employees with autonomy is to clarify their area of job freedom (boundaries). 10. I accept the fact that there may be a wide degree of variation in the amount of participation desired by each employee. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Scoring and Interpretation Add up your total points for the 10 questions. Record that number here, and report it when it is requested. Finally, insert your total score into the “Assess and Improve Your Own Organizational Behavior Skills” chart in Appendix A. • If you scored between 81 and 100 points, you appear to have a solid capability for demonstrating good empowerment skills. • If you scored between 61 and 80 points, you should take a close look at the items with lower self-assessment scores and explore ways to improve those items. • If you scored under 60 points, you should be aware that a weaker skill level regarding several items could be detrimental to your future success as a manager. We encourage you to review relevant sections of the chapter and watch for related material in subsequent chapters and other sources. Now identify your three lowest scores, and write the question numbers here: _____, _____, _____. Write a brief paragraph, detailing to yourself an action plan for how you might sharpen each of these skills. Incident Joe Adams Joe Adams is supervisor in the final-assembly department of an automobile body plant. Work in this department is not dependable, with temporary layoffs or short weeks occurring three or four times a year. The work is physically difficult, and since the skill required is minimal, most employees are high school graduates only. Some do not even have a high school education. About one-third of the workforce comes from ethnic and racial minority groups. The work procedure and pace of work are tightly controlled by industrial engineers and other staff groups. Adams attended a one-day conference of his supervisors’ association recently and learned the many potential benefits of participation. In his own words, “This conference really sold me on participation,” and now he wishes to establish it in his assembly department. Management feels that conditions on an assembly line are not suitable for participation. Further, it believes that the majority of workers employed have an autocratic role expectation of supervision. In addition, management has said that the production schedule will not allow time off for participation during the workday. This means that if Adams wants to hold any meetings about participation, he will have to do so after work and on the workers’ own time. Adams feels sure that his employees will not wish to remain after work on their own time; in fact, he is not even sure they would do so if he paid them overtime. Questions 1. Recommend a course of action for Adams. 2. Would any ideas from the following be helpful in this case: McGregor, Herzberg, McClelland, Fiedler, models of organizational behavior, prerequisites for participation, area of job freedom, and programs for participation? Chapter 8 Empowerment and Participation 227 Experiential Exercise Empowerment through Participation Empowerment fully occurs when employees feel competent, valued, and have opportunities to use their talents. It also materializes when their jobs have meaning and impact. Working in groups of three or four persons, rate (1 5 low, 10 5 high) the degree to which the group feels each participative program would produce these feelings of empowerment. Afterward, total the scores. Share your ratings with other groups and discuss the implications of your assessments. Programs 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Generating OB Insights Feeling of Empowerment Talent Meaningful Total Competence Value Use Job Score Suggestion programs Quality circles Total quality management Self-managing teams Employee ownership Rapid-cycle decision making Flexible work arrangements An insight is a new and clear perception of a phenomenon, or an acquired ability to “see” clearly something you were unaware of previously. It is sometimes simply referred to as an “ah-ha! moment,” in which you have a minirevelation or reach a straightforward conclusion about a topic or issue. Insights need not necessarily be dramatic, for what is an insight to one person may be less important to another. The critical feature of insights is that they are relevant and memorable for you; they should represent new knowledge, new frameworks, or new ways of viewing things you want to retain and remember over time. Insights, then, are different from the information you find in the “Advice for Future Managers” boxes within the text. That advice is prescriptive and action-oriented; it indicates a recommended course of action. A useful way to think of OB insights is to assume you are the only person who has read Chapter 8. You have been given the assignment to highlight, in your own words, which major concepts (not just summarize the whole chapter) might stand out for a naive audience who has never heard of the topic before. What 10 insights would you share with them? (Example) Not all employees share the same level of desire to participate in decision making. 1. 2. 3. 4. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 228 Part Three Leadership and Empowerment 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Nurturing Your Critical Thinking and Reflective Skills ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Take a few minutes to review the discussion in the Roadmap for Readers of critical thinking and reflection. Remind yourself that if you can hone these abilities now, you will have a substantial competitive advantage when you apply for jobs and are asked what unique skills you can bring to the position and the organization. Critical Thinking Think back on the material you read in this chapter. What are three unique and challenging critical questions you would like to raise about this material? (These might identify something controversial about which you have doubts, they may imply that you suspect that a theory or model has weaknesses, they could examine the legitimacy of apparent causal relationships, or they might assess the probable value of a suggested practice.) Be prepared to share these questions with class members or your instructor. 1. 2. 3. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Reflection This process often involves answering the parallel questions of “What do you think about the material you have read?” and “How do you feel about that material?” Therefore, express your personal thoughts and feelings (reactions) to any of the ideas or topics found in this chapter, and be prepared to share these reflections with class members or your instructor. 1. 2. 3. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior Chapter Nine Employee Attitudes and Their Effects People are happiest when they’re appropriately challenged—when they’re trying to achieve goals that are difficult but not out of reach. Daniel Gilbert1 The No. 1 reason people leave an organization is that they don’t feel valued and their contributions don’t matter. David Sturt2 CHAPTER OBJECTIVES AFTER READING THIS CHAPTER, YOU SHOULD UNDERSTAND 230 9–1 The Nature of Attitudes and Job Satisfaction 9–2 The Relationship between Performance and Satisfaction 9–3 Job Involvement and Organizational Commitment 9–4 Some Positive and Negative Effects of Employee Attitudes 9–5 Organizational Citizenship Behaviors 9–6 Benefits of Studying Employee Attitudes 9–7 Design and Use of Job Satisfaction Surveys Facebook Page Chapter 9 Employee Attitudes and Their Effects 231 Student A: I was talking to my grandparents recently about my OB class. They told me that back in their work days all their supervisor ever stressed to them was being more productive—“getting more product out the door.” Student B: So what’s your point? Has anything really changed in present-day organizations? Student A: Yeah—loads. Employees have a variety of important attitudes that managers ought to be deeply concerned about—job satisfaction, employee engagement, job involvement, organizational commitment, and even work moods. Student C: Sounds pretty touchy-feely to me. Isn’t that a lot of sensitivity for no return? Student B: I agree. What does a company get for caring about those feelings? Student A: You’d be surprised, like I was. Employee attitudes can affect performance, turnover, absenteeism, tardiness, theft, organizational citizenship, and even violence at work. That’s a pretty big impact, and strongly implies the need for managers to measure attitudes and take steps to improve them. Student B: Makes sense to me. Any surprises in your current chapter? Student A: A couple. First, I didn’t realize how much non-work factors can affect satisfaction at work; it’s called the spillover effect and actually works in both directions. Second, I learned that it’s entirely possible that successful employee performance can cause satisfaction. That crushed my assumption that satisfied employees are necessarily more productive. Student B: I agree. If I perform well on today’s anthropology exam, I’ll be really satisfied! Hugh Aaron ran a small plastics materials company that had suffered through three painful recessions—painful because each time Hugh had to lay off highly trained and motivated employees. Not only was it emotionally tough to release them, but every time business improved, some former workers had already found other jobs. The loss of those workers required him to hire inexperienced workers, who delayed the company’s return to former efficiency levels. Even those who were rehired had lost some of their skills and often had bitter attitudes remaining about the layoff. Seeking to protect themselves as a future recession approached, they would slow the pace of their work in an attempt to delay their next layoff. This practice, however, only sped up the pace of layoffs, contributing to the vicious circle. After studying some contemporary behavioral practices used in other companies, Hugh introduced certain major changes. In exchange for a simple promise to eliminate future layoffs, the employees agreed to work any necessary overtime and they were cross-trained to perform a wider variety of jobs. Any additional help needed for short-term fluctuations in business was drawn from retirees and college students. The results were beyond expectations. Pride was evident; turnover was negligible; morale shot up; unemployment insurance and health benefit costs were reduced by having a smaller and more stable workforce. Attitudes also improved, as illustrated by employees’ willingness to exert extra effort and by a sense of cohesiveness within the “family” team. Best of all, no layoffs were required during the next eight years, despite two more recessions. 231 Engaging Your Brain 232 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior 1. Attitudes are feelings and beliefs about something. Have you ever actually seen an attitude? If not, how did you know that it existed? Do you think that attitudes can be managed, even if they cannot be directly seen? 2. Some employers, such as Success Factors’ CEO Lars Dalgaard, will hire only employees who “love what they do, with a white hot passion.” On a scale from 1 (very low) to 10 (very high), rate the probable degree of passion that you intend to commit to your next job. 3. Some authors have suggested that “employee loyalty (to the organization) is dead,” while others have countered that “organizational loyalty to employees has greatly diminished.” Do you believe that either (or both) of these statements is true? If so, why is that so? What do you think the relationship between satisfaction and productivity is? Employee attitudes are clearly important to organizations, as seen in the preceding story and the opening quotes for this chapter. When attitudes are negative, they are both a symptom of underlying problems and a contributing cause of forthcoming difficulties in an organization. Declining attitudes may result in strikes, work slowdowns, absences, and employee turnover. They may also be a part of grievances, low performance, poor product quality and shabby customer service, employee theft, and disciplinary problems. The organizational costs associated with poor employee attitudes may severely reduce an organization’s competitiveness. Favorable attitudes, on the other hand, are desired by management because they tend to be connected with many of the positive outcomes that managers want. Employee satisfaction, along with high productivity, is a hallmark of well-managed organizations. However, people often hold a classic misconception about the satisfaction–productivity relationship—one that is discussed later in this chapter. A key challenge for managers is dealing with employees who increasingly expect to have concern shown for their attitudes and feelings as well as to receive rewards and recognition. Some employees even develop an attitude of entitlement—a belief that they deserve things because society (or their employer) owes it to them. However, these expectations can be unrealistic. Effective behavioral management that continuously works to build a supportive human climate in an organization can help produce favorable attitudes. This chapter focuses on the attitudes of employees toward their jobs, consequences of attitudes, ways to obtain information about those attitudes, and ways to use this information effectively to monitor and improve employee satisfaction. THE NATURE OF EMPLOYEE ATTITUDES Attitudes affect perceptions Employee predispositions regarding happiness 232 Attitudes are the feelings and beliefs that largely determine how employees will perceive their environment, commit themselves to intended actions, and ultimately behave. Attitudes form a mental set that affects how we view something else, much as a window provides a framework for our view into or out of a building. The window allows us to see some things, but the size and shape of the frame prevent us from observing other elements. In addition, the color of the glass may affect the accuracy of our perception, just as the “color” of our attitudes has an impact on how we view and judge our surroundings at work. Managers of organizational behavior are vitally interested in the nature of the attitudes of their employees toward their jobs, toward their careers, and toward the organization itself. Although many of the factors contributing to job satisfaction are under the control of managers, it is also true that people do differ in their personal dispositions as they enter organizations. Chapter 9 Employee Attitudes and Their Effects 233 Some people are optimistic, upbeat, cheerful, and courteous; they are said to have positive affectivity. Others are generally pessimistic, downbeat, irritable, and even abrasive; they are said to have negative affectivity. It appears that some people are basically happy (about their lives) while others are less so. This is significant to employers, since broad research has found that happy individuals have much higher levels of productivity, sales, and creativity.3 Even though happiness may predispose some employees to also have positive attitudes on the job (if hired), it is important to explore the nature and effects of job satisfaction. Job Satisfaction Three dimensions of attitudes Feelings, thoughts, and intentions Morale is group satisfaction Elements of job satisfaction Satisfaction levels vary Elements Job satisfaction is a set of favorable or unfavorable feelings and emotions with which employees view their work. Job satisfaction is an affective attitude—a feeling of relative like or dislike toward something (for example, a satisfied employee may comment that “I enjoy having a variety of tasks to do”). These job-related feelings of satisfaction are very different from two other elements of employee attitudes. The same employee may have an intellectual response to her work, stating the objective thought (belief) that “my work is quite complex.” On another occasion, the employee may voice her behavioral intentions to a co-worker (“I plan to quit this job in three months”). Attitudes, then, consist of feelings, thoughts, and intentions to act. Individual Focus Job satisfaction typically refers to the attitudes of a single employee. For example, an administrator might conclude, “Antonio Ortega seems very pleased with his recent promotion.” When assessments of individual satisfaction are averaged across all members of a work unit, the general term used to describe overall group satisfaction is morale. Group morale is especially important to monitor since individuals often take their social cues from their work associates and adapt their own attitudes to conform to those of the group. Overall or Multidimensional? Job satisfaction can be viewed as an overall attitude, or it can apply to the various parts of an individual’s job. If it is viewed only as an overall attitude, however, managers may miss seeing some key hidden exceptions as they assess an employee’s overall satisfaction. For example, although Antonio Ortega’s general job satisfaction may be high, it is important to discover both that he likes his promotion and that he is dissatisfied with his vacation schedule this year. Job satisfaction studies, therefore, often focus on the various parts that are believed to be important, since these jobrelated attitudes predispose an employee to behave in certain ways. Important aspects of job satisfaction include pay, one’s supervisor, the nature of tasks performed, an employee’s co-workers or team, and the immediate working conditions. Since job satisfaction is best viewed as being multidimensional, managers are cautioned not to allow an employee’s high satisfaction on one element to offset high dissatisfaction on another by arithmetically blending both feelings into an average rating. The studies may, however, usefully divide their attention between those elements that are directly related to job content (the nature of the job) and those that are part of the job context (the supervisor, co-workers, and organization). Stability of Job Satisfaction Attitudes are generally acquired over a long period of time. Similarly, job satisfaction or dissatisfaction emerges as an employee gains more and more information about the workplace. Nevertheless, job satisfaction is dynamic, for it can decline even more quickly than it develops. Managers cannot establish the conditions leading to high satisfaction now and later neglect it, for employee needs and viewpoints may fluctuate suddenly. Managers need to pay attention to employee attitudes week after week, month after month, year after year. Environmental Impact Job satisfaction is one part of life satisfaction. The nature of a worker’s environment off the job indirectly influences his or her feelings on the job. 234 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior FIGURE 9.1 Some Related Elements of Life Satisfaction Family Job Life Leisure Politics Religion Spillover effect Similarly, since a job is an important part of life for many workers, job satisfaction influences general life satisfaction. The result is a spillover effect that occurs in both directions between job and life satisfaction.4 Consequently, managers need to monitor not only the job and immediate work environment but also be aware of their employees’ attitudes toward other parts of life, as shown in Figure 9.1 and illustrated in this incident experienced by the author of this textbook: The behavior of Carole, my secretary in a small office, was difficult for me as her supervisor to understand. She had recently received a promotion and a raise but soon became increasingly unhappy, distracted, and careless in her work habits. My numerous conversations probing her job-related attitudes provided no direct clues as to the source of her dissatisfaction. One day, I happened to ask about one of Carole’s children, whose pictures were on her desk. Almost immediately, Carole poured out a series of heart-wrenching tales including her two divorces, the delinquency of her children, the lack of support from her parents, and her failure to master an attempted recreational pursuit (tennis). These problems, and having no one to share them with, were obviously affecting her job attitudes and performance. As the complete picture emerged, I began to be aware of the intimate connection between Carole’s life satisfaction and her job satisfaction. Importance Carole’s situation suggests that supervisors need to be alert to subtle clues about employee satisfaction levels. Should managers also systematically study the job satisfaction of their employees and seek to improve it where appropriate? One affirmative answer to this question lies in the idea of promoting human dignity, as advocated in this book; it is important to apply knowledge of organizational behavior to build better organizations. Then, both individuals and society can benefit. Additional perspectives on the issue revolve around several critical questions addressed later in this chapter: • Is there room for improvement? (Is there currently a gap or deficiency, and can it be lessened at reasonable cost?) Chapter 9 Employee Attitudes and Their Effects 235 An Ethics Question ”The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” This saying may describe the situation in certain organizations. Dissatisfied employees—especially those who voice their dissatisfaction to their managers—often get undue attention. They may receive more communications, they may get preferential task assignments, they may get a lighter workload, or they may receive newer equipment sooner. But note the ultimate irony here—while managers strive valiantly to diminish the dissatisfaction of some employees, they may be simultaneously increasing the dissatisfaction of many others who feel that such special treatment is unfair. Managers are apparently on the horns of a dilemma. If they try to reduce dissatisfaction for some, they risk raising it for others. But if they ignore it in the few, it may become more intense and spread to others anyway. Question: What would you recommend? • • • • • About half of all workers are satisfied Who is satisfied? Which employees are currently the most dissatisfied? What other attitudes besides job satisfaction should be studied? What are the effects of negative employee attitudes? How can information about attitudes be gained? How can knowledge of employee attitudes be used constructively? Level of Job Satisfaction Long-term nationwide studies indicate that general job satisfaction was historically high and stable in the United States. Although worker expectations have both increased and changed in their focus over time, the quality of management practices also has improved. However, only about 50 percent of those in the workforce report they are reasonably satisfied with their jobs.5 Managers should not be complacent, for this statistic suggests that millions of workers (the other 50 percent) are unhappy, and many other millions are probably dissatisfied with some specific aspect of their jobs. In addition, many of the “satisfied” workers may have simply resigned themselves to their work situations, with the result that they are neither strongly satisfied nor highly dissatisfied. Moreover, many workers live under a cloud of job insecurity as a result of attempts to improve organizational effectiveness by laying off thousands of workers (known as restructuring, downsizing, or rightsizing). The level of job satisfaction across groups is not always the same, but it is related to a number of variables. Analysis of these relationships allows managers to predict which groups are more likely to exhibit the problem behaviors associated with dissatisfaction. The key variables revolve around age, occupational level, and organizational size. As workers grow older, they initially tend to be slightly more satisfied with their jobs. Apparently, they lower their expectations to more realistic levels and adjust themselves better to their work situations. Later, their satisfaction may suffer as promotions are less frequent and they face the realities of retirement. Predictably, too, people with higher-level occupations tend to be more satisfied with their jobs. They are usually better paid, have better working conditions, and hold jobs that make fuller use of their abilities. Finally, evidence suggests that levels of job satisfaction are higher in smaller organizational units, such as a branch plant or a small enterprise. Larger organizations tend to overwhelm people, disrupt supportive processes, and limit the amounts of personal closeness, friendship, and small-group teamwork that are important aspects of job satisfaction for many people. Job Involvement In addition to job satisfaction, three other distinct, but related, employee attitudes are important to many employers. Job involvement is the degree to which employees immerse What Managers Are Reading 236 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior FREEDOM TO CHOOSE ONE’S ATTITUDE Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning was named by the Library of Congress as one of the 10 most influential books of the twentieth century. Frankl’s central premise is that “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s way.” Based on this premise, seven core principles will help employees find meaning through their work and live an authentic life despite severe job pressures. The principles are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Choose your own attitude despite the situation. Identify meaningful values and goals, and commit to them. Find meaning in every moment faced. Recognize ways in which you undermine your own happiness. Take a distanced perspective, and laugh at yourself. Shift your focus of attention when stressed. Make a difference in the world by engaging in voluntary activities. Source: Alex Pattakos, Prisoners of Our Thoughts: Victor Frankl’s Principles at Work, San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2004. Organizational identification themselves in their jobs, invest time and energy in them, and view work as a central part of their overall lives. Holding meaningful jobs and performing them well are important aspects of their own self-image, which help explain the traumatic effects of job loss on their esteem needs when they are laid off or fired. Job-involved employees are likely to believe in the work ethic, to exhibit high growth needs, and to enjoy participation in decision making. As a result, they seldom will be tardy or absent, they are willing to work long hours, and they will attempt to be high performers. Job involvement is quite similar to organizational identification, in which employees blend in so well and fit the organization’s ethics and expectations that they experience a sense of oneness with the firm. Organizational Commitment Employees can choose to be involved, committed, and positive Affective, normative, and continuance commitment 236 Organizational commitment, or employee loyalty, is the degree to which an employee identifies with the organization and wants to continue actively participating in it. Like a strong magnetic force attracting one metallic object to another, it is a measure of the employee’s willingness to remain with a firm in the future. Commitment is akin to being strongly connected with the organization and dedicated to it on an emotional level, and often reflects the employee’s intentions to continue working there. Commitment is usually stronger among longer-term employees, those who have experienced personal success in the organization, those who have passed major hurdles to successful entry (such as Marine boot camp at Parris Island), and those working within a committed employee group. It is useful to distinguish between three forms of organizational commitment.6 Affective commitment is a positive emotional state in which employees want to exert effort and choose to remain with the organization. Normative commitment is the choice to stay attached because of strong cultural or familial ethics that drive them to do so. They believe they ought to be committed because of others’ belief systems and their own internalized norms and feelings of obligation. Continuance commitment encourages employees to stay because of their high “investments” in the organization (time and effort) and the economic Chapter 9 Employee Attitudes and Their Effects 237 FIGURE 9.2 Factors That Inhibit and That Stimulate Employee Commitment Source: Adam M. Grant, Jane E. Dutton, and Brent D. Rosso, “Giving Commitment: Employee Support Programs and the Prosocial Sensemaking Process,” Academy of Management Journal, 2008, vol. 51, no. 5, pp. 898–918. Inhibiting Factors Excessive blaming Insincere gratitude Failure to follow through Inconsistencies and incongruities Inflated egos and bullying Stimulating Factors Clarity of rules and policies Investments in employees (training) Respect and appreciation for efforts Employee participation and autonomy Making employees feel valued Reminders of employee investments Providing support to employees Making opportunities for employees to express caring for others and social losses they would incur if they left. Managers need to be aware of the levels of each type of commitment for their employees, and work to strengthen each type (for the effective employees). Organizationally committed employees will usually have good attendance records, demonstrate a willing adherence to company policies, and have lower turnover rates. In particular, their broader base of job knowledge and high level of customer service often translates into loyal customers who buy more from them, make referrals resulting in new customers, and even pay a premium price. However, some employees today have replaced organizational commitment with occupational commitment, and they are willing to change employers frequently. This can result in a substantial loss of institutional and technical knowledge. Ways to increase and decrease commitment are presented in Figure 9.2.7 Work Moods Attitudes are emotional states that are typically stable across time and focused on a particular element of one’s job. Employees also have feelings about their jobs that are both diffused and highly dynamic; they reflect overall views and can change within a day, hour, or minute. These variable attitudes toward their jobs are called work moods. An employee’s work mood can be described as ranging from negative (“I hate this task today”) to positive (“Right now I’m excited by this new challenge”) and from weak to strong and intense. Strongly positive work moods are visible in workers’ energy, passion, vitality, and enthusiasm. These positive types of work moods are important to a manager, because they will predictably result in closer attention to customer service, lower absenteeism, greater creativity, and interpersonal cooperation. Work moods are directly affected by managerial actions such as sharing praise, creating an atmosphere filled with occasional fun, humor, and levity, providing a workplace filled with pleasant surroundings, and engaging in and encouraging a reasonable amount of social interaction. Work moods are also affected by the moods (and statements) of nearby employees—a “Me, too” phenomenon that can spread like an epidemic if someone doesn’t exercise their individuality and assert “Not me!” Most importantly, an employee’s work Critical Thinking Exercise Identify the likely effects of work moods. Questions: What positive and negative results can you safely predict for them? What can a manager do to change an employee’s negative work mood into a positive one? 238 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior FIGURE 9.3 Degrees of Employee Engagement Source: Amy J. Zuckerman, “Live from Training 2007,” Training, April 2007, p. 26. Engaged (about 25%) Potentially engaged (about 20%) Disengaged (about 55%) mood dramatically affects one’s treatment of customers, and this is why the Disney Corporation insists its employees view themselves as actors on a stage who must be “in character” at all times. Even if a Disney employee is not in a good mood, they must act that way. Because job satisfaction has received much attention from both researchers and managers, we take a careful look at some of the effects of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction. However, a comprehensive approach to organizational behavior suggests that a manager should consider ways in which the work environment can help produce all four key employee attitudes—job satisfaction, job involvement, organizational commitment, and positive work mood. Employee Engagement Some employees (see Figure 9.3) exhibit a high degree