Challenges Facing Organizational Managers & Employees Today in Relation to the Modern Theory of Organizational Behaviour Essay

ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR TERM PAPER Challenges Facing Organizational Managers & Employees Today in Relation to the Modern Theory of Organizational Behaviour. By 1. Edwin Nduati HD333-0249/2010 2. Daniel Gikandi HD333-0251/2010 3. Richard Sigey HD333-0250/2010 Presented to Dr. Margaret Ndungu Table of Contents ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR – TERM PAPER1 Challenges Facing Organizational Managers & Employees Today in Relation to the Modern Theory of Organizational Behaviour. 1 Organizations are facing different challenges in today’s environment. 4 1. Technology4 2. Diverse4 3. Multiple4 4. Responsiveness4 5. Rapid4 6.

Globalization4 8. Communication style5 9. Organization direction. 5 10. Decision making. 5 11. Feedback mechanisms. 6 12. Change adaptability. 6 13. Innovation within the organization. 6 14. How do we build an organization that actually inspires extraordinary accomplishment6 15. Lawsuits6 Dealing with the Challenging Issues7 1. Diversity Goals7 Conclusion9 References12 Introduction Organizational Behavior studies encompass the study of organizations from multiple viewpoints, methods, and levels of analysis. For instance, one textbook divides these multiple viewpoints into three perspectives: modern, symbolic and postmodern.

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Another traditional distinction, present especially in American academia, is between the study of “micro” organizational behavior – which refers to individual and group dynamics in an organizational setting and “macro” organizational theory which studies whole organizations, how they adapt, and the strategies and structures that guide them. To this distinction, some scholars have added an interest in “meso” primarily interested in power, culture, and the networks of individuals and units in organizations and “field” level analysis which study how whole populations of organizations interact.

Whenever people interact in organizations, many factors come into play. Modern organizational studies attempt to understand and model these factors. Like all modernist social sciences, organizational studies seek to control, predict, and explain. There is some controversy over the ethics of controlling workers’ behavior. As such, organizational behavior or OB (or Industrial psychology) has at times been accused of being the scientific tool of the powerful. Those accusations notwithstanding, OB can play a major role in organizational development and success.

One of the main goals of organizational theorists is, according to Simms (1994) “to revitalize organizational theory and develop a better conceptualization of organizational life. ” An organizational theorist should carefully consider levels assumptions being made in theory and is concerned to help managers and administrators. Organizations are facing different challenges in today’s environment. Some of these challenges include;- 1. Technology Only 20 years ago, few workers used fax machines or e-mail, and computers occupied entire rooms, not the mini desktops that currently available.

Advances in information and communication technology have permanently altered the workplace by changing the way information is created, stored, used, and shared. 2. Diverse Workforce A diverse workforce refers to two or more groups, each of whose members are identifiable and distinguishable based on demographic or other characteristics like gender, age group, education etc. Several barriers in dealing with diversity include stereotyping, prejudice, ethnocentrism, discrimination, tokenism, and gender-role stereotypes. 3. Multiple Stakeholders Stakeholders are those who have interests in the organization.

Multiple stakeholders for an organization include the customers, suppliers, consumers, investors, lenders, government etc. 4. Responsiveness An organization has to be responsive to the challenges and threats that it faces from within the internal or external environment. It requires quick responsiveness to meet the challenges and opportunities arising out of these changes. 5. Rapid Changes Due to changing internal and external environment, rapid changes in the organization occur. Organization has to be flexible to adjust to those changes. 6. Globalization

Managers are faced with a myriad of challenges due to an array of environmental factors when doing business abroad. These managers must effectively plan, organize, lead, control, and manage cultural differences to be successful globally. 7. Corporate culture. Corporate, organization and department culture all flows from the top down. The written and unwritten rules, policies and philosophy of a manager or the organization all eventually find their way into the attitudes and performance of almost everyone in the organization. One of the critical things to remember when dealing with people is: you get the behavior you reward.

