Aspects of Organizational Psychology

Leaders are a group of people that determine the direction that a workforce should follow and motivate such groups so as to realize a common goal (Kotler, 1990). The debate on whether a leader is born or made has been remarkably essential in discussing leadership. In addition, several sources assert that leaders are created and; at the same time, there is the agreement that the leadership aspect is in-born (Conger, 1992; Kotler, 1990). One’s early experiences in childhood interactions, family experiences as well as genetic inheritance play an important role in building the character and personality that may be motivational for someone to be a leader. These experiences also play an important role in developing the interpersonal and rational skills necessary for the leadership of the individual. Similarly, it may be difficult to attain successful leadership qualities without having a sound character, as well as the willingness to lead. As such, it is inevitable to accept the fact that a large percentage of leaders are created rather than born as leaders.

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However, most research shows that leadership goes further than inheritance. A leader grafted from experiences subjected to by hardships, work experiences, academically achieved skills and motivation by role models leads to self-made leaders. In this theory, scarcity of leaders does not stand as raw material for leadership rather the deficiency of desired leaders. Experiences attained in work place plays a key role in developing a leader behavior (Kotler, 1990). This is because, learning by doing is the best way to learn, making mistakes and correcting them thus improving in the end. Researches indicate that official training programs, role models, task force duties, executive subordinate jobs, couching by senior executives among other factors are the key players in making a successful leader (Conger, 1992).

Conflict may arise when a person or group of persons, companies, states or parties try to make sure that they attain their favorite outcome to the barring of the ideal outcome of others (Andrew, 2003). Conflict can be both functional and dysfunctional. Any kind of conflict, however, should be resolved because unresolved conflict hampers the general outcome of the organization. This situation results in stress and general inefficiency in production. There are various approaches used in conflict resolution, these approaches are affected either positively or negatively by other factors such as individual’s culture, personality and power. An authority for instance, uses its power to guide the direction of conflict resolution to fit their wishes.

Different cultures and ethnicities have different understanding of conflict and its resolutions (Rahim, Garrett, & Buntzman, 1992). As such, the situation affects the manner by which conflicts are dealt with. Consequently, this creates a factor in conflict management, whether acting in central influence or gently and subtly. This is because some conflicts touch on illustration, appreciation and legitimization of various identities and ways of living. Fortunately, mediation is a suitable approach to resolving conflict that is intertwined with culture. In connection, it acknowledges every culture and brings it to fluency. Furthermore, personality is another factor considered to affect approach to conflict; these are the consistent patterns of ideologies, behaviors and feelings of an individual (Rahim, Garrett, & Buntzman, 1992; Andrew, 2003). An individual involved in a conflict resolution need be in a somber mood and in the best of their feelings. In connection, this approach helps in the attainment of consensus among the issues of interest, as well as inform on the best approaches to use.

According to Porter (1980) conflict is the disagreement among individuals and entities. This situation arises due to the difference in goals or lack of materials within an organization. Conflict mostly results from the inability by managers and owners among other stakeholders to communicate their opinions freely and in the correct channel (Jordan, 2007). It also arises from negative communication in an organization. On the other hand, competition is the struggle for a share of a limited resource. Therefore, it is basic to the healthy functioning of any organization. This completion among employees, results in an effective and efficient productivity of a company only if maintained healthy. Concerning this, therefore, the management should come up with strategies to instill competition among staff without creating conflict.

Creating a healthy competition environment is the first priority; this ensures a uniform environment for all participants. After a proper working environment is in place, motivation comes in handy. This includes promotion and wages increment to the best performing staff. The evaluation of this performance should always be transparent and sincere without bias or favor (Porter, 1980). Motivational trips, career talks and occasional training and seminars help staff gather confidence and more experience in their fields; hence, improves on the courage to compete (Jordan, 2007; Porter, 1980). Rewarding of best performers in offering prizes, scholarships and promotions in their jobs help motivate others to work hard hence high productivity. However, every individual’s contribution must be acknowledged, with emphasis on the best performers. This will ensure no conflict arises, as everyone will feel appreciated. In this case, employees with time will get to adapt to the new set of competition criteria as they strive to achieve the desired goals.

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Socialization is the method by which a new staff attains the social skills required for assumption of an organizational role (Maanen & Schein, 1979). Formal socialization involves the procedure of separating new staff from other employees for training. These processes include internships and apprenticeship. Informal socialization, on the other hand, involves less segregation of newcomers from the existing staff. In addition, its criteria provide a non-interventional space for staff to be trained on their new jobs through experiment and mistake corrections. Informal socialization includes assignments given on the job, and any circumstances in which a new employee is positioned into a work group with no recruit role. In this case, new employees get to learn their social skills needed in their fields of specialization. Without these socializations, it would otherwise be tricky for new staff to pick up so fast in their new jobs (Maanen & Schein, 1979; George, 2005).

An example of internal socialization I underwent on my first job assignment was the one of training assignments. In this case, senior experienced staff would from time to time offer me assignments under which I was assessed and rated. I would be awarded marks according to percentage rating and then corrections were made. This went on for almost three months before I got acquainted to my new job and things went on smooth onwards. These internal assignments, at most times help new employees get to know what is required of them in their new jobs and most importantly acquire the most necessary skills in their career fields (Maanen & Schein, 1979). It is a way of interaction between the new employer and the management in the organization (George, 2005).