of job satisfaction and involvement, are committed to their firm’s mission, and have generally upbeat work moods. As a result, they demonstrate substantial employee engagement.8 They honestly care about the organization’s success, they have a strong bond to their employer, and they voluntarily commit their energy, time, and effort to helping it perform well. They receive intrinsic satisfaction from their work, identify with the organization, work passionately toward team goals, and their safety records are remarkably better. Another set of employees could potentially become engaged, but a significant proportion of employees nationwide (as much as 55%) are basically disengaged from their work organization. How do managers stimulate and reinforce employee engagement? The methods commonly used reflect good OB practices, including many that have been presented previously in this book: • Effective communication (frequent, candid, thorough, understandable) • Clear job expectations • Inspirational leadership, reflecting appropriate values • Positive relationships with one’s supervisor • Regular feedback and recognition EFFECTS OF EMPLOYEE ATTITUDES Attitudes are good predictors of behaviors. They provide clues to an employee’s behavioral intentions or inclinations to act in a certain way. Positive job attitudes help predict constructive behaviors; negative job attitudes help predict undesirable behaviors. When employees are dissatisfied with their jobs or their managers, lack job involvement, are Chapter 9 Employee Attitudes and Their Effects 239 low in their commitment to the organization, and have strongly negative moods, a wide variety of negative consequences may follow. This result is especially likely if the feelings are both strong and persistent. Dissatisfied employees may engage in psychological withdrawal (e.g., daydreaming on the job), physical withdrawal (e.g., unauthorized absences, early departures, extended breaks, or work slowdowns), or even overt acts of aggression and retaliation for presumed wrongs. A popular way to classify predictable employee responses to dissatisfaction, originally proposed by Albert Hirschman, is shown in Figure 9.4.9 At their extreme, employees may react in a constructive or destructive manner, and may also do this either passively or actively. Four simplified characterizations of employee responses are exit (voluntary departure), voice (constructive criticism of disliked policies), loyalty (remaining in the organization but not being verbal about problems), and neglect (being passively destructive). Understanding these tendencies can help managers elicit employee reactions before they become costly and harmful. Satisfied employees may provide acts of customer service beyond the call of duty, have sparkling work records, and actively pursue excellence in all areas of their jobs. A large number of studies have addressed the outcomes of satisfaction and dissatisfaction, and the basic nature of the results is reported here in the areas of performance, turnover, absences and tardiness, theft, violence, and other behaviors. These are all important outcomes that organizations are vitally concerned about controlling. Employee Performance A complex relationship Some managers cling to an old myth—that high satisfaction always leads to high employee performance—but this assumption is not correct. Satisfied workers actually may be high, average, or even low producers, and they will tend to continue the level of performance that previously brought them satisfaction (according to the behavior modification model). The satisfaction–performance relationship is more complex than the simple path of “satisfaction leads to performance.” FIGURE 9.4 Possible Employee Responses to Dissatisfaction Loyalty Direction of response Constructive Destructive Voice a c b d Neglect Exit Active Passive Nature of response 240 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior Professional athletes in the fields of baseball, football, or basketball often experience the effects of becoming overly satisfied with their performances—especially after signing lucrative contracts. Past successes may lead them to become complacent and to play carelessly, with the result that their team suffers a subsequent defeat. Some of the roles of a coach are to keep the players dissatisfied with their own contributions, to instill a renewed desire to win, and to motivate the players to perform even better. In this case, dissatisfaction may lead to better performance! Importance of equitable rewards A more accurate statement of the causal relationship is both counterintuitive and precisely the reverse of the classic misbelief. In most circumstances high performance actually contributes to high job satisfaction.10 The sequence, shown in Figure 9.4, is that better performance typically leads to higher economic, sociological, and psychological rewards. If these rewards are seen as fair and equitable, then improved satisfaction develops because employees feel they are receiving rewards in proportion to their performance. On the other hand, if rewards are seen as inadequate for the level of performance, dissatisfaction tends to arise. In either case, the level of satisfaction leads to either greater or lesser commitment, which then affects effort and eventually (and perhaps indirectly) affects performance again. The result is a continuously operating performance–satisfaction–effort loop. The implication for management is to devote its efforts to aiding and facilitating employee performance, which will likely produce satisfaction and commitment as a by-product. Alternatively, a different scenario emerges if performance is low. Employees might not receive the rewards and recognition they were hoping for, and dissatisfaction can result. Under these circumstances, the employee might exhibit one or more negative behaviors, such as turnover, absenteeism, tardiness, theft, violence, or poor organizational citizenship. Each of these undesirable by-products of dissatisfaction (seen in the lower portion of Figure 9.5) will now be explored. Turnover Who tends to leave? As might be expected, higher job satisfaction is associated with lower employee turnover, which is the proportion of employees leaving an organization during a given time period (usually one year). Employees that are more satisfied are less likely to think about quitting or announce their intention to quit. Thus, they are more likely to stay with their employer longer. Similarly, those employees who have lower satisfaction usually have higher rates of turnover. They may lack self-fulfillment, receive little recognition on the job, not feel valued, or experience continual conflicts with a supervisor or peer, or they FIGURE 9.5 The Performance–Satisfaction–Effort Loop Performance Rewards Economic Sociological Psychological Perception of equity in rewards Fair Unfair Satisfaction or dissatisfaction Greater or lesser commitment Greater or lesser effort Turnover Absenteeism Tardiness Theft Violence Poor organizational citizenship Chapter 9 Employee Attitudes and Their Effects 241 may have reached a personal plateau in their career. As a result they are more likely to seek greener pastures elsewhere and leave their employers, while their more satisfied associates remain. Research studies by Mobley and others suggest that voluntary turnover is usually not a simple decisional process (“Should I stay or should I leave?”).11 While some dissatisfied workers never become turnover statistics (unless they are fired by their employers), many of them engage in a conscious process that loosely follows several steps. After experiencing job dissatisfaction for a while, an employee may begin to think about what it would be like to quit. This is followed by weighing the probable gains and losses from quitting. If the balance leans toward a net gain, the employee likely makes a decision to start searching for job alternatives, and then does so. Assuming that more than one alternative emerges, the possibilities are analyzed against each other and against the existing job held. At some point, the employee must reach a decision (vividly described by one procrastinator as “I had to decide whether to fish or cut bait”) regarding their intention to stay or depart and then follow through with the appropriate action (remain or go). For managers, the value of knowing that this is a multistage process allows them to pay attention to available cues from employees and intervene before it is too late (for the valuable employee whom they wish to encourage to stay). Excessive employee turnover can have several negative effects on an organization. They include: • Separation costs (exit interview time, separation pay, unemployment tax increase) • Training costs for new employees (both orientation and skill-development instruction; both formal and informal learning experiences) • Vacancy costs (temporary help or overtime pay; productivity loss and service disruption) • Replacement costs (attracting, screening, and relocating new hires) • Morale effects (loss of friendships; concerns about personal job loss during downsizings) Some turnover is functional To replace the departed employees on a timely basis often is difficult, and the direct and indirect costs to the organization of replacing workers are expensive. The remaining employees may be demoralized from the loss of valued co-workers, and both work and social patterns may be disrupted until replacements are found. Also, the organization’s reputation in the community may suffer. However, some benefits may arise from turnover, such as more opportunities for internal promotion, the welcomed removal of disruptive employees, and the infusion of expertise from newly hired employees. In other words, turnover may have functional effects. Managers should look beyond overall turnover rates and examine instead the functionality of each departure. Managers need to ask themselves these questions—“Are the right people staying, and are the right people departing?” This is an extremely critical analytical issue during downsizing (see Figure 9.6). However, the best approach is a preventive one, as this example shows: A study of 43,000 job applicants determined that a simple preemployment questionnaire could predict the likelihood of an individual’s later being fired or quitting within 30 days of being hired.12 The results identified a “turnover personality” that consisted of these traits: bitterness, cynicism, outspokenness, lack of involvement, hedonism, and avoidance of involvement and challenge. Identification of these factors in applicants could potentially reduce unplanned or uncontrolled turnover, which is usually highest in an employee’s first year on the job. On the Job: Valero Energy, GE, Home Depot, SAS Institute, Genentech, NetApp, Boston Consulting Group between work and family. Companies at the top of Fortune’s “Most Admired Companies” and “100 Best Companies to Work For” have specific programs aimed at lowering turnover; Genentech offers retention bonuses, NetApp builds a smallcompany atmosphere among its 7,000 employees, and Boston Consulting Group offers first-class health insurance.13 Valero Energy works to foster a sense of family and community among its employees; General Electric identifies its best people and then invests heavily in training and mentoring them to start them on successful careers; Home Depot allows all employees extensive decision-making authority; SAS Institute gives employees the opportunity to balance the demands Many organizations have become more astute in recent years regarding employee retention in the face of intense competition for talent and the extraordinary costs of recruiting and training new employees. Employers with lower turnover achieve this by clarifying job expectations, socializing employees about norms for their behavior, watching for early signs of dissatisfaction, providing opportunities for employees to excel and use their talents, offering recognition and praise regularly, and making sure each employee feels someone cares about him or her as a person (see “On the Job: Valero Energy, GE, Home Depot, SAS Institute, Genentech, NetApp, Boston Consulting Group”).14 Absences and Tardiness Absenteeism reasons Employees who have low job satisfaction tend to be absent (missing from work) more often. The connection is not always sharp, for a couple of reasons. First, some (involuntary) absences are caused by legitimate medical (sickness or injury) or personal (jury duty or sick children) reasons; therefore a satisfied employee may have a valid absence. Second, Four Products of Employee– Organization Attitudes Employee’s attitude toward organization FIGURE 9.6 Positive Negative Employee stays Employee leaves voluntarily Employee is terminated a b c d Employee leaves by mutual agreement Negative Positive Organization’s attitude toward employee 242 On the Job: Drakenfeld Colors Statistically, Drakenfeld Colors Corporation did not have an overall absenteeism problem (0.89 percent).15 As a matter of fact, almost half (44 percent) of its 250 employees had perfect records. However, a small handful of employees missed several days per year, and they were perceived to be taking advantage of the company and their working colleagues. Drakenfeld attacked this problem by offering small cash bonuses for those with perfect attendance every six months, a Tardiness Working when they shouldn’t sweepstakes opportunity featuring an all-expenses-paid trip for two to a resort for the perfect-record winner of a drawing, and a progressive disciplinary procedure for abusers of the attendance policy. The results? Absenteeism fell by more than half to 0.35 percent, the number of significant abusers fell by 90 percent, and the proportion of employees with perfect attendance increased to an amazing 62 percent. This case demonstrates that absenteeism can be controlled. dissatisfied employees do not necessarily plan to be absent, but they seem to find it easier to respond to the opportunities to do so on a spontaneous basis. These voluntary (attitudinal) absences often occur with high frequency among a certain cluster of employees and usually happen on Mondays or Fridays. Whereas involuntary (medically related) absenteeism can sometimes be predicted (e.g., for surgery) and often be reduced through the use of more thorough preemployment physical exams and work-history record checks, different approaches are needed for absences caused by poor attitudes. This is especially true when a team of employees mutually share substantial dissatisfaction.16 Some employers place all of an employee’s accrued time off into a paid leave bank of usable days (also known as paid time off). Vacation time, sick leave, holidays, and personal days all enter the bank, and the employee can use them for any reason. This approach gives the employee greater control over when to take days off, and the employer gains greater predictability of those occasions. Other employers have successfully used incentives to control absenteeism, as “On the Job: Drakenfeld Colors” shows. Another way in which employees may exhibit their dissatisfaction with job conditions is through tardiness. A tardy employee is one who comes to work but arrives beyond the designated starting time. Tardiness is a type of short-period absenteeism ranging from a few minutes to several hours for each event, and it is another way in which employees physically withdraw from active involvement in the organization. It may impede the timely completion of work and disrupt productive relationships with co-workers (who may interpret acceptance of tardiness as managerial favoritism of certain employees). Although there may be legitimate reasons for an occasional tardy arrival (like a sudden traffic jam), a pattern of frequent tardiness is often a symptom of negative attitudes requiring managerial attention. Another problem can emerge when supervisors place too much emphasis on lowering their department’s absenteeism rate. Presenteeism occurs when employees come to work despite troublesome (and often recurring) physical and emotional health conditions that substantially affect their work performance. Presenteeism is a unique but rather widespread phenomenon—it is far harder to assess than absenteeism and it can reduce a worker’s productivity by 33 percent or more. It is driven by employees who are trying to do what is right (commitment) by coming to work even when they don’t feel like doing so. Other possible causes are rich and varied: employees may need the money; they are workaholics; they may be concerned about loss of face time; they may fear loss of their job; or their self-esteem may depend on their daily work performance. Common (physical) factors in presenteeism include migraine headaches, acid reflux disease, flu, depression, lower back pain, and arthritis. However, the most prevalent factor is sinus trouble or allergies.17 How can this problem of presenteeism be resolved? The answers lie first in recognition and acceptance by a manager of its existence and consequences. Then, employees need 243 On the Job: Jeno’s Pizza 244 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior The author of this textbook once toured a Jeno’s Pizza production plant. Toward the completion of the tour, I asked the guide what the major human problems were in the plant. Without hesitation, she replied, “Theft.” “You mean the employees steal the pizzas?” I asked. “Oh no,” she replied, “they aren’t worth that much, and the boxes are too obvious. But we do lose hundreds of large pepperoni sticks each year, and these are costly.” Then, she showed us a cart carrying the sticks. They were each about 40 inches long and 3 inches in diameter, and each weighed perhaps 20 pounds. “We don’t know how the employees get them out the door,” she said, “but we assume they steal them as indirect compensation for the relatively low wages they receive [minimum wage] and the monotonous [assembly-line] jobs they perform.” Looking back at Figure 9.5, it appears that a perception of inequity produced dissatisfaction, which apparently caused some employees to rationalize stealing from the firm. to be counseled to manage their ailments through better diagnosis and medical treatment. Finally, managers need to be empathetic and yet assertive enough to encourage employees to stay away from work on occasion—especially if their ailments threaten to disrupt the work of co-workers or spread to them. The overall lesson here is to have a reasonable goal for an absenteeism rate—but not to push it to impossibly low levels. Theft Dissatisfaction and rule-bending FIGURE 9.7 Forces for and against Unethical Rule-Bending Some employees steal products, like the pepperoni sticks described in “On the Job: Jeno’s Pizza.” Others use company services without authorization, such as when they make personal long-distance calls at work (thereby “stealing” both the cost of the call and their productive time). Others forge checks or commit other types of fraud. Thousands of employees play computer games while at work, shop on the Internet, or visit personal Websites (such as Facebook), thus “stealing” company time. All these acts represent theft, or the unauthorized use or removal of company resources.18 Although employee theft has many causes, some employees may steal because they feel exploited, overworked, or frustrated by the impersonal treatment they receive from their organization. In their own minds, employees may justify this unethical behavior as a way of reestablishing a perception of lost equity or even gaining revenge for what they consider ill treatment at the hands of a supervisor. In contrast to the situation with absenteeism and tardiness, tighter organizational controls or incentive systems do not always solve theft problems since they are directed at the symptoms and not at the underlying causes such as severe dissatisfaction. Employee theft is part of a much broader ethical problem in organizations that involves rule-bending.19 Employees who intentionally twist organizational policies to obtain personal gain argue that it is necessary to achieve their demanding performance goals, or that the rules themselves are faulty, or that society condones it (see Figure 9.7). By contrast, many factors act to encourage people to behave ethically and not bend the rules just to benefit themselves, including fear of job loss, fear of damage to their reputation, high Reasons For Performance pressures Egoistic “can-do” attitude Ambiguous rules Emergency situations Social pressures Paying back a favor 244 R u l e B e n d i n g Reasons Against Fear of job loss Damage to reputation Personal code of conduct Creating an unwanted precedent Personal embarrassment Losing face with colleagues Chapter 9 Employee Attitudes and Their Effects 245 personal ethical standards, or the potential embarrassment of being caught. Dissatisfied employees are more likely to bend the rules to obtain a sense of equity in their own minds. Violence One of the most extreme (and unfortunate) consequences of employee dissatisfaction is exhibited through violence, or various forms of verbal or physical aggression at work. Although the source of violence can include co-workers, customers, and strangers, the effect is the same—millions of workers are now the victims of workplace violence annually, and many more live under the direct or perceived threat of harm. The cost to U.S. businesses is astronomical—estimated to be $36 billion a year.20 Ironically, work stress can be both a cause of violence and the aftermath of it (see the discussion of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD] in Chapter 15). Managers must increasingly be on the lookout for signs (e.g., temper tantrums, or threats) that employee dissatisfaction might turn into verbal or physical harm at work, and they must take appropriate and immediate preventive actions. Other Effects Organizational citizenship Organizational citizenship. Low productivity, turnover, absenteeism, tardiness, theft, and violence are all typically negative behaviors, for they harm the organization and sometimes its members. Many employees, however, hold positive attitudes toward their work and organization, and these pay off in both obvious and more subtle ways. In particular, both individual employees and groups sometimes demonstrate organizational citizenship behaviors, which are discretionary and helpful actions above and beyond the call of duty that promote the organization’s success.21 Organizational citizenship (also called prosocial behavior) is often marked by its spontaneity, its voluntary nature, its constructive impact on results, and its unexpected helpfulness or cooperativeness to others. For example, Mary Jo may exhibit unusual conscientiousness in carrying out normal job responsibilities; Willy may exercise a high level of innovation and creativity on a troublesome problem. Even volunteering for extra assignments or sharing equipment with another worker is a demonstration of organizational citizenship. Like the thousands of grains of dry yeast that make the other ingredients in bread dough rise, thousands of tiny bits of extra effort (helping, donating, cooperating) help organizations rise past their competitors and make a workplace a more pleasant experience for all. Acts of good organizational citizenship include the use of courtesy in touching bases with others before taking action, sportsmanlike tolerance of inconveniences on the job, unusual conscientiousness, helping others complete their tasks, and a variety of civic behaviors, such as attending meetings even though reluctant to do so. Research suggests that these “good soldiers” engage in these actions for any of three reasons: • Their personality traits (e.g., conscientiousness, optimism, or extroversion) dispose them to do so. • They hope that by doing so they will receive special recognition or rewards. • They are attempting to engage in image-enhancement through managing the impressions that others form of them.22 Critical Thinking Exercise Identify the likely effects of organizational citizenship behaviors. Questions: How does a manager get employees to “buy into” this concept? Is it possible to encourage too much of that at work? 246 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior Attitudes, when projected onto others, are catchy Regardless of their motivation, organizational citizenship behaviors are usually appreciated by the organization and co-workers alike, and the persons acting in this commendable fashion are excellent role models for others. Individual acts of citizenship can be facilitated by an organizational culture that specifically encourages “going the extra mile,” direct rewards for such actions, jobs that provide satisfaction, supportive leadership that demonstrates caring and trust, flexible and family-friendly workplace benefits, and personal examples set by managers at all levels. Emotional Contagion What happens when one employee with a severe cold comes to work (possibly because of presenteeism, as discussed on p. 243), attends several meetings, and sneezes repeatedly? Predictably, other co-workers—when exposed to germs—catch the same cold. In a similar way, employee attitudes such as satisfaction or dissatisfaction can also be “catchy.” Emotional contagion refers to the automatic and often unconscious spread of attitudes and feelings from one person to another.23 Employees perceive the statements, facial expressions, gestures, postures, and moods of others and often absorb them as their own; an emotional convergence develops. Two principles stand out in this regard. 1. Negative attitudes are more “catchy” than positive ones (similar to the old adage that “one rotten apple spoils the whole barrel”). 2. Strongly expressed attitudes (either positive or negative) are more contagious than others. Apparently, feelings expressed with high energy and emotion are more easily believed and embraced. The significance of emotional contagion lies in the fact that employee attitudes are not just spread within a work group or organization, but they are potentially conveyed to outsiders—and most importantly to clients and customers. Since customer satisfaction is a strong predictor of return business (and recommendations to potential clients), managers are vitally interested in the effort (emotional labor) that employees expend to project positive emotions to those groups. Therefore, even when feeling badly (physically or psychologically), customer-contact workers such as nurses, receptionists, sales representatives, and educators are expected to display positive emotions. Unfortunately, this may require those employees to view themselves as actors who are playing a part (“faking it”) for their audience. This can drain their energy. STUDYING JOB SATISFACTION Job satisfaction surveys Management needs information on employee job satisfaction in order to make sound decisions, in both preventing and solving employee problems. This section discusses the types of benefits that management can gain and the conditions under which a study of job satisfaction will be most likely to succeed. Some of the more popular survey methods are explained, and guidelines for the use of surveys are given. A typical method used is a job satisfaction survey, also known as a morale, opinion, or attitude survey. A job satisfaction survey is a procedure by which employees report their feelings toward their jobs and work environment. Individual responses are then combined and analyzed. Benefits of Job Satisfaction Studies If job satisfaction studies are properly planned and administered, they will usually produce a number of important benefits, both general and specific. Chapter 9 Employee Attitudes and Their Effects 247 Monitoring Attitudes One benefit of attitude studies is that they give management an indication of general levels of satisfaction in a company. Surveys also indicate the specific areas of satisfaction or dissatisfaction (such as employee services) and the particular groups of employees (like the marketing department or those employees who are approaching retirement) who may be most dissatisfied. In other words, a survey tells how employees feel about their jobs, what parts of their jobs these feelings are focused on, which departments are particularly affected, and whose feelings are involved (e.g., supervisors, employees, or staff specialists). The survey is potentially a powerful diagnostic instrument for assessing both broad employee problems and positive attitudes. Additional Benefits Surveys have many other benefits as well. The flow of communication in all directions is improved as people plan the survey, take it, and discuss its results. Surveys can serve as a safety valve, or emotional release, for people to get things off their chests (vent) and later feel better about them. Training needs can be identified, since employees can report how well they feel their supervisor performs certain parts of the job, such as delegating work and giving adequate instructions. Surveys can also help managers plan and monitor new programs, by getting feedback on proposed changes in advance and then conducting a follow-up survey to evaluate the actual response. The following example illustrates the multiple payoffs from attitude surveys: Aaron Goldberg had strong feelings about how management could improve its ways of working with people. He felt that some changes were needed. For more than a year he had been waiting for the right opportunity to express his viewpoints, but the opportunity never seemed to develop. His ideas were bottled up within him, and he was beginning to feel irritated. At about this time management distributed a job satisfaction survey that included generous space for employee comments. Aaron filled out the comments pages and then felt much better because he finally had a chance to give management his ideas. The firm gained both useful ideas from him and a more satisfied employee. Use of Existing Job Satisfaction Information Daily contacts Existing data Before they conduct formal job satisfaction surveys, managers might fruitfully examine two other methods for learning about current employee feelings—daily contacts and existing data. These approaches recognize that formal job satisfaction surveys are similar to an annual accounting audit in the sense that both are merely periodic activities; yet there is a day-to-day need to monitor job satisfaction just as there is a regular need to keep up with the financial accounts. Management stays in touch with the level of employee satisfaction primarily through faceto-face contact and communication. This is a practical, timely, and proven method of determining the job satisfaction level of individuals, but a number of other satisfaction indicators are already available in an organization. Direct behavioral indicators of job satisfaction include turnover, absenteeism, tardiness, and grievances. Other sources, such as medical and training records, exit interviews, waste and scrap reports, and the level of employee activity in suggestion programs provide only indirect clues that something may be wrong. Carefully interpreted, the data can provide a rich portrait of the satisfaction of workers in an organization. The chief advantages of employee records are that in most cases they are already available, many of them provide quantifiable data, and they are a good measure of trends over a period of time. Critical Issues Job satisfaction survey procedures are more complicated than they appear to be at first glance. It seems simple enough to go to employees, get their responses, and then interpret 248 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior Reliability Validity them, but experience shows that careless errors in survey design can seriously limit the usefulness of a survey. Reliability and validity are two elements that serve as the backbone of any effective study. Reliability is the capacity of a survey instrument to produce consistent results, regardless of who administers it or when someone responded to it. If an instrument is reliable, we can be confident that any difference found between two groups is real, and not the product of employee mood changes or widely varying administrative procedures. In addition to reliability, studies of job satisfaction need validity, or the capacity to measure what they claim to measure. The difference between reliability and validity becomes clear when we attempt to use a wooden yardstick to measure metric distances. In this case, the yardstick is consistent at what it does (it is reliable), but it is invalid since it measures the wrong thing. Obviously, we need to be sure of both the