If the culture directly or indirectly rewards a certain type of attitude or behavior, you are, by your actions or inactions, probably reaffirming that these are acceptable. If you want to change behavior, you must first evaluate the culture that is in place that may be rewarding the type of behavior you are getting but don’t necessarily want. 8. Communication style. Rumors, hearsay, memos, emails, meetings, individual counseling sessions and bulletin boards all have one thing in common – they communicate information – some more effectively and timely than others.

If communication in an organization is all top-down, you can be assured that you are not in touch with the realities of your organization, the marketplace, your customers or suppliers. 9. Organization direction. One of the biggest challenges managers face today is effectively communicating corporate direction with clarity and consistency to all employees who have a right and need to know. Most organizations do a poor job of this at best. One way to find out what your people believe is to conduct an anonymous survey of attitudes, perceptions and opinions. 10. Decision making.

Many managers make decisions that other employee’s will either have to implement or that will affect them. If these decisions are made without bottom-up feedback, you can guarantee that the outcome of the decisions will be less than desired or expected. 11. Feedback mechanisms. Employees want to know how they are doing – whether poorly or well. Failure to give them the feedback they need is to keep them in the dark regarding the assessment of their performance and how and where they need to improve. 12. Change adaptability. How do we build an organization that can change as fast as change itself?

Change is accelerating at this time in history and organizations need to act faster to deal with opportunities and threats. Consider the changes in the last century including in healthcare, microprocessors, transportation, computing power, the internet, telephony, gene sequencing, biotech, etc. 13. Innovation within the organization. How do we build an organization where innovation is everyone’s job? The accelerated pace of change makes this a necessity. Do employees understand their organizations innovation insights? Is every employee’s contribution to innovation measured? 14.

How do we build an organization that actually inspires extraordinary accomplishment? This is the most important of the challenges facing today’s organizations. On average, seventy-five percent of employees are not engaged in their jobs. We need employees who regard their jobs as the way to bring their passion in the world. The job as managers is to build a work climate, a sense of purpose that inspires initiative because obedience, diligence and intellect are mere table stakes in today’s hypercompetitive marketplace. 15. Lawsuits – all organizations are at risk for sexual discrimination lawsuits.

In 2006, in the US, Boeing paid more than $70 million to settle a class-action lawsuit by female employees and Morgan Stanley paid over $50 million to settle a similar suit that same year (Gill, 2007). Lawsuits against large corporations make the front page of the newspaper or the evening news, but that does not mean that small companies are excused from these types of lawsuits. Nearly half of all sex-discrimination charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2006 were against companies with less than 200 employees (Gill, 2007).

Smaller organizations may be even more vulnerable than larger organizations because they may be less likely to have a formal sex-discrimination policy in place. Dealing with the Challenging Issues The first step in dealing with these issues would be for companies to comply with the laws already in place to deal with this subject. This seems like an obvious suggestion but organizations need to be aware of the laws imposed by the EEOC and others and make sure they are in compliance.

Companies should also advocate promoting diversity at all organizational levels as well as promoting inclusion of all employees into the organizational culture (Powell & Graves, 2003). Discrimination laws in this country can be extremely costly to a firm. In addition to fines, legal fees and punitive damages; a company can suffer irreparable damage to their reputation, loss of morale among their employees, loss of productivity and loss of confidence by their stakeholders. As the labor force becomes more diverse organizations have little choice but to become less homogenous.

Women are more prepared now than ever to enter the work force as they continue to earn advanced degrees and bring varied experiences to the work place. A recent study of Fortune 500 companies found that those companies that had a high proportion of women in their top management positions, had greater profitability than those that did not (Powell & Graves, 2003). 1. Diversity Goals All organizations regardless of their size or type of business need to set goals in regards to what they wish to accomplish regarding diversity, non-discrimination and inclusion.

Once the goals are set, the company needs to monitor these goals to make sure they are implementing the plans correctly. Communication across and between all levels of the organization is paramount to the success of achieving the companies diversity goals. Those departments and/or individuals, who are complying with the goals, should be rewarded whereas those who are not should be reprimanded. Management has to enforce a zero-tolerance policy for non-compliance. Employees should be involved in as many ways as possible.