reliability and validity of our measures of job satisfaction. Using Survey Information Managers require evidence Survey data spur competition Once job satisfaction information has been collected and tabulated, the big question remaining is: What does all this mean in terms of the organization and its employees? Although gathering this information is chiefly a matter of technique, analysis and use of the resulting data require skilled management judgment. It is the final important step in a job satisfaction survey. When appropriate action is taken, results can be excellent. Communicating the Results The first step in using job satisfaction information is to communicate it to all managers so they can understand it and prepare to use it. This document is known as a survey report. Managers will be the ones to make any changes suggested by the data, and they will want to see the evidence in order to make their own judgments. The recommendations of job satisfaction specialists are helpful, but managers (with the participative input from employees) must make the final decisions. Comparative Data In larger organizations, comparisons among departments are an effective way to encourage managers to sit up and take note of satisfaction data. Just as a lagging baseball team makes every effort to pass other teams in its league, managers whose departments do not show high job satisfaction will be spurred to improve their employees’ attitudes by the time the next study is made. Comparisons of this type must be handled with skill so lower performers will not feel intimidated. If earlier surveys have been made, trends over time can be plotted. More elaborate statistical comparisons and correlations can be made if desired. For example, do those who say their supervisor is a good manager say also that they take more pride in their organization as a place in which to work? Ultimately, all the questions and job satisfaction categories can be compared with one another in a search for meaningful relationships. The managers’ interests in job satisfaction statistics are heightened by asking them to predict their subordinates’ attitudes toward various items and then compare their predictions with actual survey results. Wherever their prediction misses its mark, they can then ask themselves why they misjudged this condition. Even if a prediction is accurate, it may still encourage soul searching. Consider the case of a department head who predicted his employees would report dissatisfaction with grievance handling. They did report dissatisfaction, which forced him to ask: “If I knew about this condition before the survey—and apparently I did—why didn’t I do something about it?” Committee Work Follow-Up One way to get managers to introduce change in their departments following a survey is to set up working committees (task forces) whose responsibility is to review the survey data and develop plans for corrective action. In one company the president appointed a special executive committee to follow up a survey and recommend changes. Then, the general manager appointed Chapter 9 Employee Attitudes and Their Effects 249 Committees recommend action supervisory committees in each department to discuss how the survey applied to local departmental problems. The supervisory committees worked out their own solutions on departmental matters, but if their proposed action affected other departments, it had to be forwarded to the executive committee for approval. The human resource director chaired each committee, which usually met monthly. At each meeting, a separate part of the survey was discussed in some depth. Meetings continued for more than a year, ensuring an extended follow-up of the information uncovered by the survey. This long-run approach kept executives thinking about the survey and allowed time for the information to sink in. The long-run approach to using job satisfaction information is important. Too many employers make the mistake of giving a survey immense publicity and interest for a few weeks and then forgetting about it until another survey is run. They shoot the works, giving their surveys all the fanfare of a Mardi Gras celebration—but when Mardi Gras has passed, they return to their old way of living. Feedback and action are required Feedback to Employees When corrective action is taken as the result of a survey, details of what was learned and what was done should be shared with employees as soon as possible. Only in this way will the people who participated feel management listened to them and took action on the basis of their ideas. Providing feedback also assures employees that their ideas really were wanted—and are wanted still. In fact, good publicity to managers and employees is essential from start to finish in a job satisfaction study in order to explain what the study intends to accomplish, to report the information gathered, and to announce what corrective action has been taken. This type of publicity is the essence of effective feedback. One thing is sure: If a job satisfaction survey is made, management should be prepared to take action on the results. Employees feel that if they cooperate in stating their feelings, management should try to make some of the improvements they suggest or at least explain why the changes are not feasible. A sure way to close off future expressions of employee opinion is to fail to take action on opinions already given. Since management asked employees for their ideas, employees are justified in believing that action will be taken on at least some of them. Using the Company Intranet In recent years, thousands of companies have set up their own intranets, or in-house versions of the Internet. These are private computer networks that are only accessible by their own employees (or designated other groups who are given access to it). Intranets are used for internal communications, to transmit secure documents, and to facilitate collaboration among persons and teams with mutual interests. Many organizations have found the intranet to be a useful tool for transmitting attitude surveys and results, as its widespread internal visibility provides a powerful incentive for managers to implement changes quickly. Response rates are often improved over traditional paper-and-pencil formats, and the computer technology is typically welcomed by younger members of the workforce. Problems with multiple responses can be easily detected and controlled, and longer (richer) comments to open-end questions are often provided. Corporate sub-Websites devoted to satisfaction surveys usually include information relevant to the overall survey process and purpose, important dates for deadlines and results, key findings and past changes made, reassurances of anonymity, and the composition of committees assigned to interpret the results. An unexpected problem with intranet responses is the abbreviated language often used by Gen Y respondents in providing written inputs. Simple examples of the “shorthand” and acronyms used in text messaging and carried over into narrative responses are IHNO (I have no opinion), Gr8 (Great), AFAICT (As far as I can tell), and NIMJD (Not in my job description). Advice to Future Managers 250 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior 1. Pay attention to employee attitudes; where possible, hire new staff who exhibit positive affectivity. 2. Remember the work-life satisfaction spillover effect; take time to explore and monitor employees’ nonwork environment. 6. Commit yourself to a regular and systematic process of measuring employee satisfaction; promptly follow through to make changes based on the results. 7. Involve employees in the purpose, design, administration, and interpretation of survey results. 3. Consider your role as a manager of performance, and recognize how dramatically the administration of rewards affects employee attitudes. 8. Recognize that attitudes can be changed, including your own. Substantial time, effort, and persistence may be required to do so. 4. View employee attitudes as multidimensional; differentiate among satisfaction, involvement, commitment, and work mood when discussing them. 9. Monitor both absenteeism and presenteeism phenomena; take actions to ensure that neither one is too high. 5. Create different programs and actions to impact turnover, absenteeism, tardiness, theft, and citizenship behaviors. 10. Search for ways to reduce both employee theft and actions that bend the rules for personal gain; educate employees on the direct and indirect effects of these actions. CHANGING EMPLOYEE ATTITUDES Inducing attitude shifts is not always easy, but the potential gains can make it worthwhile to try. If management desires to change employee attitudes in a more favorable direction, there are many routes to pursue, as shown by the following guidelines: Attitudes affect behavior; behavior affects attitudes 250 • Closely tie the reward system to individual or team performance. • Set challenging goals with employees so those with achievement drives can experience the opportunity for satisfaction through their accomplishment. • Define clear role expectations so employees struggling with ambiguity can overcome that concern. • Refrain from attacking the employee’s attitude. Use active listening skills instead, because an undefended attitude is more receptive to change. • Provide frequent feedback to satisfy the need for information about performance levels. • Exhibit a caring, considerate orientation by showing concern for employee feelings. • Provide opportunities for employees to participate in decision making. • Encourage people to be happier by modeling the attitude and reinforcing it in others. • Show appreciation for appropriate effort and citizenship behaviors. Many other ideas exist that provide clues on changing attitudes. Sometimes misinformation exists, and simply providing new data (e.g., telling insecure individuals about the organization’s projected economic future) is useful. It can also be revealing to have an employee’s co-workers share their attitudes; this tactic can create implicit peer pressure to fall into line. Even a simple series of open (town hall) meetings for group discussion can be useful as a forum for allowing employees to vent their emotions and then begin exploring ways to change a situation. Finally, it would be naive to assume that attitudes only influence behavior, for there is a reciprocal relationship between them such that behavior also influences attitudes. Sometimes, then, it is advisable to get employees to change their behavior first, and let the desired attitude shift follow later. Chapter 9 Employee Attitudes and Their Effects 251 Summary Employee attitudes are important to monitor, understand, and manage. They develop as the consequences of the feelings of equity or inequity in the reward system (discussed in Chapter 6), as well as from supervisory treatment (addressed in Chapter 8). Managers are particularly concerned with four types of attitudes—job satisfaction, job involvement, organizational commitment, and work mood. Job dissatisfaction may lead to increased absenteeism, turnover, and other undesirable behaviors, so employers want to develop satisfaction among their employees. A substantial number of workers in the United States report that they are satisfied with their jobs, although they may also be dissatisfied with specific aspects of them. Higher job involvement leads to higher levels of dedication and productivity in workers. High performance and equitable rewards encourage high satisfaction through a performance–satisfaction–effort loop. Higher job satisfaction usually is associated with lower turnover and fewer absences. Committed employees are also more likely to embrace company values and beliefs (its culture). Managers can obtain useful attitudinal information by using questionnaires and interviews, as well as by examining existing human resource data. Information is communicated to managers through survey feedback that uses summary data, makes relevant comparisons, and supports the conclusions with actual employee comments. Follow-up is accomplished by committees to assure employees that appropriate action is taken after a survey (with the results often posted on the company intranet). Ultimately, information on employee attitudes is useful only if it influences managers to improve their own behavior and reward systems. Speaking OB: Terms and Concepts for Review Absences, 242 Aggression, 239 Attitudes, 232 Behavioral intentions, 233 Emotional contagion, 246 Emotional labor, 246 Employee engagement, 238 Entitlement, 232 Intranets, 249 Job involvement, 235 Job satisfaction, 233 Job satisfaction survey, 246 Discussion Questions 1. Explain, in your own words, why you feel employee attitudes are important. Do you think today’s managers overemphasize or underemphasize attitudes? Why? 2. Assume that a survey of the 20 employees in your department found that 90 percent of them were basically satisfied with their jobs. What are the implications for you as a manager? 3. “A happy employee is a productive employee.” Discuss this statement. 4. Think of a job you have held. List the areas of your job in which you were most satisfied and those which satisfied you least. Note in each case the degree to which management had some control over the item mentioned. What could the managers have done to improve your satisfaction? Morale, 233 Negative affectivity, 233 Organizational citizenship behaviors, 245 Organizational commitment, 236 Organizational identification, 236 Performance–satisfaction– effort loop, 240 Physical withdrawal, 239 Positive affectivity, 233 Presenteeism, 243 Psychological withdrawal, 239 Reliability, 248 Rule-bending, 244 Spillover effect, 234 Tardiness, 243 Theft, 244 Turnover, 240 Validity, 248 Violence, 245 Work moods, 237 252 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior 5. Assume that job satisfaction, job involvement, organizational commitment, and work mood are independent of one another such that any one may be present without the others. Describe a situation in which an employee might be committed but not satisfied or involved. What would you do with such an employee? 6. How would you begin to assess whether presenteeism is a problem in your organization? If it is, what could you do to discourage employees from coming to work when they shouldn’t? 7. Select an industry (e.g., financial institutions or hospitals) and contact three organizations within that industry to learn of their absenteeism and turnover rates. What have they done to reduce them? 8. Construct a short questionnaire using objective questions, and survey the members of a small work team about their job satisfaction. Tabulate and analyze your results; include a list of recommendations for change. 9. Prepare the outline of a plan for using the data from a job satisfaction survey in an insurance office to provide feedback to managers and employees. 10. Contact a local fast-food restaurant, and ask the manager to estimate the proportion of turnover that can be attributed to effective employees leaving of their own choice. What suggestions could you make to reduce this voluntary turnover problem? Assess Your Own Skills How well do you exhibit good employee attitude-management skills? Read the following statements carefully. Circle the number on the response scale that most closely reflects the degree to which each statement accurately describes you when you empower employees. Add up your total points and prepare a brief action plan for self-improvement. Be ready to report your score for tabulation across the entire group. Good description 1. I pay as much attention to employee attitudes as I do to employee performance. 2. I am aware that my attitude may easily be reflected in the attitudes of my employees. 3. I listen carefully to differentiate among the feeling, thought, and behavioral intention components of employee attitudes. 4. I recognize that employee satisfaction is dynamic; I continually monitor and manage it. 5. I recognize the high costs and high likelihood of employee turnover, and therefore actively work to increase employee commitment/ loyalty. Poor description 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Chapter 9 Employee Attitudes and Their Effects 253 6. I could easily describe to my boss the research-based set of relationships among performance, rewards, satisfaction, and various products of satisfaction. 7. I observe the workplace for evidence of organizational citizenship behaviors and provide appropriate recognition for people who display them. 8. I conduct periodic surveys of employee satisfaction and introduce changes based on the results. 9. I regularly monitor existing indicators of employee satisfaction and search for explanations where these data differ from survey results. 10. I understand the need for reliability and validity of survey processes and take measures to assure those exist. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Scoring and Interpretation Add up your total points for the 10 questions. Record that number here, and report it when it is requested. Finally, insert your total score into the “Assess and Improve Your Own Organizational Behavior Skills” chart in Appendix A. • If you scored between 81 and 100 points, you appear to have a solid capability for demonstrating good employee attitude-management skills. • If you scored between 61 and 80 points, you should take a close look at the items with lower self-assessment scores and explore ways to improve those items. • If you scored under 60 points, you should be aware that a weaker skill level regarding several items could be detrimental to your future success as a manager. We encourage you to review relevant sections of the chapter and watch for related material in subsequent chapters and other sources. Identify your three lowest scores, and write the question numbers here: _____, _____, _____. Write a brief paragraph, detailing to yourself an action plan for how you might sharpen each of these skills. Incident Barry Niland Barry Niland, supervisor of a small sales department, noticed that one of his industrial sales representatives, Henry Hunter, had a problem. Among other signs, Hunter’s sales had declined in the last six months, although most other sales representatives regularly were exceeding their quotas. Niland decided to try to boost his sales representative’s performance by reminding him of the many opportunities for satisfaction in a sales job. Niland explained his actions as follows: I pointed out that in his customer’s eyes he alone is the company. He has the opportunity to help his customer. He has the opportunity to show his ability and knowledge to 254 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior many types of people. He has the opportunity through his own efforts to help many types of people. He has the opportunity to support the people who make our products, to reward the stockholders, and to control his financial return through his own know-how. He has the opportunity of testing his creative ideas, with immediate feedback about their value. He has the opportunity to meet constantly changing conditions, so there is no boredom in his job. There is no quicker way to achieve personal satisfaction than sales work. Questions 1. Comment on Niland’s approach in dealing with his sales representative. 2. Suggest approaches for increasing Hunter’s a. Job satisfaction b. Job performance c. Job involvement d. Organizational commitment Experiential Exercise Attitudes in the Classroom The discussion of attitudes presented in this chapter can also be related to the college classroom. 1. Working individually, class members should rate, on a scale from 1 to 10 (1 = low, 10 = high) their: a. Overall satisfaction with the course b. Feeling of involvement in the educational process c. Commitment to the college 2. The instructor should predict the average ratings of the class on each of the three items. 3. Share the ratings obtained in step 1, and compute averages for each. 4. Working in groups of four or five persons, discuss the reasons for the overall level of satisfaction, involvement, and commitment in the class. Is there a possible social desirability bias? Assess the accuracy of the instructor’s predictions. Develop a realistic action plan for improving the level of each of the three dimensions. 5. Discuss the probable reliability and validity of the data gathered in steps 1 and 2. Suggest ways in which you could gather evidence of the data’s reliability and validity. 6. What is the impact of using single-item response scales? Working in small groups, develop at least three response items for each of the three scales. Share these with other class members for their reactions. Generating OB Insights An insight is a new and clear perception of a phenomenon, or an acquired ability to “see” clearly something you were unaware of previously. It is sometimes simply referred to as an “ah-ha! moment,” in which you have a minirevelation or reach a straightforward conclusion about a topic or issue. Insights need not necessarily be dramatic, for what is an insight to one person may be less important to another. The critical feature of insights is that they are relevant and memorable for you; they should represent new knowledge, new frameworks, or new ways of viewing things you want to retain and remember over time. Chapter 9 Employee Attitudes and Their Effects 255 Insights, then, are different from the information you find in the “Advice for Future Managers” boxes within the text. That advice is prescriptive and action-oriented; it indicates a recommended course of action. A useful way to think of OB insights is to assume you are the only person who has read Chapter 9. You have been given the assignment to highlight, in your own words, the major concepts (but not just summarize the whole chapter) that might stand out for a naive audience who has never heard of the topic before. What 10 insights would you share with them? (Example) Happy employees are not necessarily going to be productive ones. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Nurturing Your Critical Thinking and Reflective Skills ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Take a few minutes to review the discussion in the Roadmap for Readers of critical thinking and reflection. Remind yourself that if you can hone these abilities now, you will have a substantial competitive advantage when you apply for jobs and are asked what unique skills you can bring to the position and the organization. Critical Thinking Think back on the material you have recently read in the current chapter. What are three unique and challenging critical questions you would like to raise about that material? (These might identify something controversial about which you have doubts, they may imply you suspect that a theory or model has weaknesses, they could examine the legitimacy of apparent causal relationships, or they might assess the probable value of a suggested practice.) Be prepared to share these questions with class members or your instructor. 1. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 256 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior 2. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 3. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Reflection This process often involves answering the parallel questions of “What do you think about the material you have read?” and “How do you feel about that material?” Therefore, express your personal thoughts and feelings (reactions) to any of the ideas or topics found in this chapter, and be prepared to share these reflections with class members or your instructor. 1. 2. 3. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ This page intentionally left blank Chapter Ten Issues between Organizations and Individuals Despite the evidence of self-exposure on such Websites as Facebook and YouTube, it would be a mistake to think that people now place a low value on privacy. Lew McCreary1 The U.S. government has estimated the annual cost of substance abuse to businesses at more than $110 billion. Matthew Heller2 CHAPTER OBJECTIVES AFTER READING THIS CHAPTER, YOU SHOULD UNDERSTAND 10–1 A Model of Legitimacy of Organizational Influence 10–2 How Rights to Privacy Are Interpreted 10–3 Bases for Discrimination at Work 10–4 Using Discipline to Change Behaviors 10–5 Quality of Work Life (QWL) 10–6 Job Enrichment: Pros and Cons 10–7 Mutual Individual–Organization Responsibilities 10–8 Whistle-Blowing as a Prosocial Behavior 258 Facebook Page Chapter 10 Issues between Organizations and Individuals 259 Student B: Hey, I recently applied for a summer internship with a federal agency and they asked me some tough questions about past drinking and drug use, gave me an “integrity test,” had already examined my Facebook page, and warned me that my work (and location) would be electronically monitored. Can they really do this to me? Student A: I glanced ahead at the next chapter in my OB book. It appears that there is a whole range of areas of possible organizational influence over you, and some are legitimate and others aren’t. But you’d better pay attention; if it’s job related and the behavior occurs on the job, chances are it’s within their rights. Student B: Sounds pretty invasive to me. Is there anything my employer can’t do? Student A: Absolutely. They can’t discriminate or allow sexual harassment; they can’t deny a job to you based on genetic predispositions to serious health problems; they must inform you about secret surveillance devices. So you do have some protections. Student C: What are my rights in this two-way relationship? For example, what can I do if I detect an ethical violation by my supervisor? Student A: Well, if it’s really substantive, you could become a whistle-blower and disclose the questionable conduct to someone in authority (internally or externally). Student B: Any other thoughts on the subject? Student A: Yes. Many organizations try to create a better work environment by engaging in job enrichment. This is designed to provide you with performance feedback, while increasing your sense of responsibility and perception that the work you do is meaningful. Student B: Cool. I don’t want to be just a robot. One of the most infamous cases of conformity to organizational authority occurred just hours before the U.S. space shuttle Challenger tragically exploded early in its flight. Morton Thiokol engineers had advised company executives not to recommend proceeding with the NASA flight in view of the cold weather. Overruled, the engineers remained silent. Liftoff occurred as scheduled, and the entire crew perished moments later in an explosion caused by parts not designed to operate effectively in lower temperatures. Why didn’t the engineers speak out (publicly) in time? Why don’t other employees “blow the whistle” when they spot employer practices that are potentially harmful? The answer to these questions is complex. Certainly, it is true that people and organizations can live in a substantial degree of mutual interest and harmony. Individuals use organizations as instruments to achieve their goals just as much as organizations use people to reach objectives. There is a mutual social transaction in which each contributes to, and benefits from, the other. But what is the nature of each group’s rights and responsibilities toward the other, so disasters like the Challenger incident don’t happen again? This chapter is the second in a section that focuses on microorganizational behavior issues and processes. Whereas Chapter 9 identifies how employee attitudes can affect several dependent variables of concern to organizations (e.g., absenteeism and turnover), Chapters 10 and 11 examine important behavioral factors at the individual and interpersonal levels that can make the system more effective. In this chapter, we discuss some of the ways in which organizational policies and practices influence individuals, placing both demands and constraints on them and providing opportunities to them. Rights of privacy, policies regarding substance abuse, discriminatory practices, and discipline are discussed. Then, we introduce job enrichment 259 Engaging Your Brain 260 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior 1. Some employers now use a variety of surveillance devices (reminiscent of George Orwell’s “Big Brother is watching you”) to monitor workers. Discuss your own feelings about such uses of electronic and photographic monitoring for your behavior at work. 2. Now put yourself in the role of a manager at work, who is provided with substantial amounts of surveillance information on the work behaviors of employees, and expected to use it to improve productivity. How do you feel about this dimension of your job? 3. Rate yourself on a scale from 1 (very dishonest) to 10 (very honest). Now rate your fellow students as a group, using the same scale. How do the two scores compare? How do you explain any difference between them? as a major organizational strategy for improving quality of work life for employees. Finally, we discuss some responsibilities of individuals to their organizations. In Chapter 11, we examine how people seek personal power over others, interact with them, and engage in and resolve conflict. AREAS OF LEGITIMATE ORGANIZATIONAL INFLUENCE Every organization develops certain policies and requirements for performance. If the organization and an individual define the boundaries of legitimate influence differently, then organizational conflict is likely to develop. If the different views are substantial and important, they can interfere with effectiveness. For example, if employees believe it is legitimate for management to control the personal e-mails they send at work, they may dislike management’s interference with their freedom on this matter, but they are unlikely to develop serious conflict with management about it. However, if employees believe that personal e-mails are totally their own private right, then this issue may become a focus of conflict with management. Agreement avoids conflict This same type of reasoning applies to other issues. As long as the parties agree on the legitimacy of influence, each party should be satisfied with the power balance in the relationship. Fortunately, research shows there is reasonable agreement within the general population concerning legitimate areas of organizational influence on employees.3 Studies covering labor leaders, business managers, Air Force officers, university students, and men compared with women showed that there is substantial agreement among all groups. Following are sample areas of organizational influence and their probable legitimacy: Areas of agreement and disagreement • Job conduct—such as safe work practices and one’s working hours (relatively high legitimacy of influence) • Personal activities off the job—such as the church one attends, where charge accounts are maintained, and where one goes on vacation (low legitimacy of influence) On the other hand, managers and others disagree somewhat in a few areas, primarily those concerned with off-the-job conduct that could affect company reputation. Examples are degree of participation in various community affairs, personal use of company products, and even some areas of off-job unsafe habits or substance abuse. For example, if you work at a dealership that sells automobiles and you drive a competitor’s automobile to work, your employer will be concerned about your lack of support of company products and the effect of your actions on customer perceptions of the product—but you may disagree. 260 Chapter 10 Issues between Organizations and Individuals 261 FIGURE 10.1 On-the-job High legitimacy Moderate legitimacy Off-the-job Moderate legitimacy Low legitimacy Type of conduct Model of Legitimacy of Organizational Influence on Employees Job-related Not job-related Job relatedness A Model of Legitimacy of Organizational Influence The model’s variables The simplified model of legitimacy of organizational influence that has been developed from research is shown in Figure 10.1. The two key variables in the model are where it occurs (conduct on the job or off of it) and the degree of job-relatedness (conduct that is job-related or not job-related). As shown in the model, there is agreement on high legitimacy when conduct is on the job and job-related. Legitimacy tends to become less accepted as an act’s connection with the job becomes more hazy. If the act is on the job but not job-related, such as in the example below, employer questions may arise about legitimacy. Generally, only moderate legitimacy is supported, depending on the situation. Management might accept a situation in which employees were playing cards but not gambling in a dining area in the manufacturing department during lunch. On the other hand, assume the card players are bank tellers playing poker with money at their desks in the public areas of a bank during lunch. Surely in this case both managers and others will agree that management has high legitimacy to forbid this conduct because of its possible effects on customers, even though the game is not being played on company (work) time. Off-the-Job Conduct Job-related conduct The power of business to regulate employee conduct off the job is very limited. Certainly, when the conduct is not job-related, the employer has little reason to become involved. On the other hand, some activities off the job may affect the employer, so questions of organizational influence still arise. The basic relationship is as follows: The more job-related one’s conduct is when off the job, the more support there is for organizational influence on the employee. Interpretations become difficult in some borderline situations. For example, what kinds of controls should be applied to off-job conduct of an employee living on company property at a remote oil pumping site while on 24-hour call? Even when an employee has departed company property and is not on call, the boundaries of employer interest are still not fixed. Consider the angry employee who waited until the supervisor stepped outside the company 262 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior gate and then struck the supervisor several times in the presence of other employees. In cases of this type, arbitrators consistently uphold company disciplinary action because the action is clearly job-related. In the United States at least, the organization’s jurisdictional line is clearly functional, related to the total job system and not the property line. A number of issues potentially involving job-related behaviors currently receive extensive attention. These issues include surveillance, substance abuse, genetic screening of prospective employees for health risks, office romances, and assessments of the ethical values of job applicants. Controversy arises out of concern for the accuracy of the measures used, as well as from conflicting views over the legitimacy of assessing such factors. These disagreements have focused attention on employee rights of privacy, which are discussed next. RIGHTS OF PRIVACY Rights of privacy become contentious issues when an organization invades a person’s private life or makes an unauthorized release of confidential information about a person in a way that would cause emotional harm or suffering. Business activities that may involve rights of privacy are listed in Figure 10.2, and several of these are discussed in the following paragraphs. As businesses intrude more deeply into domains of employee privacy, the potential for conflicts rises. Employees, customers, and others believe that their religious, political, and social beliefs are personal and should not be subject to snooping or analysis, although they make exceptions—such as when someone is employed by a church or a political party. The same view applies to personal acts, conversations, and locations, such as company rest rooms and private homes. Exceptions are permitted grudgingly only when job involvement is clearly proved, and still the burden of proof is on the employer. For example, it may be appropriate to know that a bank teller is deeply in debt as a result of betting on horse races or that an applicant for a national credit card twice has been convicted for using stolen credit cards. Conditions defining invasion of privacy One research study surveyed over 2,000 employees to determine when they perceived that their privacy had been invaded.4 Four conditions led to perception of invasion: personal (versus performance) information was used, no permission was obtained before disclosure, there were unfavorable consequences, and the disclosure was external (rather than inside the company). Clearly, these situations should be minimized to avoid employee reactions. Policy Guidelines Relating to Privacy Because of the importance of employee privacy, most large employers have developed policy guidelines to protect it. These guidelines also help establish uniform practices and facilitate the handling of any unusual situations that may develop. The following are some policy guidelines on privacy that organizations use: • Relevance—Only necessary, useful information should be recorded and retained. • Recency—Obsolete information should be removed periodically. FIGURE 10.2 Business Activities That May Involve Employee Rights of Privacy • Lie detectors (polygraph tests) • Personality tests • Location trackers • Medical examinations • Treatment of alcoholism • Monitoring of employee lifestyles • Treatment of drug abuse • Surveillance devices • Computer data banks • Confidential records • Genetic screening/biometric data • Inquiry into personal relationships Chapter 10 Issues between Organizations and Individuals 263 • Notice—No personal data system unknown to an employee should be used. • Fiduciary duty—The keeper of the information is responsible for its security. • Confidentiality—Information should be released only to those who have a need to know, and release outside the organization normally should occur only with the employee’s permission. • Due process—The employee should be able to examine records and challenge them if they appear incorrect. • Protection of the psyche—The employee’s inner self should not be invaded or exposed except with prior consent and for compelling reasons. Surveillance Devices Some surveillance is acceptable Protection of the psyche implies that employers should avoid surveillance of private places such as rest rooms or secret surveillance unknown to the employee, as with secret listening devices. Surveillance that is known to employees and has a compelling job reason usually is not considered to be an undue infringement on privacy. Banks and convenience stores, for example, have hidden cameras that take photographs during robberies. These photographs also capture employee indiscretions, but this hardly infringes on their privacy provided that use of the photographs is confined to the original purpose (control of theft). An example of regular surveillance is provided by a Dairy Queen “Grill and Chill” restaurant that installed video cameras in its store. The camera photographed the cash register whenever it was open. Employees knew it was there to control theft, although it also could photograph robberies. The camera worked effectively, even providing an unexpected increase in daily receipts. Cybersurfing at work Two other forms of surveillance devices (equipment and procedures for monitoring employee actions) have emerged through advances in computer technology. Electronic sensor badges are microcomputers in clip-on ID cards, which emit infrared signals. Employees wearing these badges can have their location monitored by sensors scattered throughout a building. Data are sent to a computer, which collects the information and distributes it to others in the organization. Electronic monitoring takes many forms, including automatic counting of keystrokes made by data entry personnel, remote observations of the screens of desktop computer operators, surreptitious reading of an employee’s electronic mail, and voice-recording systems to assess the effectiveness of stockbrokers, travel agents, or other customer service personnel (see “On the Job: Google”). The availability of the Internet at work has resulted in a phenomenon known as cybersurfing. This is an activity done by employees who use work time and work computers to surf the Web, looking for a wide range of information of personal interest. Cybersurfers may use their terminal to check the stock market, get an update on a golf tournament, place a bid on a newly released product on eBay, or read a serialized version of the latest best-selling book on Amazon’s Kindle. As a result of this unproductive time (estimated to account for half of all Internet activity), employers have often turned to electronic monitoring to identify the most serious abusers of their Internet privileges—persons known as cyberloafers or cyberslackers. The impact on employees of secret organizational monitoring can be detrimental, however. Employees may experience higher levels of physiological and emotional distress, such as headaches and extreme anxiety. The keys to employee acceptance of electronic surveillance lie in advance notification and explanation, use of information as an aid to performance improvement, and involvement of employees in setting up a fair system. Employees (and future employees) need to be aware that some companies now use social screening (information gleaned from e-mails, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, and LinkedIn) to 264 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior On the Job: Google Google recently released a new application called Latitude.5 When installed on cell phones such as BlackBerries or iPhones, it allows users to disclose their own locations. If employers provide such phones (already loaded with Latitude) to employees (with or without their knowledge), their minute-by-minute location can be tracked and monitored. For example, people taking long lunch breaks or calling in “sick” while actually at a golf course could be identified. Can you see some of the possible implications? probe for additional information prior to hiring (or firing) an employee.6 In addition to checking on the validity of qualifications, learning about awards and recognition, and judging communication skills, such screening can also uncover inappropriate photos or language, clues about attitudes toward work in general and prior employers, and information about alcohol or drug abuse. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 was enacted by Congress to provide some protections, but it has become weakened due to subsequent amendments and court decisions, and become outdated due to changes in data storage practices. The upshot is that employers can (and will) often monitor employee communications of various types. Honesty Testing Employee theft is a major problem in U.S. businesses. It is estimated to cost employers $50–100 billion per year, with up to three-fourths of employees participating at least once. Honesty tests, also known as integrity tests, attempt to get the respondent to disclose information about his or her previous or prospective honesty. They appear in two forms. Overt tests inquire about attitudes toward theft (e.g., “How common is it for employees to steal items at work?”), whereas personality-based tests more indirectly identify dishonest individuals by relating scores on selected personality-test items to a theft criterion. The validity of these tests is also controversial, and employers run some risks of legal action (and possible invasion of privacy) if they reject an applicant solely on the basis of integrity test scores. However, scores on one test (the honesty subscale of the Personnel Selection Inventory) have been found to predict accurately subsequent employee theft.7 HEALTH ISSUES AND PRIVACY Treatment of Alcoholism Since alcoholism presents major medical and job problems, employers need to develop responsible policies and programs to deal with it without endangering rights of privacy. Between 5 and 10 percent of employees are estimated to be alcoholics, costing employers billions of dollars annually in absenteeism, poor work, lost productivity, and increased health care costs. Absence rates for alcoholic employees are two to four times those of other employees. Alcoholics are found in all types of industries, occupations, and job levels. Sometimes the job environment may contribute to an employee’s alcoholism, but the employee’s personal habits and problems are also major contributors. In some instances, employees are well on the road to alcoholism before they are hired. Critical Thinking Exercise Surveillance devices can be used to monitor employees. Question: What positive and negative consequences might result from their use? 264 Chapter 10 Issues between Organizations and Individuals 265 How should companies treat alcoholism? Reasons for Company Programs Regardless of the causes of alcoholism, an increasing number of firms are recognizing that they have a role to play in helping alcoholics control or break their habit. One reason is that the firm and employee already have a working relationship on which they can build. A second is that any success with the employee will save both a valuable person for the company and a valuable citizen for society. A third reason is that the job appears to be the best environment for supporting recovery because a job helps an alcoholic retain a self-image as a useful person in society. Successful Programs Successful employer programs treat alcoholism as an illness, focus on the job behavior caused by alcoholism, and provide both medical help and psychological support for alcoholics. In these programs the company demonstrates to alcoholics that it wants to help them and is willing to work with them over a reasonable period of time. A nonthreatening atmosphere is provided; however, the implication that alcohol-induced behavior cannot be tolerated indefinitely must be clear. For example, if an employee refuses treatment and unsatisfactory behavior continues, the employer has little choice other than dismissal. The following is the way one company operates: Mary Cortez, a supervisor, notices that an employee named Bill Revson has a record of tardiness and absenteeism, poor work, an exhausted appearance, and related symptoms that may indicate alcoholism or another serious problem. She discusses only Revson’s job behavior with him, giving him a chance to correct himself. When Revson’s behavior continues unchanged, Cortez asks Revson to meet with her in the presence of a counselor. The supervisor presents her evidence of poor job behavior and then leaves the room so the employee and counselor can discuss the situation privately. If Revson admits he has a problem and expresses the desire to address it, the counselor may recommend treatment for Bill. If the treatment is accepted, completed, and proves successful, the problem is solved. Drug Abuse Abuse of drugs other than alcohol, particularly if used at work, may cause severe problems for the individual, the employer, and other employees. These drugs may include heroin, powder cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamines, and marijuana, or the abuse may stem from the improper use of stimulants, barbiturates, and tranquilizers. In some job situations, such as those of a pilot, surgeon, railroad engineer, or crane operator, the direct effects of drug abuse can be disastrous—both for the individual and for many others. Drug Testing To employers, the direct consequences of employee drug abuse are enormous. Employee theft to support drug habits costs industry billions each year. Absentee rates for workers with drug problems may be as much as 16 times higher than for nonusers, with accident rates 4 times as high. The lost productivity and additional health costs have been estimated to exceed $100 billion annually. In addition, drug abuse takes a tragic toll on society. To help combat this problem, the Drug-Free Workplace Act became law in the United States in 1988. The law requires some employers (those with federal contracts over $25,000 and others obtaining financial assistance grants) to create and distribute to their employees policies prohibiting drug abuse at work. Other employers are encouraged to do the same. (Note: Employers can still enforce internal drug policies despite the recent trend toward states liberalizing their marijuana laws.8) Many companies—as many as 80 percent of major employers—have adopted a policy of drug testing of both new and current employees. Some test job applicants as well. The tests may be done on a periodic schedule, administered randomly, or given only when there is reason to suspect an employee (see “On the Job: Atlas Powder Company”). Testing policies like those at Atlas can be highly controversial. One reason is that some tests are not satisfactorily accurate. Some tests may produce false negative results when they On the Job: Atlas Powder Company 266 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior Atlas Powder Company, a manufacturer of explosives, developed a drug policy for its Joplin, Missouri, plant.9 All 425 employees receive annual physical examinations, which include mandatory drug testing for a wide range of controlled substances. During the first two years, seven people tested positive and received suspensions. In addition, 20 percent of Atlas’s job applicants who were initially referred for hiring had positive drug screens for marijuana and were rejected. fail to identify 5 percent of the actual users. Other employees may be incorrectly identified as users (false positives) because the food they ate or the prescription drugs they took produced a falsely positive reaction. Usually, further investigation and repeated testing will support their innocence, but the harm to their reputation and self-esteem may already have occurred. Another objection to drug testing is the fear that it will reveal other medical conditions that an employee may prefer to keep private. In addition, some employees find it intrusive to be watched while providing samples for testing. A final privacy issue revolves around the presumed right to consume any substance one desires; however, the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee the right to possess and use illegal drugs. A possible solution to the problems with drug testing lies in impairment testing. This method usually consists of a brief motor-skills test performed on a computer; the test is much like playing a video game (see “On the Job: R. F. White Company”). Genetic Testing Testing differs from monitoring The controversy over employee privacy rights has also emerged in the area of genetic testing. New developments in the field of genetics allow physicians to use medical tests to accurately predict whether an employee may be genetically susceptible to one or more types of illness or harmful substances. (This is a more aggressive tool than genetic monitoring, which identifies harmful substances in the workplace, examines their effects on the genetic makeup of employees, and provides the basis for corrective action.) Positive uses of genetic testing information include transferring the susceptible employees to other work areas where they will not be exposed to the substances, providing health warnings, and developing protective measures to shield the employees from danger. The negative side of genetic testing comes into play when a firm screens present employees or job applicants on the basis of genetic predispositions and uses the information to discriminate against them in an attempt to minimize the firm’s future health costs. Effective in 2009, employee rights became increasingly protected under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). This law prohibits employers from using personal or family genetic information to discriminate against them—even through accidental acquisition of such data. At the same An Ethics Question The robust U.S. economy that marked the beginning of the twenty-first century brought about a low unemployment rate and very strong competition for skilled workers. As a result, some employers began making greater accommodations to their hiring practices so as to attract applicants. In particular, some firms threw out their drug-testing policies, while others no longer inquired about felony conviction records, as long as they believed that there was no threat to personal safety of their workforce. These firms found it timely to reverse their earlier policies in the face of a difficult labor market. Questions: During times of high unemployment rates and labor surpluses will these companies once again change their practices and again tighten their drug testing procedures? Should they do so? 266 Chapter 10 Issues between Organizations and Individuals On the Job: R. F. White Company At the R. F. White Company, eye-hand coordination was assessed by comparing test results with a baseline measure for each employee.11 Over a one-year period, this wholesale petroleum distribution company experienced reductions of accidents by 67 percent, errors and incidents by 92 percent, 267 and worker’s compensation claims costs by 64 percent. In addition to these benefits, the firm believed the process was cheaper, more timely, and more accurate than drug testing. It also shifts the focus from moralistic judgments of why an employee can’t perform, to the capacity to perform itself. time, a great challenge to individual privacy and opportunity occurs when a firm identifies those employees who smoke, drink socially, are dangerously overweight, or engage in risky recreational activities and then attempts to impose lifestyle changes on them.10 Discrimination Preventive practices FIGURE 10.3 EEOC Definition of Sexual Harassment Source: Employment Opportunity Commission, Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Sex, 1604.11 (Sexual Harassment), November 10, 1980. As noted in Chapter 4, Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) laws generally prohibit job discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, handicapped status, and other factors. Two key EEO issues stand out as contemporary problems related to privacy. The first concerns sexual harassment on the job, in which the right to a nonoffensive work environment is violated. The second issue relates to a particular type of disease some employees may have and their right to maintain medical privacy, continue working, and receive medical care. Both of these topics will be discussed briefly. Sexual Harassment When supervisors make employment or promotion decisions contingent on sexual favors or when an employee’s colleagues engage in any verbal or physical conduct that creates an offensive working environment, sexual harassment exists (see Figure 10.3 for the definition provided by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). Although harassment is a perceived action by others, it is very real to the recipient. Since it is somewhat individually defined, there is some disagreement over what constitutes sexual harassment. Females responding to one survey generally included in their definition sexual propositions, unwanted physical touching, sexual remarks and jokes, and suggestive gestures. Despite decades of programs designed to prevent harassment at work, the problem is still far too pervasive. Such harassment can occur anywhere in a company, from executive offices to assembly lines. From a human point of view, it is distasteful and demeaning to its victims, and it is discriminatory according to EEO laws and federal and state guidelines. Sexual harassment is a violation of a person’s personal rights and an offense to human dignity. In order to protect potential victims and prevent harassment, many employers have developed policies to prevent it. They also have conducted training programs to educate employees about the relevant law, identified actions that could constitute harassment, and communicated both the possible liabilities involved and the negative effects of harassment on its victims. In the absence of preventive programs and timely intervention in known situations, employers may be responsible for the harassment actions of their supervisors Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when: 1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment. 2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual. 3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment. 267 268 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior and employees. When it occurs, employers may be liable for reinstatement of the victims if they were unfairly discharged, and may have to pay back wages, punitive damages, and substantial awards for psychological suffering and pain. Most victims of sexual harassment are women, but there have been instances in which men were victims. AIDS Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a deadly virus affecting the human immune system. It is contagious through the receipt of infected blood and certain types of sexual contact. At this time, it is incurable, often fatal, and is spreading rapidly in some areas of the world. Widespread public concern and lack of understanding, coupled with unclear legal status of employees with AIDS, have raised several key behavioral issues, such as the following: AIDS-related issues at work • Can the medical privacy of AIDS employees be protected? • What can be done to help co-workers understand more about AIDS and about the way it affects its victims? In particular, how can the firm encourage employees to calmly accept a co-worker with AIDS into the work group? • How might the presence of AIDS employees affect teamwork and other participation in a group? • How can managers prevent AIDS employees from becoming harassed or socially isolated through the possible loss of normal communications with their co-workers? • Should employees be tested for the presence of the AIDS-related virus? If they test positive, should they be transferred to other jobs? (Note that the presence of the AIDS-related virus— HIV—does not imply that a person now has AIDS itself nor will necessarily contract it.) Although these are difficult issues, employers need to consider them and develop their policies before the first case arises in their organization. In particular, they need to be aware of the relevant laws that appear to include persons with AIDS under the definition and protection of “handicapped” or “disabled.” These include the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. DISCIPLINE Two types of discipline Objectives of disciplinary action Increasingly stronger penalties The area of discipline can have a strong impact on the individual in the organization. Discipline is management action to enforce organizational standards. There are two types: preventive and corrective. Preventive discipline is action taken to encourage employees to follow standards and rules so infractions do not occur. Prevention is best done by making company standards known and understood in advance. The basic objective, however, is to encourage employee self-discipline. In this way, the employees maintain their own discipline rather than have management impose it. Employees are more likely to support standards that they have (participatively) helped create. They also will give more support to standards that are stated positively instead of negatively, and when they have been told the reasons behind a standard so it will make sense to them. Corrective discipline is action that follows infraction of a rule; it seeks to discourage further infractions so future acts will be in compliance with standards. Typically, the corrective action is a penalty of some type and is called a disciplinary action. Examples are a warning or suspension with or without pay. The objectives of disciplinary action are positive, educational, and corrective, as follows: • To reform the offender • To deter others from similar actions • To maintain consistent, effective group standards Most employers apply a policy of progressive discipline, which means there are stronger penalties for repeated offenses. The purpose is to give an employee an opportunity for Chapter 10 Issues between Organizations and Individuals 269 FIGURE 10.4 A Progressive Discipline System Verbal reprimand by supervisor Steps 1 Written reprimand, with a record in personnel file One- to three-day suspension from work Suspension for one week or longer Discharge for cause 2 3 4 5 self-correction before more serious penalties are applied. Progressive discipline also gives management time to work with an employee on a counseling basis to help correct infractions, such as unauthorized absences. A typical system of progressive discipline is shown in Figure 10.4. QUALITY OF WORK LIFE QWL programs What is quality of work life (QWL)? The term refers to the favorableness or unfavorableness of a total job environment for people. QWL programs are another way in which organizations recognize their responsibility to develop jobs and working conditions that are excellent for people as well as for the economic health of the organization. The elements in a typical QWL program include many items discussed earlier in this book under the general area of supportive organizational behavior—open communications, equitable reward systems, a concern for employee job security and satisfying careers, a caring supervisor, and participation in decision making. Many early QWL efforts focused on job enrichment, which is a major topic in this section. In addition to improving the work system, QWL programs usually emphasize development of employee skills, the reduction of occupational stress, and the development of more cooperative labor–management relations. A Rationale Forces for change Job specialization and simplification were popular in the early twentieth century. Employees were assigned narrow jobs and supported by a rigid hierarchy in the expectation that efficiency would improve. The idea was to lower costs by using unskilled workers who could be trained easily to do a small repetitive part of each job. Many difficulties developed from that classical job design, however. There was excessive division of labor. Workers became socially isolated from their co-workers because their highly specialized jobs weakened their community of interest in the whole product. De-skilled workers lost pride in their work and became bored with their jobs. Higher-order (social and growth) needs were left unsatisfied. The result was higher turnover and absenteeism, declines in quality, and alienated workers. Conflict often arose as workers sought to improve their conditions and organizations failed to respond appropriately. The real cause was that in many instances the job itself simply was not satisfying. A factor contributing to the problem was that the workers themselves were changing. They became more educated, more affluent (partly because of the effectiveness of classical job design), and more independent. They began reaching for higher-order needs, something more than merely earning their wages. Employers now had two reasons for redesigning jobs and organizations for a better QWL: • Classical design originally gave inadequate attention to human needs. • The needs and aspirations of workers themselves were changing. 