They can set up a mentoring program, interest groups, newsletters, and bulletin boards encourage the flow of communication. The fundamental roles, attitudes or responsibilities of managers have not changed and a few of them are; 1. The need to trust your employees and your employees to trust you. 2. The need to respect their uniqueness. 3. The need to communicate openly and honestly. 4. The need to give them recognition and appreciation that is deserved. 5. The need to have a clear future career path available to them. Conclusion

Since the role of managers is an invaluable asset, there is a real need for organization to invest in training and development of employees. The results of the survey strongly suggest the need to train managers on the organizational processes. These include how to;- 1. Determine, collect, analyze and document the business requirements 2. Manage on-going stakeholder expectations and business requirements changes Four Solutions to challenges managers face today Managers are facing three challenges today – but there’s a four part solution to these challenges.

So states Harry Gaines, CEO of Blessing/White, an individual and organization development firm headquartered in Princeton, N. J Gaines commented on these problems and solutions at a meeting in Frankfurt, Germany. Addressing human resource executives from Europe, he defined the challenges that managers are facing this way 1. Managers are caught in a squeeze a. They are managing larger, more diverse and more specialized groups, including more technology specialists. b. Fewer recourses are available to them. c. They are being asked to play entirely new roles. 2. Employees must take more responsibility . They must take on some of the manager’s role b. Focus on the most important priorities and strategies c. Make better business decisions on their own d. Manage themselves and their careers 3. Employees have fewer incentives to take on responsibility a. Flatter organizations mean fewer opportunities for promotion b. Smaller raises and bonuses c. Less job security How can managers get people to give more energy, effort and commitment to the organization when they have fewer reasons than ever to do so? Gaines advised managers to be guided by four basic strategies;- Number 1

Harness more of each employee’s ‘discretionary’ effort – the energy, commitment and creativity that each employee can either give or withhold. “We can control the time that employees give us,” Gaines said. “But only employees themselves can control their discretionary efforts. ” Greater discretionary efforts are badly needed. Changes like downsizing and re-engineering are creating confusion and uncertainty for employees. They’re unsure about their jobs, their new roles and their careers. This causes employees to be self-protective and avoid risk. This, in turn, reduces productivity.

The key to increasing productivity is helping people get clear about their roles and expectations and making performance improvement an issue of self-interest. Number 2 Customer satisfaction cannot exist without employee satisfaction. Employees who feel valued and find personal satisfaction in their jobs will go to extraordinary lengths to meet and exceed customers’ expectations. Conversely, those who feel undervalued or mistreated care very little about customers expectations. “There is a direct correlation between customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction,” he commented. Number 3

Organizational success requires both managers and individuals to play directly different roles than those that existed only a few years ago. Since managers are supervising more direct reports, each direct report must now take on some of the responsibilities that the manager had. This calls for better decision making, more self-direction and more accountability. Managers, in turn, have to consider better ways to improve peoples’ performance. Among the ways to do this are to use coaching instead of the command and control model and encourage employees to seek help from their peers instead of the manager

Number 4 Work relationships have a significant impact on employee performance. Individual excellence is no longer enough. Today’s complex business environment involves more knowledge workers, more information-based work and the use of cross-functional work teams. In this environment, cooperation and collaboration are essential for making change work and for increasing productivity. “We believe that these principles apply to any effort to improve an organization’s competitiveness,” Gaines told the audience. We also believe that continuing change is necessary to meeting the new challenges we’re facing and will face in the future. ” References 1. http://www. allbusiness. com/management/468028-1. html 2. http://ezinearticles. com/? How-Are-You-Handling-The-Five-Biggest-Challenges-Facing-Managers-and-Business-Owners-Today? &id=285712 3. http://hr. toolbox. com/blogs/employee-engagement-leadership/gary-hamel-three-challenges-facing-organizations-34699 4. http://businessmanagement. suite101. com/article. cfm/challenges_facing_organ


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