270 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior Humanized work through QWL One option that emerged was to redesign jobs to have the attributes desired by people, and redesign organizations to have the environment desired by people. This approach seeks to improve QWL. There is a need to give workers more of a challenge, more of a whole task, more opportunity to use their ideas. Close attention to QWL provides a more humanized work environment. It attempts to serve the higher-order needs of workers as well as their more basic needs. It seeks to employ the higher skills of workers and to provide an environment that encourages them to improve their skills. The idea is that human resources should be developed and not simply used. Further, the work should not have excessively negative conditions. It should not put workers under undue stress. It should not damage or degrade their humanness. It should not be threatening or unduly dangerous. Finally, it should contribute to, or at least leave unimpaired, workers’ abilities to perform in other life roles, such as citizen, spouse, and parent. That is, work should contribute to general social advancement. Job Enlargement vs. Job Enrichment Enlargement provides breadth Enrichment provides depth The modern interest in quality of work life was stimulated through efforts to change the scope of people’s jobs in attempting to motivate them. Job scope has two dimensions— breadth and depth. Job breadth is the number of different tasks an individual is directly responsible for. It ranges from very narrow (one task performed repetitively) to wide (several tasks). Employees with narrow job breadth were sometimes given a wider variety of duties in order to reduce their monotony; this process is called job enlargement. In order to perform these additional duties, employees spend less time on each duty. Another approach to changing job breadth is called job rotation, which involves periodic assignment of an employee to completely different sets of job activities. Job rotation is an effective way to develop multiple skills in employees, which benefits the organization while creating greater job interest and career options for the employee. Job enrichment takes a different approach by adding additional motivators to a job to make it more rewarding. It was developed by Frederick Herzberg on the basis of his studies indicating that the most effective way to motivate workers was by focusing on higher-order needs. Job enrichment seeks to add to job depth by giving workers more control, responsibility, and discretion over how their job is performed. The difference between enlargement and enrichment is illustrated in Figure 10.5. Here we see that job enrichment focuses on satisfying FIGURE 10.5 Higherorder Accent on needs (Focus on depth) Difference between Job Enrichment and Job Enlargement Lowerorder Job enrichment Job enrichment and enlargement Routine job Job enlargement Few Many Number of tasks (Focus on breadth) Chapter 10 Issues between Organizations and Individuals 271 FIGURE 10.6 Benefits of Job Enrichment Emerge in Three Areas Individual: • Growth • Self-actualization • Job satisfaction JOB ENRICHMENT BENEFITS Organization: • Intrinsically motivated employees • Better employee performance • Less absenteeism and turnover; fewer grievances Society: • Full use of human resources • More effective organizations higher-order needs, whereas job enlargement concentrates on adding additional tasks to the worker’s job for greater variety. The two approaches can even be blended, by both expanding the number of tasks and adding more motivators, for a two-pronged attempt to improve QWL. Job enrichment brings many benefits, as shown in Figure 10.6. Its general result is a role enrichment that encourages growth and self-actualization. The job is built in such a way that intrinsic motivation is encouraged. Because motivation is increased, performance should improve, thus providing both a more humanized and a more productive job. Negative effects also tend to be reduced, such as turnover, absences, grievances, and idle time. The worker performs better, experiences greater job satisfaction, and becomes more self-actualized, thus being able to participate in all life roles more effectively. Society benefits from the more effectively functioning person as well as from better job performance. QWL produces three-pronged benefits, at the individual, organizational, and societal levels. Applying Job Enrichment Gain sharing satisfies maintenance needs Viewed in terms of Herzberg’s motivational factors, job enrichment occurs when the work itself is more challenging, when achievement is encouraged, when there is opportunity for growth, and when responsibility, feedback, and recognition are provided. However, employees are the final judges of what enriches their jobs. All that management can do is gather information about what tends to enrich jobs, try those changes in the job system, and then determine whether employees feel that enrichment has occurred. In trying to build motivational factors, management also gives attention to maintenance factors. It attempts to keep maintenance factors constant or higher as the motivational factors are increased. If maintenance factors are allowed to decline during an enrichment program, then employees may be less responsive to the enrichment program because they are distracted by inadequate maintenance. The need for a systems approach to job enrichment is satisfied by the practice of gain sharing (introduced in Chapter 6). Since job enrichment must occur from each employee’s personal viewpoint, not all employees will choose enriched jobs if they have an option. A contingency relationship exists in terms of different job needs, and some employees may prefer the simplicity and security of more routine jobs. 272 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior In one instance a manufacturer set up production in two different ways. Employees were allowed to choose between work on a standard assembly line and at a bench where they individually assembled the entire product. In the beginning, few employees chose to work at the enriched jobs, but gradually about half the workers chose them. The more routine assembly operation seemed to fit the needs of the other half, who seemed to enjoy the spare mental time to daydream while they worked with their hands. Core Dimensions: A Job Characteristics Approach Five dimensions How can jobs be enriched? And how does job enrichment produce its desired outcomes? J. Richard Hackman and Greg Oldham developed a job characteristics approach to job enrichment that identifies five core dimensions—skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback.12 Ideally, a job must have all five dimensions to be fully enriched. If one dimension is perceived to be missing, workers are psychologically deprived and motivation may be reduced. The core dimensions affect an employee’s psychological state, which tends to improve performance, satisfaction, and quality of work, and to reduce turnover and absenteeism. Their effect on quantity of work is less dependable. Many managerial and white-collar jobs, as well as blue-collar jobs, often are deficient in some core dimensions. Although there are large individual differences in how employees react to core dimensions, the typical employee finds them to be basic for internal motivation. The dimensions and their effects are shown in Figure 10.7 and are discussed briefly here. Skill Variety One core dimension is the variety of skills used in the job. Skill variety allows employees to perform different operations that often require different skills. It differs from the job breadth element presented earlier, since an enlarged job may still use the same skills on different tasks or products. The need for some variety is illustrated by the following anecdote: A tourist in Mexico stopped at a woodcarver’s shop to inquire about the price of a chair that was hand-carved. The woodcarver replied, “50 pesos.” The tourist said FIGURE 10.7 How Core Job Characteristics Affect Work Outcomes through Three Psychological States Core dimensions Skill variety (different skills and abilities used) Task identity (complete piece of work) Direct effects (psychological states) Work outcomes Perceived meaningfulness Improved performance Task significance (importance of work) Heightened satisfaction Autonomy (control over task performance) Perceived responsibility Feedback (information about performance) Perceived knowledge of results Reduced absenteeism and turnover Chapter 10 Issues between Organizations and Individuals On the Job: St. Regis Paper Company Even routine factory work can have task significance. St. Regis Paper Company had customer complaints about seams tearing and bottoms dropping out of about 6 percent of grocery bags made in three plants.13 Management attempted to solve the problem by adding more inspectors and making production changes, but these efforts were not successful. Finally, management decided to work with the bagmachine operators to show them the significance of their work. One step was to circulate customer complaint letters so the operators could see how serious the problem was. 273 Management also arranged to have the signature of each operator imprinted on the bottom of the bags as follows: “Another quality product by St. Regis. Personally inspected by [employee’s name].” Employees responded by reducing defective bags from 6 to 0.5 percent. They were proud of their work and its direct significance to customers. Employees even started taking their nameplates with them during rest breaks because they wanted to be responsible personally for bags that had their signature. that she liked the chair and wanted three more exactly like it. Hoping to receive a quantity discount, she asked, “How much for four chairs?” The woodcarver replied, “250 pesos for four chairs.” Shocked that the price per unit for four chairs was more than for one chair, the tourist asked why. The wood-carver replied, “But, señorita, it is very boring to carve four chairs that are exactly alike.” Empowerment practices Jobs that are high in variety are seen by employees as more challenging because of the range of skills involved. These jobs also relieve monotony that develops from any repetitive activity. If the work is physical, different muscles are used, so that one muscle area is not so overworked and tired at the end of the day. Variety gives employees a greater sense of competence, because they can perform different kinds of work in different ways. Task Identity A second core job dimension is task identity, which allows employees to perform a complete piece of the work. In the past, individual employees worked on such a small part of the whole that they were unable to identify any product with their efforts. They could not feel any sense of completion or responsibility for the whole product. When tasks are broadened to produce a whole product or an identifiable part of it, then task identity has been established. Task Significance A third core dimension is task significance. It refers to the amount of impact, as perceived by the worker, that the work has on other people. The impact can be on others in the organization, as when the worker performs a key step in the work process, or it may be on those outside the firm, as when the worker helps make a lifesaving medical instrument. The key point is that workers should believe they are doing something important in their organization or society, or both (see “On the Job: St. Regis Paper Company”). Autonomy A fourth core dimension is autonomy. It is the job characteristic that gives employees some discretion and control over job-related decisions, and it appears to be fundamental in building a sense of responsibility in workers. Although they are willing to work within the broad constraints of an organization, workers also insist on a degree of freedom. Autonomy has become important to many people, and especially to younger members of the workforce. Feedback A fifth core dimension is feedback. Feedback refers to information that tells workers how well they are performing. It can come directly from the job itself (task feedback), or it can be given verbally by management and other employees. It can be positive or negative but is best when it is appropriately balanced. It should also be early and continuous rather than delayed and sporadic. The idea of feedback is a simple one, but it is highly significant to people at work. Since they are investing a substantial part of their lives in their work, they want to know how well they are doing. Further, they need to know rather 273 274 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior often because they recognize that performance does vary, and the only way they can make adjustments is to know how they are performing now. Enrichment Increases Motivation Conditions for job enrichment The degree to which the five core dimensions are present in jobs needs to be evaluated before job enrichment can take place. An employer studies jobs to assess how low or high they are on skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback—often in comparison to the desired level of each. Employees need to be involved in this assessment, since their perceptions are most important. After data are collected (usually by survey), an overall index for a job may be computed.14 The overall index indicates the degree to which the job is perceived to be meaningful (a combination of variety, identity, and significance), foster responsibility (autonomy), and provide knowledge of results (feedback). Managers can then take action to increase one or more of the five factors to enrich the job. Jobs that have been enriched increase the probability of high motivation, provided that employees: • Have adequate job knowledge and skills • Desire to learn, grow, and develop • Are satisfied with their work environment (are not distracted by negative hygiene factors) Most job enrichment attempts have been conducted in manufacturing operations, but many have also been attempted in banks, insurance companies, and other service organizations. Salespersons in a large department store were the subjects for a field experiment in job redesign for enrichment purposes.15 After providing their perceptions of their current jobs as measured by a set of scales, they implemented a series of job changes designed to increase the skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback gained from their jobs. The salespersons’ perceptions of their jobs increased significantly following the experiment, indicating they believed their jobs had become enriched. Dysfunctional behaviors such as misuse of idle time and absence from the workstation decreased, whereas functional behaviors (selling and stocking) increased moderately. Several measures of employee satisfaction also improved. Social Cues Affect Perceptions Social information processing Not all attempts to enrich jobs have been as successful as the experiment just described. In some cases, employees do not report significant changes in their perceptions of the core characteristics after job enrichment, despite objective evidence that the job actually was changed. This has produced considerable frustration for both job design specialists and managers. One explanation for the lack of predicted changes from enrichment lies in the presence of social cues, which are often rather subtle bits of positive or negative information workers receive from their social surroundings. These social cues may come from co-workers, leaders, other organizational members, customers, and family members. Social cues may serve either to support or to counteract the direction of objective task characteristics, as shown in Figure 10.8. The key to job enrichment lies in how employees use the social cues provided by their peers and others to arrive at their own perception of their jobs. This activity, called social information processing, covers three elements. First, peers may suggest which of the job characteristics really count to them (as when a worker named Karl asserts that “Around here, the only thing I care about is how much control I’m allowed!”). Second, they may offer their personal model regarding the relative weighting of each core dimension (as when Lynn suggests to Dan that “I value skill variety and feedback the most, with the other Chapter 10 Issues between Organizations and Individuals 275 FIGURE 10.8 Social Cues Affect Employee Reactions to Tasks Objective task characteristics Social cues • Supportive • Counteracting Perceived task characteristics (e.g., skill variety) Employee attitudes and behaviors (e.g., motivation, turnover) three factors worth only a small amount”). Third, peers may provide direct or indirect clues about their own judgments of the dimensions (as when Alan confides that “Despite what management claims, I still don’t think my job is very important”). An integrated approach to job design suggests that managers must focus on managing the social context of job changes, as well as the objective job enrichment process itself. They must discover which groups are important sources of social cues, perhaps using group discussions to reinforce an employee’s initial tendencies to assess job changes positively. Managers can also create expectations (in the minds of employees and co-workers) that the enriched jobs will have more of certain dimensions and therefore be more satisfying. Contingency Factors Affecting Enrichment Job enrichment does not apply to all types of situations. It appears to apply more easily to higher-level jobs, which are less likely to be dictated by the technological process. If the technology is stable and highly automated, the costs of job enrichment may be too great in relation to the rewards. Some workers do not want increased responsibility or more complex tasks, and other workers do not adapt to the group interaction that is sometimes required. Job enrichment also may upset pay relationships. In particular, employees may expect more than intrinsic satisfaction for the additional duties and responsibilities they assume. Many other costs and limitations exist in addition to pay. Equipment and floor space may have to be redesigned, with more space and tools needed so individuals or teams can work independently. Inventories may need to be increased, training costs may go up, and turnover may initially increase. Unions may resist enrichment attempts if existing job classifications are upset. Those planning job enrichment programs need to ask the following questions about employee needs and attitudes: Key questions • • • • • • • Can the employee tolerate (and welcome) responsibility? How strong are the employee’s growth and achievement needs? What is the employee’s attitude and experience regarding group work? Can the employee intellectually and emotionally handle more complexity? How strong are the employee’s drives for security and stability? Will the employees view the job changes as significant enough to justify the costs? Can a job be overenriched? 276 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior Many contingency elements must be considered when exploring the possibility of job enrichment as a QWL approach. Both employee attitudes and the capabilities of employees to handle enriched tasks are crucial. To consider job enrichment as good is tempting, but to recognize and respect individual differences that exist among employees is more consistent with human values. THE INDIVIDUAL’S RESPONSIBILITIES TO THE ORGANIZATION Theft as an example A discussion of the individual in the organization is incomplete if it covers only the organization’s impositions on, and obligations to, the individual. The employment relationship is two-way. Without question, the organization has responsibilities to the individual, but also—and again without question—the individual has responsibilities to the organization. Employment is a mutual transaction and a social exchange. Each employee makes certain membership investments in the organization and expects profitable rewards in return. The organization also invests in the individual, and it, too, expects profitable rewards. A relationship is profitable for either party when benefits (outputs) are larger than costs (inputs) measured in a total value system. In the usual employment situation both parties benefit, just as they do in the usual social relationship. Both parties benefit because the social transaction between them produces new values that exceed the investment each makes. The profitable relationship deteriorates if either party fails to act responsibly toward the needs of the other. The employees can fail to act responsibly, just as the organization can. If they do, they can expect the organization to respond by using tight controls to try to maintain a successful operating system. Consider the matter of employee theft, which was mentioned earlier. Overlook for the moment the legal-ethical-moral views of theft. From the point of view of the organizational system only, theft interferes with work operations. It upsets schedules and budgets. It causes reorders. It calls for more controls. In sum, it reduces both the reliability and the productivity of the organizational system. Output is diminished for the individual as well as for the organization. In this situation, the organization must act to protect other employees as well as itself. Employees can demonstrate their larger responsibilities toward the organization, beyond acting productively and creatively, in many ways. These include organizational citizenship, dues-paying, whistle-blowing, and building mutual trust. Organizational Citizenship Applying the social exchange idea makes it evident that employees are expected to go beyond their job descriptions and be good organizational citizens. This reciprocal relationship at the individual level parallels the way the organization is expected to behave in the broader society in which it operates. As noted in Chapter 9, employees who are organizational citizens engage in positive social acts designed to benefit others. Typical categories of citizenship include: • • • • • Helping others (altruism) and cooperating with them (sharing time and resources) Civic virtue (attending meetings and complying with rules and procedures) Sportsmanship and courtesy (positive attitude) Conscientiousness (efficient use of work time and exerting extra effort) Organizational loyalty (endorsing and supporting organizational practices) Two key questions emerge, however. First, which employees are most likely to engage in citizenship behaviors? Some evidence suggests that the personality factors of agreeableness, openness to experience, and conscientiousness predict helping behaviors. Second, is Chapter 10 Issues between Organizations and Individuals 277 there a possibility of engaging in too much citizenship? Since an employee’s time at work is finite, it is definitely possible that too much time spent in benefiting others might come at the expense of task performance. Clearly, a balance of activities is necessary.16 Dues-Paying A special case of individual responsibility to others occurs when employees are expected— by their peers—to pay their dues or put in their time. Dues-paying consists of the total “costs” that a person’s group believes an individual should pay for the privileges of full acceptance and continuing membership in it (as well as the receipt of rewards).17 These costs might include: • • • • • • How do you earn idiosyncrasy credits? Minimum qualifications of the employee Willingness to get one’s hands dirty while not complaining about undesirable tasks Showing proper respect to others Not acting superior to others Performing at an above-average level Spending the appropriate amount of time at one’s job Dues-paying has several key characteristics: it is a perceptual phenomenon; it is judged by many different observers; it is situation-specific (judgments are made on a case-by-case basis); and a group’s memory of dues paid may be faulty or even diminish over time. The idea of dues paid is based on the concept of idiosyncrasy credits: Over time, a person earns credits that can be “cashed in” when necessary—somewhat similar to a personal bank account. The significance of dues lies in the importance of recognizing one’s own obligations to others, both objective and subjective in nature. And when well-earned rewards are received, employees would be wise to downplay the accomplishment, deflect the praise, and share the credit. Managers can play a key role in counseling novice employees about this process. Blowing the Whistle on Unethical Behavior Examples abound of unethical behavior in organizations, and it occurs at all levels. Despite our own optimism about human nature and fundamental goodness within people, many studies still find that many (if not most) people act in dishonest ways at some point in their work careers. Why? Reasons include the direct benefits gained (self-interest), the mere opportunity to cut corners, the thrill of the challenge to do so and not get caught, and the organization’s pressure on employees to perform amid the existence of incompatible demands. Several organizations have tried to implement tighter controls, ethical codes, and ethical training programs, but these are often unsuccessful or short-lived—and sometimes they merely drive unethical behavior underground, just as Prohibition drove liquor production and consumption underground for several years in the early 1900s. Two powerful forces can work to diminish dishonesty, however (in addition to the fear of getting caught). First is the basic honesty and respect for truth-telling among some people. Honest employees tend (and prefer) not to lie, cheat, or steal. Further, they are more likely to have developed and internalized a personal moral code based on ethical principles. This allows them to Critical Thinking Exercise Some employees may be undecided about being good organizational citizens. Question: If you were their manager, what guidance and advice would you provide to such a person? What Managers Are Reading 278 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior DEVELOPING YOUR ETHICAL MIND Harvard professor Howard Gardner, a psychologist, believes it is useful to conceive of the mind as a set of cognitive capacities. The first four consist of the disciplined, synthesizing, creative, and respectful minds. The fifth—the ethical mind—helps people ponder their life’s role and balance that against society’s needs and desires. Ethical persons act as impartial spectators who continually examine what they were taught, what they are experiencing, and what they believe. They move beyond a focus on their own self-interest and instead examine the larger good of society (which sometimes encourages them to become whistle-blowers). Key questions asked by persons with ethical minds include: • Who do I want to be (from the standpoint of ethics)? • If everyone else was like me in their thinking and behavior, how would that look? Source: Howard Gardner, Five Minds for the Future, Boston: Harvard Business Press, 2008. respond to ethical dilemmas based on prior analytical reasoning, and make well-considered judgments. Here are some examples of ethical guidelines: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Guard against the first ethical misstep, which leads you down a “slippery slope.” Don’t sign false documents or bury your mistakes. Don’t follow the crowd or believe that “everyone else is doing it.” Lead by example, and seek wise counsel from others before acting. Act with integrity, asking yourself “If everyone did what I intend to do, how would that look?” The second useful force is the availability of ethical role models. These mentors and leaders often have four characteristics: 1. Positive interpersonal behaviors (hardworking, supportive, caring, concerned, compassionate) 2. Ethical expectations for themselves (honest, trustworthy, humble, self-sacrificial) 3. Fairness toward others (solicit and use inputs, not condescending, fair distributors of resources) 4. Articulation of ethical standards to others (put ethics above themselves, uncompromising in support of high ethical standards, hold others accountable).18 Who are the likely whistle-blowers? 278 Despite the best ethical role models and individual voices favoring honesty, unethical organizational behavior may still arise. Being a good organizational citizen does not extend to blind conformity—supporting illegal activities of the organization, bending to organizational pressures (as in the chapter-opening Challenger example), or engaging in any other activities that seriously violate social standards. For example, when management disregards internal opposition to wrongful acts or fails to disclose information about defective products, an employee may choose a response from a wide array of alternatives (see Figure 10.9). Several of these responses demonstrate a form of whistle-blowing, which is disclosing alleged misconduct to an internal or external source. This misconduct might be violation of a rule or law, fraud, safety violation, or corruption. Some employees are more likely than others to be whistle-blowers in organizations.19 They are workers who have strong evidence of having observed wrongdoing, who believe it to be a serious problem, and who feel it directly affects them. In general, such conscientious Chapter 10 Issues between Organizations and Individuals 279 FIGURE 10.9 Alternative Employee Responses to Wrongful Acts High Sabotaging the implementation External whistle-blowing Approximate strength of response Internal whistle-blowing Threatening to blow the whistle Expressing concerns Passively withdrawing Low people are likely to be professionals with long service, people previously recognized as good performers, and those who work in organizations perceived by others to be responsive to complaints. Their motivations may vary widely. Some employees blow the whistle because they feel obligated to protect the public; some do it because they are afraid of the legal consequences of being prosecuted themselves, and others do so in retaliation for the treatment they have received from their employer. One employee of a military contractor made the headlines when he blew the whistle on his employer.20 Christopher Urda claimed his employer had systematically overbilled the Pentagon on its contracts. A federal judge fined the contractor over $55 million and awarded Mr. Urda $7.5 million under the provisions of the 1986 False Claims Act. By going public, whistle-blowers hope to bring pressure on the organization to correct the problem. Although the legal system (primarily the provisions of the 2002 SarbanesOxley and 2010 Dodd-Frank acts) generally protects them, some employees—as many as 22 percent, according to one study—have been the subject of employer retaliation, such as harassment, transfer, or discharge (firing).21 The need for whistle-blowing can be diminished by creating a variety of ways for employees to voice their concerns inside the organization—and encouraging this behavior. Previously discussed devices for this purpose include suggestion systems, survey feedback, and employee–management meetings. Mutual Trust When whistle-blowing occurs, it usually signifies that a previous level of mutual trust has deteriorated or even been broken. Mutual trust is joint faith in the responsibility and actions of the parties involved; when it is present, each person has a strongly positive expectation that the other person will do the right thing. Development of mutual trust occurs over a period of time through the emergence of mutual understanding, the development of emotional bonds, and the demonstration of trustworthy behaviors. It can, however, be broken in an instant through an inappropriate word or action by either party. Further, loss of trust results in a breakdown of the psychological contract (see Chapter 4). When managers lose the trust of their employees, it requires concerted and extended efforts to repair and re-earn it. Corporate leaders, and all managers, have a very visible role to play in shaping a strong organizational culture that clarifies the organization’s values and expectations. When this is done, the level of trust is likely to be high. Summary Some areas of potential individual–organization conflict are legitimacy of organizational influence, rights of privacy, and discipline. The main concern is to ensure that the employee’s activities and choices are guided—but not unduly controlled to the detriment of the Advice to Future Managers 280 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior 1. Before taking any significant actions that might influence employee behaviors, carefully weigh the degree to which those actions have a high degree of legitimacy. 2. Familiarize yourself with the organization’s policies on employee rights to privacy and the reasons for those policies. 6. Engage employees in regular discussions about their side of the psychological contract—their responsibility to act ethically, sustain trust, demonstrate good citizenship at work, and their obligation to blow the whistle if all else fails. 7. Explore ways in which you can add either breadth or depth (or both) to employee jobs. 3. When unacceptable employee behaviors are likely to occur, focus first on preventive discipline and then, only if necessary, invoke corrective discipline. 8. Do not rely on your own perceptions of a job’s degree of enrichment; seek out the perceptions of current job holders. 4. Assess, through the eyes of employees, the level of quality of work life that they perceive to exist. Make appropriate changes and follow up to determine the impact. 9. Help new employees recognize that rewards and group acceptance won’t come easily, but only through the process of dues-paying. 5. Involve employees in efforts to redesign their jobs to incorporate higher degrees of skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, or feedback, where appropriate. 10. Search for ways to build mutual trust between management and employees at all times. employee—by the organization. In order to protect both the organization and the worker, companies usually develop policies to guide their decisions about privacy, alcohol- and drug-abuse programs, genetic testing, sexual harassment, and other activities. To accomplish their goals, management uses both preventive and corrective discipline to ensure appropriate behavior. One social obligation that many organizations have adopted is to improve the quality of work life (QWL) for its employees. QWL refers to the favorableness or unfavorableness of the job environment for people. This is never an easy or a final task, since QWL exists in the perceptions of employees and is constantly changing. Jobs vary in their breadth and depth. Job enrichment applies to any efforts to humanize jobs by the addition of more motivators. Core dimensions of jobs that especially provide enrichment are skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback. In spite of job enrichment’s objective desirability, its cues must be perceived by employees and valued by them to have substantial impact. The social transaction of employment is a two-way street, with mutual responsibilities for the individual and the organization. The employee should be a good organizational citizen, be willing to “pay one’s dues,” exercise ethical leadership, or resort to whistle-blowing if necessary. Benefits will accrue to individuals, the organization, and society when this social exchange is fulfilled and mutual trust is evident. Speaking OB: Terms and Concepts for Review 280 Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), 268 Autonomy, 273 Core dimensions, 272 Corrective discipline, 268 Discharge, 279 Discipline, 268 Dues-paying, 277 Electronic monitoring, 263 Feedback, 273 Genetic monitoring, 266 Genetic testing, 266 Honesty tests, 264 Idiosyncrasy credits, 277 Chapter 10 Issues between Organizations and Individuals 281 Impairment testing, 266 Job breadth, 270 Job depth, 270 Job enlargement, 270 Job enrichment, 270 Job rotation, 270 Job scope, 270 Legitimacy of organizational influence, 261 Mutual trust, 279 Organizational citizens, 276 Preventive discipline, 268 Progressive discipline, 268 Quality of work life (QWL), 269 Rights of privacy, 262 Sexual harassment, 267 Skill variety, 272 Social cues, 274 Social information processing, 274 Social screening, 263 Surveillance devices, 263 Task identity, 273 Task significance, 273 Whistle-blowing, 278 Discussion Questions 1. Explain the basic model of legitimacy of organizational influence. Does it seem to be a reasonable one within which you could work? Provide personal examples for each of the four cells. 2. Think of a job you have had or now have. Did you feel that the employer invaded your right to privacy in any way? Discuss. Did the employer have a policy, explicit or implicit, with regard to right of privacy? 3. Assume you are going to interview for a job as a teller with a bank and heard in advance that an honesty test would be used to explore your history and probability of honesty. Describe how you would feel about this type of test, and explain why you would feel that way. 4. Form small groups and visit a company to discuss its program for the treatment of alcoholism and hard-drug abuse. What other behaviors is the company concerned about from a health standpoint? Report the highlights of the program to your class, and give your appraisal of its probable effectiveness. 5. Assume one of your employees has recently tested positive for the AIDS virus. Although he is still fully capable of performing his job duties, another employee has come to you and objected to working closely with him. How would you respond? 6. Form discussion groups of four to five people, and develop a list of the top six QWL items your group wants in a job. Present your group report, along with your reasons, to other class members. Then, discuss similarities and differences among group responses. 7. Think of the job you now have or a job that you formerly had. Discuss both the favorable and unfavorable QWL characteristics contained in it. 8. Debate this issue in class: “Job breadth is more important than job depth in motivating workers.” 9. Think of a job you have had or now have. Were there any ways in which you did not act responsibly (ethically) toward the organization or took unfair advantage of it? Discuss. 10. Consider your own role as a possible whistle-blower. Under what conditions would you publicly criticize your employer or another employee? Assess Your Own Skills How well do you exhibit good organizational-influence skills? Read the following statements carefully. Circle the number on the response scale that most closely reflects the degree to which each statement accurately describes you as a leader. Add up your total points and prepare a brief action plan for self-improvement. Be ready to report your score for tabulation across the entire group. 282 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior Good description Poor description 1. I carefully differentiate between employee activities that occur on the job and those that occur off the job. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 2. I am careful to respect an employee’s rights to privacy when addressing topics surrounding religious, political, and social beliefs. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 3. I carefully monitor my employees’ use of their computers to ensure they are not abusing their privileges. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 4. I am observant for signs of alcohol or drug abuse among employees. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 5. I take immediate and positive actions to ensure employees do not engage in sexual harassment. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 6. I place the bulk of my disciplinary emphasis on prevention of problems rather than corrective treatment of them. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 7. I accept with enthusiasm my role in creating a quality of work life that is excellent for both employees and the organization. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 8. I am fully aware of which employees would value enriched jobs and which would not. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 9. I have clear ideas for how I could increase the levels of the five core dimensions in my employees’ jobs. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10. I regularly spend time emphasizing to my employees their obligations to their employer (to balance the employer’s responsibilities to them). 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Scoring and Interpretation Add up your total points for the 10 questions. Record that number here, and report it when it is requested. Finally, insert your total score into the “Assess and Improve Your Own Organizational Behavior Skills” chart in Appendix A. • If you scored between 81 and 100 points, you appear to have a solid capability for demonstrating appropriate organizational influence. • If you scored between 61 and 80 points, you should take a close look at the items with lower self-assessment scores and explore ways to improve those items. Chapter 10 Issues between Organizations and Individuals 283 • If you scored under 60 points, you should be aware that a weaker level regarding several items could be detrimental to your future success as a leader. We encourage you to review relevant sections of the chapter and watch for related material in subsequent chapters and other sources. Identify your three lowest scores, and write the question numbers here: _____, _____, _____. Write a brief paragraph, detailing to yourself an action plan for how you might sharpen each of these traits. Incident Two Accounting Clerks Rosemary Janis and Mary Lopez were the only two clerks handling payments from customers in the office of Atlantic Plumbing Supply Company. They reported to the owner of the business. Janis had been employed for 18 months and Lopez for 14 months. Both were community college graduates, about 23 years old, and unmarried. By manipulating the accounts in a rather ingenious way that would not normally be detected, Janis was stealing from account payments as they were received. During her third month of employment, Lopez learned of Janis’s thefts, but she decided not to tell management, rationalizing that Janis’s personal conduct was none of her business. Lopez did not benefit from Janis’s thefts, and the two women were not close friends. Their duties allowed them to work rather independently of each other, each handling a different alphabetical portion of the accounts. By the time the owner learned of Janis’s thefts through the recent installation of hidden surveillance cameras, she had stolen approximately $5,700. During investigation of the thefts the owner learned that Lopez had known about them for several months, because it was evident that the thefts could not have occurred for an extended period without Lopez’s knowledge. At the time of employment, both women had been instructed by the owner that they would be handling money and that strict honesty would be required of them. Questions 1. What issues are raised by these events? Discuss. 2. What disciplinary action, either preventive or corrective, do you recommend for each of the two women? Why? 3. Is Lopez’s failure to blow the whistle an issue? Experiential Exercise The Enriched Student 1. Consider your academic “job” as a student. Rate it on each of the five core dimensions according to how much of each is presently in it (1 = low amount; 10 = high amount). What does this information tell you? Job Dimension Your Rating Group Average Skill variety ___________________ ___________________ Task identity ___________________ ___________________ Task significance ___________________ ___________________ Autonomy ___________________ ___________________ Feedback ___________________ ___________________ Overall score ___________________ ___________________ 2. Form groups of four to six persons, share your scores, and compute an average group score for each dimension. What do the scores tell you? 3. Discuss five important steps that university administrators and professors could take to enrich your “job” if they had the data you generated. 284 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior Experiential Exercise Practicing Organizational Citizenship 1. Review the discussions of Organizational Citizenship in this book or elsewhere. 2. Consider this class as an organization, and its students as members of it. 3. Meeting in small groups, brainstorm a variety of ways in which class members could engage in acts of good citizenship. 4. Share these ideas with other groups, and eliminate overlapping suggestions. 5. Using the categories provided on p. 276, sort the suggestions into five groups. 6. Meeting again in small groups, identify the 5–10 actions that would best exemplify good organizational citizenship. Share your conclusions with the other groups. Discuss. Source: Inspired by, and adapted from, Abdelmagid Mazen, Susan Herman, and Suzyn Ornstein, “Professor Delight: Cultivating Organizational Citizenship Behavior,” Journal of Management Education, October 2008, vol. 32, no. 5, pp. 563–579. Generating OB Insights An insight is a new and clear perception of a phenomenon, or an acquired ability to “see” clearly something you were unaware of previously. It is sometimes simply referred to as an “ah-ha! moment,” in which you have a minirevelation or reach a straightforward conclusion about a topic or issue. Insights need not necessarily be dramatic, for what is an insight to one person may be less important to another. The critical feature of insights is that they are relevant and memorable for you; they should represent new knowledge, new frameworks, or new ways of viewing things that you want to retain and remember over time. Insights, then, are different from the information you find in the “Advice for Future Managers” boxes within the text. That advice is prescriptive and action-oriented; it indicates a recommended course of action. A useful way to think of OB insights is to assume you are the only person who has read Chapter 10. You have been given the assignment to highlight, in your own words, the major concepts (but not just summarize the whole chapter) that might stand out for a naive audience who has never heard of the topic before. What 10 insights would you share with them? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. (Example) Some off-the-job conduct by employees is legitimately subject to influence by employers. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Chapter 10 Issues between Organizations and Individuals 285 8. 9. 10. Nurturing Your Critical Thinking and Reflective Skills ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Take a few minutes to review the discussion in the Roadmap for Readers of critical thinking and reflection. Remind yourself that if you can hone these abilities now, you will have a substantial competitive advantage when you apply for jobs and are asked what unique skills you can bring to the position and the organization. Critical Thinking Think back on the material you read in this chapter. What are three unique and challenging critical questions you would like to raise about that material? (These might identify something controversial about which you have doubts, they may imply that you suspect that a theory or model has weaknesses, they could examine the legitimacy of apparent causal relationships, or they might assess the probable value of a suggested practice.) Be prepared to share these questions with class members or your instructor. 1. 2. 3. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Reflection This process often involves answering the parallel questions of “What do you think about the material you have read?” and “How do you feel about that material?” Therefore, express your personal thoughts and feelings (reactions) to any of the ideas or topics found in this chapter, and be prepared to share these reflections with class members or your instructor. 1. 2. 3. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Chapter Eleven Conflict, Power, and Organizational Politics CEOs may align themselves with particular strategies, management theories, or organizational cultures, but their personalities underlie everything they think and do. Jeff Kehoe1 In the long run, though, those who relentlessly refuse to play the (politics) game win the organization’s trust and a reputation for integrity. Jack and Suzy Welch2 CHAPTER OBJECTIVES AFTER READING THIS CHAPTER, YOU SHOULD UNDERSTAND 11–1 The Nature and Types of Conflict 11–2 Conflict Outcomes and Resolution Strategies 11–3 Different Personality Types 11–4 Assertive Behavior and Trust-Building 11–5 Interpersonal Facilitation and Stroking 11–6 Types of Power 11–7 Organizational Politics and Influence 286 Facebook Page Student A: Hey, remember last summer when we worked on that construction job and the regulars gave us a rough time every day? There’s an official name for that; it’s called workplace incivility. Student B: OK, but why bring that up now? Student A: It’s one of the major causes of conflict at work, along with other things like personality clashes. I guess I’ll have to learn how to handle conflict better than I did on that job. Student C: What are you supposed to do instead of yelling back at the jerks? Student A: I should take a more positive view of conflict, forget about who wins and who loses, and learn to take a constructive confrontational approach. I can be more assertive in expressing my feelings and asking for changes, too. But it all starts with a caring attitude, sensitivity to others, and paying attention to organizational politics. Student B: Isn’t politics at work just backstabbing others? I thought my own success was going to be a function of plain old hard work and technical competence. Student A: Those are certainly important, but I discovered that you also need to engage in impression management, follow the norm of reciprocity, and build your personal influence by being socially astute, developing useful networks, and acting in a sincere and authentic fashion. I see now that there is a lot more to gaining political power than I thought! Joyce and Joan were involved in a discussion which, had they allowed it to progress, might have driven them apart. “I think we can best survive by growing larger,” said Joyce, “and the best way to do this is by acquiring our two closest competitors.” Joan responded by suggesting that “your approach will potentially bankrupt us; we could drown in a sea of debt payments.” “So what do you propose doing?” queried Joyce with a hint of sarcasm. “I suggest we focus on strengthening our current market position,” responded Joan. “We should spend more on new product development, aggressively market our existing line, and trim our staff by 6 percent.” Before the debate could proceed further, Joan and Joyce agreed to examine the issue objectively and not let their emotions escalate. They decided to focus on jointly solving the problem, while understanding and respecting each other’s point of view. In doing this, they successfully avoided some of the destructive pitfalls of typical conflicts. Organizations, by definition, require people to work together and communicate with one another—often in pairs as in the interaction between Joyce and Joan. Ideally, these interpersonal relationships should be productive, cooperative, and satisfying. In reality, managers find they are not always that way. Almost every working relationship will produce some degree of conflict across time. Whether the conflicts will be destructive or constructive depends on the attitudes and skills of the participants (as well as time pressures and resource shortages). This chapter explores some approaches to conflict and examines the possible outcomes. It also suggests employees may need to develop their assertiveness and trust-building skills in order to be heard and respected by their peers. Guidelines are offered for understanding oneself and others and for communicating more effectively. 287 Engaging Your Brain 1. Reflect back on your past experiences of conflict in your life. Were those generally positive or negative? What made them so? Do you think they could have turned out better than they did? 2. Use the Internet to find a free on-line version of the Myers-Briggs personality test. What do you think about your results; do they appear to have face validity? Now ask a close friend to take the same test. Could you have predicted how that person would be classified? What implications does personality type have for you? 3. Examine the ten “Impression Management Strategies” in Figure 11.9. Rate your willingness to use each one on a scale from 1 (very low) to 10 (very high). Now add up all your points and discuss their implications for being a successful practitioner of organizational politics. Interpersonal behavior in complex organizations inevitably produces power differences. Five sources of power are reviewed as a basis for seeing which are most constructive. We conclude the chapter with a discussion of the pros and cons of organizational politics—and then we suggest the use of various influence strategies to build strong reciprocal relationships among people. CONFLICT IN ORGANIZATIONS The Nature of Conflict What is conflict? Conflict can occur in any situation in which two or more parties feel themselves in opposition. Conflict is an interpersonal process that arises from disagreements over the goals to attain, the methods to be used to accomplish those goals, or even the tone of voice used as people express their positions. In the potential argument reported in the previous section, Joyce and Joan differ over both the goal and the method of achieving it. Further, Joyce’s sarcastic tone didn’t help either. Consequently, the conflict may be even more difficult to resolve, but they must find a way. In addition to conflicts over goals or methods, conflicts also arise due to task interdependence, ambiguity of roles, policies, and rules, personality differences, ineffective communications, the competition over scarce resources, personal stress, and underlying differences in attitudes, beliefs, and experiences. In organizations everywhere, conflict among different interests is inevitable, and sometimes the amount of conflict is substantial and destructive. Some managers estimate that they spend 20 percent of their time dealing with conflict. They may be either direct participants or they could be mediators trying to resolve conflict between two or more of their employees. In either case, knowledge and understanding of conflict and the methods for resolving it are important. Several research studies over time have consistently indicated the important role of interpersonal behavior in the success or failure of managers.3 One of the prime reasons for derailment of previously successful executives is insensitivity to others. Some managers, lauded as exceptionally intelligent and sporting strong performance records, later failed because of inability to adapt to a boss. And a composite portrait of failed European managers indicated they were insensitive, manipulative, abusive, demeaning, overly critical, and incapable of building trusting relationships. Under these conditions, conflict—with peers and employees—inevitably emerges. 288 What Managers Are Reading EVERYDAY CAUSES OF CONFLICT Marshall Goldsmith, a highly successful executive coach and author, suggests that much conflict is caused by simple and predictable behaviors. People exaggerate their own contributions, ignore the problems they have created, take credit for the contributions that others make, and project an inflated image of their skills. Goldsmith recommends that managers stop their use of sarcasm, unfair treatment of others, blaming behaviors, overuse of argumentation (“no” and “but”), and curb their need to win at all costs. Unfortunately, many executives falsely believe these same behaviors contributed to their previous success and therefore are reluctant to change. Source: Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, New York: Hyperion, 2007. Levels of Conflict Conflict can occur within an employee, between individuals or groups, and across organizations as they compete. Chapter 4 examined how different role expectations and role ambiguity (lack of clarity over how to act) produces conflict. Intrapersonal Conflict Although most role conflict occurs when an employee’s supervisor or peers send conflicting expectations to him or her, it is possible for intrapersonal role conflict to emerge from within an individual, as a result of competing roles taken. For example, Sabrina may see herself as both the manager of a team responsible for protecting and enlarging its resources and as a member of the executive staff charged with the task of reducing operating costs. Interpersonal Conflict Interpersonal conflicts (for examples, see What Managers Are Reading) are a serious problem to many people because they deeply affect a person’s emotions. People have a need to protect their self-image and self-esteem from damage by others, as noted in the discussion of face-saving on page 59. When one’s self-concept is threatened, serious upset occurs and relationships deteriorate. Sometimes the temperaments of two persons are incompatible and their personalities clash. In other instances, conflicts develop from failures of communication or differences in perception. An office employee was upset by a conflict with another employee in a different department. The first employee felt there was no way to resolve the conflict. However, when a counselor explained the different organizational roles of the two employees as seen from the whole organization’s point of view, the first employee’s perceptions changed and the conflict rapidly diminished and eventually vanished. Intergroup Conflict Intergroup conflicts, for example, between different departments, also cause problems. On a major scale such conflicts are something like the wars between juvenile gangs. Each group sets out to undermine the other, gain power, harness available resources, and improve its image. Conflicts arise from such causes as different viewpoints, group loyalties, and poor communication. Resources are limited in any organization—and are increasingly tight as organizations struggle to be competitive. Since most groups feel they need more than they can secure, the seeds of intergroup conflict exist wherever resources are limited. We noted earlier that some conflict can be constructive, and this is certainly true at the intergroup level. Here, conflict may provide a clue that a critical problem between two departments needs to be resolved rather than allowed to smolder. Unless issues are brought into the open, they cannot be fully understood or explored. Once intergroup conflict emerges, it creates a motivating force encouraging the two groups to resolve the conflict so as to 289 290 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior Conflict can be escalated or de-escalated to make it productive move the relationship to a new equilibrium. Viewed this way, intergroup conflict is sometimes escalated—intentionally stimulated in organizations because of its constructive consequences. On other occasions, it may be desirable to de-escalate it—intentionally decrease it because of its potentially destructive consequences. The managerial challenge is to keep conflict at a moderate level (where it is most likely to stimulate creative thought but not interfere with performance). Conflict should not become so intense that individual parties either hide it or escalate it to destructive levels. Sources of Conflict Interpersonal conflict arises from a variety of sources (see Figure 11.1): Face-saving is important • Organizational change—People hold differing views over the direction to go, the routes to take and their likely success, the resources to be used, and the probable outcomes. With the pace of technological, political, and social change increasing and the marketplace having become a global economy, organizational changes will be ever-present. • Different sets of values—People also hold different beliefs and adhere to different value systems. Their philosophies may diverge, or their ethical values may lead them in different directions. The resulting disputes can be difficult to resolve, since they are less objective than disagreements over alternative products, inventory levels, or promotional campaigns. • Threats to status—Chapter 4 suggests that status, or the social rank of a person in a group, is very important to many individuals. When one’s status is threatened, face-saving (the drive to protect one’s self-image) becomes a powerful driving force as a person struggles to maintain a desired image. Conflict may arise between the defensive person and whoever created a threat to status. • Contrasting perceptions—People perceive things differently as a result of their prior experiences and expectations. Since their perceptions are very real to them, and they assume these perceptions must be equally apparent to others, they sometimes fail to realize that others may hold contrasting perceptions of the same object or event. Conflict may arise unless employees learn to see things as others see them and help others do the same. • Lack of trust—Every continuing relationship requires some degree of trust—the capacity to voluntarily depend on each other’s word and actions. When someone has a real or perceived reason not to trust another, the potential for conflict rises. Trust will be discussed more thoroughly later in this chapter. • Incivility—Mutual respect, empathy, and caring are the glues that hold work groups together, yet many organizations report they are being torn apart by rudeness and a lack of “common” courtesy. Workplace incivility occurs when employees fail to exhibit concern and regard for others or—worse yet—disrespect each other on the job.4 Lack of consideration can appear in many forms, including brusque greetings, sarcasm, failure to return borrowed supplies, selfishness, showing up late for appointments, untidiness, or noise (such as playing a radio loudly and using cell phones in public places). Possible causes include new technologies, escalating demands on employees, changing social norms, and a lack of a sense of community across a workforce that has become fragmented through reliance on part-time and temporary employees. Regardless of the cause, workplace incivility can cause tensions to rise, anger to flare, and conflict to emerge. Recipients of incivility most often report that their organizational commitment declined, they spent precious work time worrying about the behavior or avoiding the offender, or even took their frustration out on customers. Simple solutions to the incivility problem include: • Paying attention to others • Listening to their points of view Chapter 11 Conflict, Power, and Organizational Politics 291 FIGURE 11.1 A Model of the Conflict Resolution Process Causes of conflict • Organizational change • Different sets of values • Threats to status • Contrasting perceptions • Lack of trust • Incivility • Difficult tasks • Personality clashes Perceptions of conflict • Constructive • Destructive Participant intentions • Winning • Losing Resolution strategies • Avoiding • Smoothing • Forcing • Compromising • Confronting Conflict outcomes • Lose–Lose • Lose–Win • Win–Lose • Win–Win 292 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior • Inclusively welcoming others • Showing respect for others’ time, space, and opinions • Apologizing earnestly when appropriate • Speaking kindly of others • Refraining from gossiping or making idle complaints • Avoiding blaming others • Giving constructive criticism objectively5 • Difficult tasks—Occasionally managers are charged with performing distasteful tasks that predictably result in conflict. These tasks—referred to by some as “necessary evils”—include mass layoffs, personal firings for underperformance, negative performance reviews, and disciplinary actions.6 Under these circumstances, some employees strike back at their manager—either orally or physically. • Personality clashes—Chapter 1 stated that the concept of individual differences is fundamental to organizational behavior. Not everyone thinks, feels, looks, or acts alike. Some people simply rub us the wrong way, and we cannot necessarily explain why. Although personality differences can cause conflict, they are also a rich resource for creative problem solving. Employees need to accept, respect, and learn how to use these differences when they arise. How do personalities differ? Many traits have been identified, but they seem to cluster around five major factors: agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness to experience, emotional stability, and extroversion (the polar extremes of each are shown in Figure 11.2).7 Conscientious employees have lower absenteeism rates, are careful regarding the quality of their work, set challenging performance goals for themselves, and demonstrate more frequent organizational citizenship behaviors. Emotionally stable individuals seem to handle stress better than others. Employees high on the openness to experience trait are less resistant in the face of rapid organizational change. Extroverted individuals are outgoing and often interact well with customers. Agreeable people tend to be patient, cooperative, and empathetic. Several of the traits (e.g., emotional stability, agreeableness, and conscientiousness) imply a lower likelihood of interpersonal conflict, since these types of individuals are more courteous, self-disciplined, and sensitive to the feelings and positions of others. A highly popular personality test used in a wide array of organizations is the MyersBriggs Type Indicator (MBTI).8 The MBTI draws upon the work of Carl Jung, a psychiatrist, and differentiates people into 16 major categories based on their preferences for thinking (using rational logic) versus feeling (considering the impact on others), judging FIGURE 11.2 Five Major Personality Traits One Extreme Trait Opposite Extreme Caring, sensitive, empathetic Dependable, selfdisciplined Curious, flexible, receptive Calm, relaxed, comfortable Assertive, outgoing, talkative Agreeableness Uncooperative, irritable Conscientiousness Disorganized, careless Openness to experience Emotional stability (negative affectivity) Extroversion (positive affectivity) Closed, fixed, resistant Self-critical, questioning, pessimistic Quiet, reserved, cautious Chapter 11 Conflict, Power, and Organizational Politics On the Job: Southwest Airlines The MBTI has been an integral part of Southwest Airlines’ University for People leadership classes. This personality inventory has proven most useful in helping thousands of their employees become more aware of their own idiosyncrasies while also sensitizing them to the unique characteristics Sixteen different types 293 of their co-workers. It also reminds them that no one type is necessarily better than another or more successful in the business world. The common denominator across MyersBriggs types is the recommendation to treat people with respect in an atmosphere of mutual understanding.9 (rapidly solving ordered problems) versus perceiving (preferring spontaneity), extroversion (asserting themselves confidently) versus introversion (preferring to work alone), and sensing (organizing details in a structured fashion) versus intuition (relying on subjective evidence and gut feelings) (see “On the Job: Southwest Airlines”). Effects of Conflict Advantages Disadvantages Conflict is often seen by participants as destructive, but this is a limited view. In fact, if all conflict with co-workers is avoided, each party is likely deprived of useful information about the other’s preferences and views. Conflict is not all bad; rather, it may result in either productive or nonproductive outcomes. A more positive view, then, is to see that conflict is nearly inevitable and to search for ways in which it can result in constructive outcomes. One of the benefits produced by conflict is that people are stimulated to search for improved approaches that lead to better results. It energizes them to be more creative and to experiment with new ideas. Another benefit is that once-hidden problems are brought to the surface, where they may be confronted and solved. Just as fermentation of grapes is necessary in the production of fine wines, a certain amount of ferment can create a deeper understanding among the parties involved in a conflict. And once the conflict is resolved, the individuals may be more committed to the outcome through their involvement in solving it. There are also possible disadvantages, especially if the conflict lasts a long period of time, becomes too intense, or is allowed to focus on personal issues. At the interpersonal level, cooperation and teamwork may deteriorate. Distrust may grow among people who need to coordinate their efforts. At the individual level some people may be distracted or feel defeated, while the self-image of others will decline and personal anxiety and stress levels (discussed in Chapter 15) will rise. Predictably, the motivation level of some employees will be reduced, along with an erosion of their satisfaction and commitment. It is important, then, for managers to be aware of the potential for interpersonal and intergroup conflicts, to anticipate their likely outcomes, and to use appropriate conflict resolution strategies. A Model of Conflict Conflict arises from many sources and directions. It also varies in the speed of its emergence and in the degree of its predictability. Sometimes it smolders for a long time like a hot ember and then springs to life like a flame when the hot coal is fanned. Other times it simply seems to explode without warning, like the sudden eruption of a dangerous volcano. Critical Thinking Exercise Conflict arises both within, and between, nations around the world. Question: What are the major contributing factors to conflict at the international level? 293 294 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior FIGURE 11.3 3 Individual A’s outcome Four Possible Outcomes of Conflict; Four Possible Intentions of the Participants 4 Win–Lose Win Win–Win 1 Lose 2 Lose–Lose Lose–Win Lose Win Individual B’s outcome Four outcomes are possible Intentions affect strategies And just like the flame that can warm us in need or sear us with its heat, conflict can be constructive or destructive. Managers, therefore, must know when to stimulate conflict and when to resolve it. Part of the answer to this dilemma is shown in Figure 11.1, which portrays the conflict resolution process. The various sources discussed earlier give rise to constructive or destructive conflict. If conflict will be harmful, managers need to apply a conflict resolution strategy to prevent, diminish, or remove it. Then, the outcomes of conflict (winning or losing) must be evaluated from the perspectives of both parties. Conflict Outcomes Conflict may produce four distinct outcomes, depending on the approaches taken by the people involved. Figure 11.3 illustrates these outcomes. The first quadrant, termed “lose–lose,” depicts a situation in which a conflict deteriorates to the point that both parties are worse off than they were before. An extreme example is the case of an executive who fires the only person who knows the secret formula for the organization’s most successful product. The second quadrant is “lose–win,” a situation in which one person (individual A) is defeated while the other one (individual B) is victorious. In quadrant 3 (“win–lose”) the situation is reversed, with person B losing to person A. The fourth quadrant is the win–win outcome of conflict, in which both parties perceive they are in a better position than they were before the conflict began. This is the preferred outcome to try to achieve in ongoing relationships, such as with suppliers, customers, and employees. Although it may be an unrealistic ideal in some situations, it is a fundamental organizational behavior perspective toward which all parties should aim. Participant Intentions Conflict outcomes are a product of the participants’ intentions, as well as their strategies. For example, Jason may actually seek a lose–win outcome in a conflict with Becky because of the perceived benefits of being defeated on a particular issue. He may fear the consequences of retribution from too many earlier victories over Becky, or he may try to lose in the hope that Becky will reciprocate on another issue in the future. At the other extreme, Marcia may hope for a win–lose outcome in her conflict with Jessica. This intended effect is often caused by a “fixed-pie” (or zero-sum) viewpoint, in which Marcia believes she can succeed only at the expense of Jessica. Chapter 11 Conflict, Power, and Organizational Politics 295 Five strategies Resolution Strategies Intentions help participants select their strategies. Once they have been chosen, the strategies implemented will have a substantial impact on the outcomes reached (actual winning or losing). The simplest strategies focus on the contrasting approaches of either cooperation or competition, but a widely used typology suggests there are at least four clearly different strategies (and a combination one, called compromising). Each of these represents different degrees of concern for one’s own outcomes and for another’s results, and has a predictable outcome:10 • Avoiding—physical or mental withdrawal from the conflict. This approach reflects a low concern for either party’s outcomes and often results in a lose–lose situation. • Smoothing—accommodating the other party’s interests. This approach places greatest emphasis on concern for others, usually to one’s own detriment, resulting in a lose–win outcome. • Forcing—using power tactics to achieve a win. This strategy relies on aggressiveness and dominance to achieve personal goals at the expense of concern for the other party. The likely result is a win–lose situation. • Compromising—searching for middle ground or being willing to give up something in exchange for gaining something else. This strategy reflects a moderate degree of concern for self and others, with no clear-cut outcome. • Confronting—facing the conflict directly and working it through to a mutually satisfactory resolution. Also known as problem solving or integrating, this tactic seeks to maximize the achievement of both party’s goals, resulting in a win–win outcome. Any one of the strategies may be effective for its intended purpose. However, the avoiding and smoothing approaches are basically useful for hiding or diminishing the conflict process. This means that in some way these approaches control the degree of conflict and reduce its harmful side effects while it is under way, but the source of conflict still exists. The same is true when two parties compromise their positions just for the sake of reaching a solution. The idea of compromise is seductive if the objective is to escape from the conflict at minimal cost, but it often stifles creativity. The use of a forcing approach may achieve a short-term goal but often irreparably harms the long-term relationship between the parties. Only the confronting strategy can truly be viewed as a resolution approach, since this method addresses the basic differences involved and eventually removes them through creative problem solving. The confronting approach (see Figure 11.4 for a set of operating guidelines) has many behavioral benefits. Both parties will more likely see the recent FIGURE 11.4 Guidelines for Conflict Resolution through Confrontation 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Agree on the common goal: to solve the problem. Commit yourself to fluid, not fixed, positions. Clarify the strengths and weaknesses of both party’s positions. Recognize the other person’s, and your own, possible need for face-saving. Be candid and up-front; don’t hold back key information. Avoid arguing or using “yes-but” responses; maintain control over your emotions. Strive to understand the other person’s viewpoint, needs, and bottom line. Ask questions to elicit needed information; probe for deeper meanings and support. Make sure both parties have a vested interest in making the outcome succeed. Give the other party substantial credit when the conflict is over. 296 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior A Diversity of Preferences Is there a single conflict resolution approach that all parties tend to use? Or might we find distinctive preferences and patterns among different groups, and even among different cultures? Although research evidence is not overwhelming, it suggests these differences may exist: • Males tend to use the forcing approach as their dominant style; females use forcing less, and often rely on a range of other tactics including collaboration. • Managers tend to use the forcing approach; their employees prefer avoiding, smoothing, or compromising. • American managers tend to be competitive; Japanese managers prefer to use a cooperative approach. Other significant tendencies emerge, too. Each party in a conflict tends to mimic the style of the other (e.g., forcing induces forcing; accommodating induces accommodating). People tend to choose different resolution styles for different issues (e.g., confrontation is often used in performance appraisals; compromise is more likely used on issues involving personal habits and mannerisms). Once again, it is apparent that a variety of contingency factors (including group-diversity characteristics such as gender) affect the choice of a behavioral strategy. Sources: James A. Wall Jr. and Ronda Roberts Callister, “Conflict and Its Management,” Journal of Management, vol. 21, no. 3, 1995, pp. 515–558; Richard Hodgetts and Fred Luthans, International Management, 3d ed., New York: McGraw-Hill, 1997; Sheryl D. Brahnam et al., “A Gender-Based Categorization for Conflict Resolution,” Journal of Management Development, vol. 24, no. 3, 2005, pp. 197–208. conflict as productive, since both received gains. Also important is their perception that the process was a mutually supportive one in which problem solving and collaboration helped integrate the positions of both parties. As a result, participants find the confronting approach to be the most satisfying, as they maintain their self-respect and gain new respect for the other party. Many labor–management groups have in recent years sought new ways to confront each other constructively in order to attain win–win relationships. The benefits of cooperative controversy A review and meta-analysis of 28 experimental studies across different settings and populations was conducted. The results clearly showed that cooperative controversy (an approach emphasizing open-minded disagreement and an airing of expectations and preferences) was most effective. Higher-quality solutions to complex problems were attained, better reasoning strategies and creative perspectives were used, and participants reported greater openness, interpersonal liking, and social support.11 A wide variety of other tools and ideas have been successfully used to resolve conflicts. Sometimes the simple application of a relevant rule or policy can solve a dispute. Other times, the parties can be separated by reassigning work spaces, removing one person from a committee, or placing workers on different shifts. Another alternative is to insert a third party into the interaction—a consultant, mediator, or other neutral person who can ignore personal issues and facilitate resolution. A constructive approach is to challenge the parties to work together toward a unifying goal, such as higher revenues or better customer satisfaction. Relationship-Restoring Approaches Stable working relationships sometimes get damaged through actions or statements (either accidental or intentional) by another. And just as a house damaged by a tornado requires prompt and expert reconstruction, so does an Chapter 11 Conflict, Power, and Organizational Politics 297 interpersonal relationship demand rebuilding. Goffman and others suggest this rebuilding is best viewed as requiring four stages: 1. Signaling the offense—This involves the victim naming the action, blaming (identifying) the offender, and voicing the grievance (overtly or covertly) to let the person know the victim has taken offense. 2. Acknowledgment of error—Assuming that the offender is willing to do so, this person must take some action to restore the relationship, such as admitting the error, explaining oneself, sincerely apologizing, expressing personal concern, or providing some form of compensation. 3. Acceptance—The recipient of the acknowledgment then has the opportunity—and an implied obligation in this interpersonal ritual—to accept (or reject) the offering. This would normally be followed by explicit or implicit forgiveness and (hopefully) a restoration or even improvement in the victim’s impression of the offender. 4. Appreciation—The final step in this interpersonal ritual is for the offender to express thanks and gratitude to the victim for allowing the earlier equilibrium to be restored. When the four steps are completed, each person is usually willing to renew their interaction in the future.12 Negotiating Tactics Much research has addressed the question, What kinds of behaviors help resolve conflicts in a win–win fashion? Time and again, some basic patterns show through: select a neutral site, arrange the seating in a comfortable fashion (preferably oriented toward a projection screen or writing surface), don’t permit observers to be present (because they implicitly place performance pressure on the negotiators), and set deadlines to force a resolution. Individual negotiators are advised to set minimum and optimum goals for themselves in advance, engage in a thorough data gathering process, listen carefully to what the other party says and how it is said, avoid blaming and name-calling, focus on issues and not personalities, separate facts from feelings, and search for the areas where they can obtain concessions on important topics while making matching concessions in areas of lesser interest. If done well, these tactics should produce an outcome that is fair for both parties, removes the underlying cause of the conflict, and is accomplished with a minimal investment of time and energy.13 Building vs. destroying trust Trust-building We noted earlier that the absence of trust increases the chances of conflict. Trust, the capacity to depend voluntarily on each other’s words and actions, implies a willingness to take interpersonal risks and to be vulnerable. Trust involves dependency on another person, and a belief that she or he will act benevolently and can be relied upon. It is an essential ingredient in enduring relations between two or more people working together.14 How do you express trust toward another person? It can be done by showing respect, exhibiting sincere caring and concern, by being honest and true to one’s word, and by demonstrating your dependability and reliability. As one executive put it succinctly, “Say what you mean and mean what you say.” By contrast, trust can be rapidly dissolved by telling half-truths and lies, by showing inconsistencies between promises and actions, by threatening the goal achievement or self-image of others, and by withholding needed information from them. The benefits of trust are manifold. Its presence encourages risk-taking, facilitates free flows of information, and contributes to cooperative relationships. It also eliminates much of the perceived need to monitor someone else’s behavior in a tightly controlling way. Overall, trust leads to a more satisfying relationship with others—supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates.15 298 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior ASSERTIVE BEHAVIOR Assertiveness Stages in assertiveness Confronting conflict is not easy for some people. When faced with the need to negotiate with others, some managers may feel inferior, lack necessary skills, or be in awe of the other person’s power. Under these conditions they are likely to suppress their feelings (part of the avoidance strategy) or to strike out in unintended anger. Neither response is truly productive. A constructive alternative is to practice assertive behaviors. Assertiveness is the process of expressing feelings, asking for legitimate changes, and giving and receiving honest feedback. An assertive individual is not afraid to request that another person change an offensive behavior and is willing to refuse unreasonable requests from someone else. Assertiveness training involves teaching people to develop effective ways of dealing with a variety of anxiety-producing situations. Assertive people are direct, honest, and expressive. They feel confident, gain selfrespect, and make others feel valued. A poor alternative is aggressiveness, in which people may humiliate others, and passive (unassertive) people who elicit either pity or scorn from others and seldom have much positive impact. Both alternatives to assertiveness typically are less effective for achieving a desired goal during a conflict. Moderate levels of assertiveness are often the most effective. Being assertive in a situation involves five stages, as shown in Figure 11.5. When confronted with an intolerable situation, assertive people describe it objectively, express their emotional reactions and feelings, and empathize with the other’s position. Then, they offer problemsolving alternatives and indicate the consequences (positive or negative) that will follow. Not all five steps may be necessary in all situations. As a minimum, it is important to describe the present situation and make recommendations for change. Use of the other steps would depend on the significance of the problem and the relationship between the people involved. Karla, the supervisor of a small office staff, had a problem. Her administrative assistant, Manny, had become increasingly careless about his morning arrival time. Not only did Manny almost never arrive before 8 a.m., but his tardiness varied from a few minutes to nearly a half hour. Although Karla was reluctant to confront Manny, she knew she must do so or the rest of the staff would be unhappy. Karla called Manny into her office soon after Manny arrived (tardily) the next morning and drew upon her assertiveness training. “You have been arriving late almost every day for the past two weeks,” she began (descriptively). “This is unacceptable in an office that prides itself on prompt customer service beginning FIGURE 11.5 Stages in Assertive Behavior Stage Example 1. Describe the behavior. ”When you do this . . .” 2. Express your feelings. ”I feel . . .” 3. Empathize. ”I understand why you . . .” 4. Offer problem-solving alternatives. ”I want you to consider changing to either . . .” 5. Indicate consequences. ”If you do (don’t), I will . . .” ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ Chapter 11 Conflict, Power, and Organizational Politics 299 at 8 a.m. I recognize there may be legitimate reasons for tardiness on occasion, but I need you to get to work on time most days in the future. If you don’t, I will insert a letter into your personnel file and also note your behavior on your six-month performance appraisal. Will you agree to change?” (Confronted directly like this, Manny acknowledged his behavior and dramatically improved it.) Assertive behavior generally is most effective when it integrates a number of verbal and nonverbal components. Eye contact is a means of expressing sincerity and self-confidence in many cultures, and an erect body posture and direct body positioning (close proximity and leaning forward) may increase the impact of a message. Appropriate gestures may be used, congruent facial expressions are essential, and a strong but modulated voice tone and volume will be convincing. Perhaps most important is the spontaneous and forceful expression of an honest reaction, such as “Tony, I get angry when you always turn in your report a day late!” Facilitating Smooth Relations Good interpersonal relationships among co-workers and across organizational levels take time, effort, knowledge, and skill. One key skill involves interpersonal facilitation— the capacity to focus on others’ personal needs, sensitivities, and idiosyncrasies, and then work to keep conflict under control and collaboration high among team members. This requires awareness of which personality traits would create synergy within a team, which employees have “hot buttons” that might set off emotional explosions, and when to intervene behind the scenes. Interpersonal facilitation, to be most successful, is built on a foundation of care, concern, sensitivity, and psychological flexibility (openness to the moment). Genuine caring is a feeling of commitment to help another person exist, solve problems, and grow as an individual. Caring underlies compassion for others, which is a four-step action-oriented process: 1. Noticing that someone else is suffering or distressed. 2. Appraising that the other person is self-relevant (has compatible values, preferences, and beliefs). 3. Feeling that the person is worried or hurt (empathizing with them). 4. Compassionate responding is the process of taking actions that will diminish or eliminate the other person’s discomfort or anguish.16 Managers with well-developed interpersonal facilitation skills often engage in one or more of the following behaviors: • Building on their emotional intelligence (see the earlier discussion on pp. 214–215) • Learning about co-workers’ personal lives • Making mental notes about employee likes and dislikes, values, interests, and preferences • Monitoring other people’s degree of job involvement, mood level, commitment, and satisfaction • Developing and applying their facilitative skills in a variety of social settings Stroking People seek stroking in their interactions with others, and this provides a prime opportunity for interpersonal facilitation. Stroking is defined as any act of recognition for another. It applies to all types of recognition, such as physical, verbal, and nonverbal contact between On the Job: Merrill Lynch Melissa, a stockbroker at Merrill Lynch, had just made a presentation to a group of prospective customers. Later, she excitedly asked her manager how she had done. “You did a nice job,” he began (and Melissa’s eyes lit up in pleasure), Types of strokes Conditional and unconditional strokes FIGURE 11.6 Probable Relationships of Conflict Resolution Strategies and Behavior 300 “not a great job, but a nice job.” Although she didn’t show her disappointment, we can guess that her spirits were considerably dampened by his qualified remark. people. In most jobs, the primary method of stroking is verbal, such as “Pedro, you had an excellent sales record last month.” Examples of physical strokes are a pat on the back and a firm handshake. Strokes may be positive, negative, or mixed. Positive strokes feel good when they are received, and they contribute to the recipient’s sense of well-being and self-esteem. Negative strokes hurt physically or emotionally and make recipients feel less proud of themselves. An example of a mixed stroke is this supervisor’s comment: “Oscar, that’s a good advertising layout, considering the small amount of experience you have in this field.” There also is a difference between conditional and unconditional strokes. Conditional strokes are offered to employees if they perform correctly or avoid problems. A sales manager may promise an employee that “I will give you a raise if you sell three more insurance policies.” Unconditional strokes are presented without any connection to behavior. Although they may make a person feel good (e.g., “You’re a fine employee”), they may be confusing to employees because they do not indicate how more strokes may be earned. Supervisors will get better results if they give more strokes in a behavior modification framework, where the reward is contingent upon the desired activity. Employee hunger for strokes, and the occasional reluctance of supervisors to use them, is demonstrated in the conversation illustrated in “On the Job: Merrill Lynch.” Applications to Conflict Resolution Several natural connections lie between assertiveness and the approaches to resolving conflict discussed earlier in this chapter. The probable connections are shown in Figure 11.6. Once more, the relationship among a number of behavioral ideas and actions is apparent in this connection between confronting and assertiveness. Assertiveness training and stroking, when used in combination, can be powerful tools for increasing one’s interpersonal effectiveness. They share the goal of helping employees feel good about themselves and others. The result is that they help improve communication and interpersonal cooperation. Although they can be practiced by individuals, these tools will be most effective when widely used throughout the organization and supported by top management. Together, they form an important foundation for the more complex challenges confronting people who work in small groups and committees. Resolution Strategy Probable Behavior Avoidance Nonassertiveness Smoothing Nonassertiveness Forcing Aggressiveness Confronting Assertiveness Chapter 11 Conflict, Power, and Organizational Politics 301 POWER AND POLITICS All leaders deal with power and politics. Power is the ability to influence other people and events. It is traditionally the leader’s way to get things done, the way leaders extend their influence to others. It is somewhat different from authority, because authority is delegated by higher management. Power, on the other hand, is earned and gained by leaders on the basis of their personalities, activities, resources, and the situations in which they operate. Types of Power Five sources of power Power develops in a number of ways. There are five bases of power, and each has a unique source.17 Personal Power Personal power, also called referent power or charismatic power, comes from each leader individually. It is the ability of leaders to develop followers from the strength of their own personalities. They have a personal magnetism, an air of confidence, and a passionate belief in objectives that attract and hold followers. People follow because they want to do so; their emotions tell them to do so. The leader senses the needs and goals of people and promises success in reaching them. Well-known historical examples are Joan of Arc in France, Mahatma Gandhi in India, Winston Churchill in England, and John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King in the United States. President Barack Obama demonstrated some of the same characteristics in his campaign speeches. Legitimate Power Legitimate power, also known as position power and official power, comes from higher authority. It arises from the culture of society by which power is delegated legitimately from higher established authorities to others. It gives leaders the power to control resources and to reward and punish others. People accept this power because they believe it is desirable and necessary to maintain order and discourage anarchy in a society. In work organizations, there is social pressure from peers and friends who accept legitimate power and then expect others to accept it. Expert Power Expert power, also known as the authority of knowledge, comes from specialized learning. It is power that arises from a person’s knowledge of and information about a complex situation. It depends on education, training, and experience, so it is an important type of power in our modern technological society. For example, if your spouse were having an asthma attack in a hospital emergency room, you would be likely to give your attention to the physician who comes in to provide treatment rather than to the helper who is delivering fresh laundry supplies, even though both persons express equal concern about your spouse. The reason is that you expect the physician to be a capable expert in the situation, based on extensive prior training and experience. Reward Power Reward power is the capacity to control and administer items valued by another. It arises from an individual’s ability to give pay raises, recommend someone for promotion or transfer, or even make favorable work assignments. Many rewards may be under a manager’s control, and these are not limited to material items. Reward power can also stem from the capacity to provide organizational recognition, to include an employee in a social group, or simply to give positive feedback for a job well done. Reward power serves as the basis for reinforcing desirable behavior, as discussed in Chapter 5. Coercive Power Coercive power is the capacity to punish another, or at least to create a perceived threat to do so. Managers with coercive power can threaten an employee’s job security, make punitive changes in someone’s work schedule, or, at the extreme, administer physical force. Coercive power uses fear as a motivator, which can be a powerful force in inducing short-term action. However, it is likely to have an overall negative impact on the receiver and therefore its use should be limited. 302 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior FIGURE 11.7 Possible Responses to the Use of Power Resistance Compliance Commitment Effects of Power Bases Outcomes include resistance, compliance, or commitment The five types of power are developed from different sources, but they are interrelated in practice. Reward, coercive, and legitimate power are essentially derived from one’s position in the organization. Expert and personal power reside within the person. When even one power base is removed from a supervisor, employees may perceive that other bases of influence will decline as well. The use of a power base must fit its organizational context in order to be effective. Managers also need to be concerned about the effects of various power bases on employee motivation. Employees can respond in one of three ways, as shown in Figure 11.7. They may resist the leader’s initiative, especially if coercive power is used consistently, without apparent cause, or in an arrogant manner. They may comply with the leader’s wishes by meeting minimal expectations while withholding extra effort. Legitimate power will likely result in compliance, as will reward power unless the rewards are substantial and directly related to employee needs. The most desirable outcome from wielding power is commitment, which is the enthusiastic release of energy and talent to satisfy the leader’s requests. Referent and expert power are most likely to produce commitment, but legitimate and reward power can also work well under certain conditions. Organizational Politics Self-interest is the key While the five bases of power are essentially acquired and used to achieve formal organizational goals, many managers and employees resort to another (supplemental) set of behaviors to accomplish personal goals at work. Organizational politics refers to intentional behaviors that are used to enhance or protect a person’s influence and self-interest while also inspiring confidence and trust by others.18 Political skill consists of four key dimensions: • Being socially astute (accurately perceiving and understanding what is taking place in social interactions—although it is often beneath the surface) • Having interpersonal influence (adapting one’s behaviors to most effectively elicit a desired response from others) • Creating useful networks (developing personal contacts into useful allies and supporters) • Expressing sincerity (exhibiting honest and authentic intentions in one’s interactions with others such that they trust you) Used professionally and as a supplement to technical competence and a strong work ethic, these behaviors may help attain a well-earned promotion, sell higher management on the merits of a proposal that will expand one’s responsibilities and resources, or gain personal visibility. Other employees, however, either (naively) choose to avoid politics at all costs or aggressively decide to use politics in a self-serving, manipulative, predatory, and deceitful fashion. Political behaviors become dysfunctional when threats are used to achieve one’s goals, when strong coalitions are formed to block a legitimate objective, when untrue information is circulated in hopes of vindictively accomplishing character Chapter 11 Conflict, Power, and Organizational Politics 303 Critical Thinking Exercise Consider the various tactics used to gain political power, as portrayed in Figure 11.8. Question: What are some pros and cons of using these? assassination of a career competitor, or when outright sabotage occurs. The risk is that unscrupulous employees involved in organizational politics might put their self-interest above that of their employer in their attempts to gain political power for short-term or long-term benefits. One survey of more than 400 managers provided insight into their views toward organizational politics.19 To a large extent, the managers agreed that: • Politics is common in most organizations. • Managers must be good at politics to expedite their own career advancement. • Politics is practiced more frequently at higher organizational levels, and in larger firms. • Too much politics can detract from organizational efficiency and goal attainment. Influence and Political Power Action steps for gaining personal influence Managers, and all employees, in contemporary organizations must learn to produce results, elicit cooperation, and make things happen without reliance on traditional forms of power. As difficult as this goal sounds, it is still possible if managers begin with the premise that everyone is motivated primarily by her or his own self-interest. Knowing this, a person can influence others by making mutually beneficial exchanges with them to gain their cooperation. The following are eight steps to follow for increasing your influence: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Norm of reciprocity Treat the other party as a potential ally; avoid making enemies. Clearly identify your own objectives, and pick your battles to fight (avoiding minor ones). Learn about the other party’s needs, interests, expectations, and goals. Inventory your own resources to identify something of value you can offer (see the discussion of idiosyncrasy credits in Chapter 10). Assess your current relationship with the other person. Decide what to ask for and what to offer. Make the actual exchange that produces a gain for both parties. Even if you “win,” don’t gloat; be gracious and avoid boasting.20 Leaders can use a number of tactics to gain political power. Several examples are given in Figure 11.8. (Networking—developing and maintaining contacts among a group of people with shared interests—is another source of influence and was presented in Chapter 3. Networking has become increasingly popular through the use of websites such as LinkedIn.) Two of the most popular tactics are social exchanges and alliances of various types. Social exchange implies that “if you’ll do something for me, I’ll do something for you.” It relies on the powerful norm of reciprocity in society, where two people in a continuing relationship feel a strong obligation to repay their social “debts” to each other.21 When these trade-offs are successfully arranged, both parties get something they want. Continuing exchanges of “IOUs” and favors over a period of time 304 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior An Ethics Question Some people suggest there is no room whatsoever for organizational politics. They believe all such actions are self-serving and should be banned, and those who engage in them should be punished because they fail to contribute to the common good and overall objectives of an organization. (Refer back to the second chapter-opening quote, by Jack and Suzy Welch.) Proponents of political behavior, on the other hand, see their actions as critical catalysts that help produce valued results more smoothly. Question: What do you think about the ethics of organizational politics? usually lead to an alliance in which two or more persons join in a temporary or longerterm relationship to get benefits that they mutually desire. TV fans have seen this occur many times in shows such as Survivor. One popular path toward political power is to become identified with a higher authority or a powerful figure in an organization. Then, as the saying goes, some of the power rubs off on you. Often this identification gains you special privileges, and in many cases you become recognized as a representative or spokesperson for the more powerful figure. Others may share problems with you, hoping you will help them gain access to the higher FIGURE 11.8 Examples of Tactics Used to Gain Political Power Tactic Used Example Social exchange In a trade-off, the chief engineer helps the factory manager get a new machine approved if the manager will support an engineering project. Alliances The information system manager and the financial vice president work together on a proposal for a new computer system. Identification with higher authority The president’s personal assistant makes minor decisions for her. Doing favors for others A staff member buys a dozen roses for his boss to bring home on his wedding anniversary. Control of information The research and development manager controls new product information needed by the marketing manager. Selective service The purchasing manager selectively gives faster service to more cooperative associates. Power and status symbols The new controller arranges to double the size of the office, decorate lavishly, and employ a personal assistant. Power plays Manager A arranges with the vice president to transfer part of manager B’s department to A. Networks A young manager joins a country club, or builds contacts on LinkedIn. Posturing Being seen as on the “winning side” of a discussion, or being in the “right place at the right time.” Chapter 11 Conflict, Power, and Organizational Politics 305 figure. An example of identification is the president’s personal assistant who represents the president in many contacts with others. In one company the president’s personal assistant, Katrina Janus, became widely accepted as the president’s representative throughout the company. She issued instructions to other managers in the name of the president, and other managers accepted them as orders. She represented the president on special assignments. She controlled access to the president, and she partly controlled the flow of information both to and from the president. She handled power effectively and so gradually became a major influence in the corporation. When the president retired, the assistant became a major executive and was accepted by other managers. Ingratiation is a political tactic Closely related to the previous technique is the traditional method of simply doing favors for others. In a relationship with a higher authority, this practice of ingratiation is commonly called “apple-polishing” or “kissing up” to a supervisor. Examples include running errands, endorsing their ideas regardless of merit (being a “yes-person”), or voluntarily doing their “dirty work” (undesirable or menial tasks). Although these behaviors are often easily visible to other observers (and despised by them), they sometimes work successfully on persons who have very large egos and enjoy having an entourage of adoring followers around them. Another oft-used way to acquire political power is to give service selectively to your supporters. For example, a purchasing manager gives faster service and bends the rules to help friends who support the purchasing function. Another tactic is to acquire power and status symbols that imply you are an important person in the firm, although this tactic can backfire if you do not have power equal to your symbols. Some managers use the more aggressive tactic of applying power plays to grab power from others. This approach is risky because others may retaliate in ways that weaken the power-grabbing manager’s power. A common tactic for increasing power is to join or form interest groups that have a common objective. These networks operate on the basis of friendships and personal contacts, and may provide a meeting place for influential people. A young manager who joins a community service organization (such as Rotary, Kiwanis, or Lions) or a country club is opening the door to new contacts that may be useful. Posturing is also used to gain influence. Posturing consists of positioning oneself for visibility (such as sitting near an important person in a staff meeting, or even entering/ exiting a room at the same time as an executive does), making sure that others know about your successes, and practicing skills of “one-upmanship” over others. As illustrated by the following example, power and politics are a basic part of leadership success in an organization: Management in a state office was considering whether to move a certain activity from one department to another. Finally, the director of the entire operation decided to hold a staff meeting of all senior managers to decide where the disputed activity should be located. Prior to the meeting the manager of the department that wanted the activity prepared an elaborate and convincing report that fully supported moving the activity to her department. Meanwhile, the manager of the department that might lose the activity was visiting all committee members to mend fences, make trades, and support her department’s point of view. When the committee met two weeks later, most of its members already had decided in favor of the manager who used the political approach. The convincing 306 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior FIGURE 11.9 Common Impression Management Strategies Which of these do you view as acceptable by yourself or others? 1. Personal competence and high performance 2. Meeting one’s commitments; working extra long and hard 3. Solving a crisis; volunteering to help in time of need 4. Articulating your values and displaying highly ethical behavior 5. Engaging in appropriate (and/or edited) self-disclosure 6. Exhibiting a favorable appearance that meets others’ expectations 7. Self-promotion based on results, along with name-dropping 8. Ingratiation activities (flattery, mimicry, being a “yes-person”) 9. Exaggerating your skills and achievements; claiming credit for work done by others 10. Attributing your own problems to other people or events; covering up your deficiencies; pleading for pity logic of the written report was ignored, and the committee voted to retain the activity in its present location. Political skills won the dispute. Managers soon realize that their political power comes from the support of key individuals or the group around them. It arises from a leader’s ability to work with people and social systems to gain their allegiance and support. The effort to gain and use personal power for self-interest involves being alert to others’ needs to save face, engaging in horse trading, making trade-offs, mending fences, developing ingenious compromises, and engaging in a variety of other activities. High and low selfmonitors Research suggests that some people (self-monitors) are more effective at using organizational politics than others.22 In particular, high self-monitors are more adept at regulating themselves and adapting to situational and interpersonal cues. They are sensitive to shifting role expectations, concerned about their impression on others, and responsive to signals they receive. By meeting the expectations of others, they accomplish tasks and are seen as potential leaders. Low self-monitors are more insulated from social cues, behave as they wish, and show less concern for making positive impressions on others. This attitude negatively affects their relationships with others and diminishes their prospects for promotions. Because many employees are vitally interested in their own career success, modern organizations are fertile places for politics to thrive. Leaders who are otherwise capable but who lack self-monitoring capacity and basic political skills will have trouble rising to the top in modern organizations. What they need (assuming high performance) is some emphasis on impression management—the ability to protect and enhance their self-image while intentionally affecting another’s assessment of them. Some impression management strategies include sending positive nonverbal cues (e.g., smiles or eye contact), using flattery, and doing favors for others.23 A variety of other approaches are listed in Figure 11.9. Clearly, a broad range of interpersonal skills is essential for leaders, both for their personal success and for smoothing the path to employee performance. Summary Interpersonal and intergroup conflicts often arise when there is disagreement regarding goals or the methods of attaining them. These conflicts can be either constructive or destructive for the people involved. Several methods exist for resolving conflict (avoiding, Advice to Future Managers 1. View interpersonal conflict as an opportunity for learning and growth and exploration. 2. Search for the underlying cause(s) of conflict so as to predict and understand it. 3. Be alert to clues regarding different personality traits among people; avoid judging them while using the patterns seen to react more positively to them. 4. Convert potential conflict situations into win–win opportunities for both parties. 5. Refine your skills at being a constructively confrontational person; be candid, problem-oriented, questioning, and flexible. 6. Learn to express your feelings and positions in an assertive, honest, expressive fashion so as to get your own needs met. 7. Accept the enormous needs for recognition that most employees have; find legitimate opportunities for stroking them. 8. Assess the nature and strength of your sources of influence and power; learn to draw upon them to increase your chances of success in organizational politics. 9. After developing and demonstrating your technical skills, engage in impression management to polish your images in the eyes of others. 10. Develop your interpersonal facilitation skills so you can intervene effectively to prevent and resolve conflicts between employees while demonstrating your compassion. smoothing, forcing, compromising, and confronting), and they vary in their potential effectiveness. A key issue revolves around intended outcomes for oneself and others: Does an individual want to win or lose, and what is desired for the other party? Generally, a confronting approach has significant merit. Assertive behavior is a useful response in many situations where a person’s legitimate needs have been disregarded. Stroking is sought and provided in social transactions, because it contributes to the satisfaction of recognition needs and reinforces a positive and satisfying interpersonal orientation. Power is needed to run an organization. The five bases of power are personal, legitimate, expert, reward, and coercive. Each of these has a different impact on employees, ranging from resistance to compliance to commitment. Organizational politics is the use of various behaviors that enhance or protect a person’s influence and self-interest. In general, political behaviors in organizations are common, necessary for success, and increasingly practiced at higher levels. Impression management is also a useful strategy to supplement one’s actual performance. Speaking OB: Terms and Concepts for Review 307 Assertiveness, 298 Bases of power, 301 Coercive power, 301 Compassion, 299 Conditional strokes, 300 Conflict, 288 Confronting, 295 Expert power, 301 Impression management, 306 Interpersonal Facilitation, 299 Legitimate power, 301 Mixed stroke, 300 Negative strokes, 300 Norm of reciprocity, 303 Organizational politics, 302 Personal power, 301 Positive strokes, 300 Posturing, 305 Power, 301 Relationship-restoring approaches, 296 Reward power, 301 Self-monitors, 306 Stroking, 299 Trust, 290 Unconditional strokes, 300 Win–win outcome of conflict, 294 Workplace incivility, 290 308 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior Discussion Questions 1. Discuss the relationship between Theory X and Theory Y (as presented in Chapter Two) and conflict resolution strategies. 2. Pair up with another student and explore the concept of trust as a foundation for productive human relationships. Develop several strategies for increasing mutual trust. 3. How assertive are you (rate yourself from 1 low to 10 high)? Should you be more or less assertive? Under what conditions? 4. “Resolved: That all employees should be trained to become more assertive.” Prepare to present the pros and cons in a class debate. 5. Many people do not receive as many strokes as they feel they deserve on a regular basis. Why do they feel this way? What could their managers do about it? What could they do themselves? 6. Think of an organization you are familiar with. What types of power are used there? How do people react to those bases? What changes would you recommend? 7. Identify which tactics of organizational politics you have seen used or read about previously. Develop an action plan for responding to these behaviors if you were to encounter them. 8. Review and explain the idea of a norm of reciprocity as a basis for influencing others. Explain how you have seen it used in interpersonal relationships. How could you make use of it in the future? 9. Review the definition of organizational politics. Can an organization be totally free of political behavior? What would it be like? How could you make it happen? 10. Think about the idea of impression management. In what ways do students use it effectively in the classroom? What additional strategies could they adopt? Assess Your Own Skills How well do you exhibit good interpersonal skills? Read the following statements carefully. Circle the number on the response scale that most closely reflects the degree to which each statement accurately describes you when you have tried to work constructively with someone else. Add up your total points and prepare a brief action plan for self-improvement. Be ready to report your score for tabulation across the entire group. Good description 1. I recognize the multiple sources of conflict and search for the likely cause before I go any further. 2. I am careful not to attack another person’s self-esteem, nor do I let my self-esteem be threatened by what others say. 3. I know when to escalate a conflict and when it makes sense to de-escalate it. 4. I can recognize the strengths and weaknesses of each of the five major personality factors. Poor description 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Chapter 11 Conflict, Power, and Organizational Politics 309 5. I actively attempt to assess the intended outcome of conflict that others seem to project; where necessary, I convert the goal to win–win. 6. I can flexibly shift my behavior among the five major conflict resolution strategies, although I generally prefer the confrontational one. 7. I know what it takes to be assertive, and I am comfortable expressing myself in this way. 8. I use a wide array of impression management strategies and believe I am successful in doing so. 9. I regularly assess, and attempt to further develop, my various bases of power. 10. I recognize the reality of organizational politics and consciously use the norm of reciprocity to help accomplish my goals. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Scoring and Interpretation Add up your total points for the 10 questions. Record that number here, and report it when it is requested. Finally, insert your total score into the “Assess and Improve Your Own Organizational Behavior Skills” chart in Appendix A. • If you scored between 81 and 100 points, you appear to have a solid capability for demonstrating good interpersonal skills. • If you scored between 61 and 80 points, you should take a close look at the items with lower self-assessment scores and explore ways to improve those items. • If you scored under 60 points, you should be aware that a weaker skill level regarding several items could be detrimental to your future success as a motivator. We encourage you to review relevant sections of the chapter and watch for related material in subsequent chapters and other sources. Identify your three lowest scores, and write the question numbers here: _____, _____, _____. Write a brief paragraph, detailing to yourself an action plan for how you might sharpen each of these skills. Incident The Angry Airline Passenger Margie James was night supervisor for an airline in Denver. Her office was immediately behind the ticket counter, and occasionally she was called upon to deal with passengers who had unusual problems that employees could not solve. One evening about 11 p.m., she was asked to deal with an angry passenger who approached her with the comment, “Your 310 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior incompetent employees have lost my bag again, and your !X?#*!! baggage attendant isn’t helping me at all. I want some service. Is everybody incompetent around here? I have an important speech in that bag that I have to deliver at 9 o’clock in the morning, and if I don’t get it, I’ll sue this airline for sure.” Questions How should James respond to the passenger? Would stroking help her? Would assertiveness training help? Experiential Exercise Assessing Political Strategies Working individually, rank-order the following political (influence) strategies according to your willingness to use them (1 greatest; 8 least) to advance your own self-interest at work. When you are through, form groups of about five persons and develop a group assessment (consensus) of the proportion of managers (0–100 percent) who might use each strategy. Afterward, examine the key and discuss any differences. Talk about how use of these strategies might have changed over time. Self-Ranking _____ A. Praising influential people to make them feel good _____ B. Lining up prior support for a decision to be made _____ C. Blaming others for problems (scapegoating) _____ D. Creating social debts by doing favors for others _____ E. Dressing to meet the organization’s standards for successful grooming _____ F. Building a support network of influential people _____ G. Withholding or distorting information that sheds an unfavorable light on your performance _____ H. Forming coalitions with powerful individuals who can support you later Group Assessment of Use by Managers _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ Note: Frequency data obtained from Robert W. Allen, Dan L. Madison, Lyman W. Porter, Patricia A. Renwick, and Bronston T. Mayes, “Organizational Politics: Tactics and Characteristics of Its Actors,” California Management Review, Fall 1979, pp. 77–83. Generating OB Insights An insight is a new and clear perception of a phenomenon, or an acquired ability to “see” clearly something that you were unaware of previously. It is sometimes simply referred to as an “ah ha! moment,” in which you have a minirevelation or reach a straightforward conclusion about a topic or issue. Insights need not necessarily be dramatic, for what is an insight to one person may be less important to another. The critical feature of insights is that they are relevant and memorable for you; they should represent new knowledge, new frameworks, or new ways of viewing things that you want to retain and remember over time. Insights, then, are different from the information that you find in the “Advice for Future Managers” boxes within the text. That advice is prescriptive and action-oriented; it indicates a recommended course of action. Chapter 11 Conflict, Power, and Organizational Politics 311 A useful way to think of OB insights is to assume that you are the only person who has read Chapter 11. You have been given the assignment to highlight, in your own words, the major concepts (but not just summarize the whole chapter) that might stand out for a naive audience who has never heard of the topic before. What 10 insights would you share with them? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Nurturing Your Critical Thinking and Reflective Skills (Example) Interpersonal conflict will emerge in most working relationships. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Take a few minutes to review the discussion in the Roadmap for Readers of critical thinking and reflection. Remind yourself that if you can hone these abilities now, you will have a substantial competitive advantage when you apply for jobs and are asked what unique skills you can bring to the position and the organization. Critical Thinking Think back on the material you read in this chapter. What are three unique and challenging critical questions that you would like to raise about this material? (These might identify something controversial about which you have doubts, they may imply you suspect a theory or model has weaknesses, they could examine the legitimacy of apparent causal relationships, or they might assess the probable value of a suggested practice.) Be prepared to share these questions with class members or your instructor. 1. 2. 3. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 312 Part Four Individual and Interpersonal Behavior Reflection This process often involves answering the parallel questions of “What do you think about the material you have read?” and “How do you feel about that material?” Therefore, express your personal thoughts and feelings (reactions) to any of the ideas or topics found in this chapter, and be prepared to share these reflections with class members or your instructor. 2. 3. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Key: A 25%, B 37%, C 54%, D 13%, E 53%, F 24%, G 54%, H 25%. 1. Part Five Group Behavior Chapter Twelve Informal and Formal Groups Multiple perspectives are one antidote to individuals’ flawed decision making. Thomas H. Davenport1 Innovation is more likely when people of different disciplines, backgrounds, and areas of expertise share their thinking. Teresa M. Amabile and Mukti Khaire2 CHAPTER OBJECTIVES AFTER READING THIS CHAPTER, YOU SHOULD UNDERSTAND 12–1 Group Dynamics 12–2 The Nature and Effects of Informal Groups 12–3 Informal Leaders 12–4 Differences between Task and Social Leadership Roles 12–5 Brainstorming, Nominal, Delphi, and Dialectic Techniques 12–6 Weaknesses of Group Meetings 314 Facebook Page Student A: We’re reading about formal and informal groups in my OB class. Student B: Why would an organization create an informal group? That doesn’t compute. Student A: They don’t necessarily create them; they emerge by themselves, and they can be pretty powerful. Student B: OK, but are there any benefits from them? Student A: There are a ton of them such as increased satisfaction and cohesiveness, but then there are potential problems, too, including rumor, conflicts, and resistance to change. I was fascinated by the fact that you can portray informal organizations on a network chart—useful for examining either interpersonal feelings or actual behaviors. Student B: How about the other topic? You mentioned formal groups, didn’t you? Student A: Yeah, there are committees, task forces, brainstorming groups, nominal groups, and Delphi decision groups, plus the use of crowdsourcing. Student B: So what are the most important personal lessons you learned? Student A: I guess it would all start with the need for a clear agenda, then using facilitation and processing skills, plus the need to avoid groupthink and escalation of commitment by making sure that someone plays the role of a devil’s advocate. Student B: You should be good at that, since you’re always leading us astray! Student A: I admit that might be true, but in this case it’s someone who plays a very constructive role by asking important questions, digging for evidence, and examining logical reasoning. Pretty important stuff! When Bill Smith graduated from engineering school and joined the laboratory of a large manufacturing company, he was assigned the task of supervising four laboratory technicians who checked production samples. In some ways, he did supervise them. In other ways he was restricted by the group itself, which was quite frustrating to Bill. He soon found that each technician protected the others, making it difficult to fix responsibility for sloppy work. The group appeared to restrict its work in such a way that about the same number of tests were made every day regardless of his urging to speed up the work. Although Bill was the designated supervisor, he observed that many times his technicians, instead of coming to him, took problems to an older technician across the aisle in another section. Bill also observed that three of his technicians often had lunch together in the cafeteria, but the fourth technician usually ate with friends in an adjoining laboratory. Bill usually ate with other laboratory supervisors, and he learned much about company events during these lunches. He soon began to realize that these situations were evidence of an informal organization and that he had to work with it as well as with the formal organization. 315 Engaging Your Brain 1. Glance ahead at the brief material on network charts on pp. 323–324. Now select a handful of individuals from your job, residence, or social group, and chart the frequency of their oral interactions on a recent occasion. What do you see, and why do you think this pattern exists? 2. Examine the task and social roles listed in Figure 12.6. Rate, on a scale from 1 (very low) to 10 (very high) your own current capacity to exhibit the task roles listed there. Now do the same for the social roles. What does this tell you about your areas of needed improvement? 3. What is your current definition of group consensus? Now examine the author’s definition on p. 322. How do they differ? What are the implications of any difference that you observe? GROUP DYNAMICS This chapter and the next one turn our focus from interpersonal relations to group activities. Small groups have functioned since the time of the first human family. In recent years, researchers have studied scientifically the processes by which small groups evolve and work. Some of the questions they have addressed are: • • • • • What is group dynamics? 316 What is the informal organization and how does it operate? What is the role of a leader in a small group? Does the role vary with different objectives? What structured approaches are most useful for accomplishing group objectives? In what ways and under what conditions are group decisions better or worse than individual ones? Answers to these questions have now emerged, producing useful information on the dynamics of behavior in small groups for supervisors such as Bill Smith. The social process by which people interact face-to-face in small groups is called group dynamics. The word “dynamics” comes from the Greek word meaning “force”; hence group dynamics refers to the study of forces operating within a group. Two important historical landmarks in our understanding of small groups are the research of Elton Mayo and his associates in the 1920s and 1930s, and the experiments in the 1930s of Kurt Lewin, the founder of the group dynamics movement. Mayo showed that workers tend to establish informal groups that affect job satisfaction and effectiveness. Lewin observed that different kinds of leadership produced different responses in groups. Groups have properties of their own that are different from the properties of the individuals who make up the group. This is similar to the physical situation in which a molecule of salt (sodium chloride) has different properties from the sodium and chlorine elements that form a “group” to make it. The special properties of groups are illustrated by a simple lesson in mathematics. Suppose we say “one plus one equals three.” In the world of mathematics, that is a logical error, and a rather elementary one at that. But in the world of group dynamics it is entirely rational to say “one plus one equals three.” In a group, there is no such thing as only two people, for no two people can be understood without examining their relationship, and that relationship is the third element—and a critical one—in the equation. Chapter 12 Infor