Over time, culture has had a similar trend within the organizational world, managers, academics, as well as consultants. Each of these groups approaches this culture with different concerns. This organizational culture has grown to a status close to structure, control and strategy (Bogdan & Biklen, 1998). Measuring an organization’s culture is both quantitative and qualitative undertaking; hence, it is important to ensure that all the approaches are carried out with an equal intensity (Bogdan & Biklen, 1998). In the former case, culture is measure by review of documents, interviews and participant observation. This employs the use of answers to written questions by organizational members. In the later case, qualitative measurement of culture is according to operational terms. In this case, the main point of concern is whether an organization’s members rather than an alien can explain a notable variance in answers to most questions relating to culture issues. In connection, it is mandatory that all the set up conditions are appreciated and considered during decision making approaches.

Both the qualitative and quantitative approaches are useful in the understanding of an organization’s culture. In this case, it gives the individual judged with analysis of the culture in a better position to attain insight information and a clear critical analysis of the organization’s culture (Ott, 1989). It provides not only one but also two comparable results and hence a better conclusion. The quantitative approach provides the researcher with the internal understanding of the organizational culture while the qualitative provide the external understanding thus a good combination for a better conclusion (Bogdan & Biklen, 1998). However, one must be keen on the method of research to take care of gross errors that may result in gross mistakes and hence misguided conclusion.

Since change can threaten an organization’s culture within a workplace, it is wise for management to know how to overcome employee’s resistance to such changes (Quinn, 1996). This includes early notification of the changes to the employees, clear explanation of why and how of the change. However, there are several opposing approaches of encountering employee resistance to change. In this case, the human resource department should know how to encounter these opposing approaches to avoid conflict in the entire department. Management must focus the desired change, as well as the institution’s desired goals (Quinn, 1996). It must come up with the best criteria to overcome opposing approaches of autocratic imposition and employee involvement in change. As such, it is mandatory that all the set up conditions are appreciated and considered during decision making approaches.

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Autocratic imposition of change is the situation where the management imposes the change without employee consultations while employee involvement in change is an inclusive process of change (Burke, 2002; Quinn, 1996). Every part of the organization must take part in the whole process of change. The process of bringing must be employ principles of democracy even if there is top management with full authority. Employees need respect for their skills, expertise and intelligence to contribute fully to the organization’s success (Quinn, 1996). Engaging all concerned parties in the organization ensures a successful adoption of the proposed change in the organization thus the desired impact. In fact, this makes the entire processes of change management within an organization to be effective (Burke, 2002). According to relevant reputed sources, the procedure ensures that the concerned organization attains success while implementing various change factors within their organizations.

The aim of positive manipulation is to ease deliverance and preservation of a functional, productive employee equally beneficial for both, the organization and the individual involved. It is to ensure ‘can do’ attitude in all situations, even when the task employee is assigned with is not perceived as a desirable one (Boase, 1997; Robbins, 2009). It draws from several theories taking present time and current global economic situation in consideration. Positive Manipulation is about indirect inclusion of low-level needs in organization’s motivational efforts, particularly through presenting job loss as a potential consequence of insufficient performance (Robbins, 2009). According to several publications, the practice is particularly effective in a time of economic downturns when jobs are scarce. At such periods, the practice ensures that the concerned parties meet all their targets and intentions so as to allow for the success of the concerned organizations (Boase, 1997).

On the other hand, employee uniformity seeks to treat all employees with equality in all aspects of change. As such, the idea generates a positive perception among the concerned parties as it strives towards treating every employee within such firm without bias or favors. In most cases, this is a democratic way of imposing change into the organization. Therefore, Robbins and Langton are right in their statement since individual manipulation is far much of authoritative than consultative and undermines employee’s right to respect and involvement in matters that may affect his career in the workplace (Robbins, 2009). The implication brought about by individual manipulation is at times that of bias and favor of staff from management’s process of change whereas employee uniformity brings about equality among all the employees and therefore minimum conflicts.

A manager needs to instill some strategies to improve the productivity of the organization taking into consideration the fact that burnout among staff need be maintained at very minimum levels (Martin, 2006). Burnout is a psychological term indicating a long-term exhaustion and reduced interest hence reduced efficiency and productivity. Managers therefore, should ensure minimum levels of burnout to increase their productivity. One of such strategies used is the application of effective communication. Managers should encourage an effective and efficient communication among junior and senior staff. This ensures that when a junior staff makes a mistake, they should report to management in time to avoid further losses. The management in turn should be able to communicate back effectively and accordingly. In line to this, rewards to employees also matter a lot. Such small rewards as extended lunch break play an important role in increasing productivity and reducing burnout.

Another strategy is the clear definition of roles and proper acceptance of competence (Martin, 2006). This means, the organization must have a clear definition of roles for every individual and every team involved in the production. According to Aamodt (2009) every individual and team must have competence in order to allow for effective formulation of management strategies. In this case, workflow will be smooth and no corrections made from time to time. To increase competence, a team should be set aside to crosscheck every individual and team’s work before taking to the next step. This will ensure that not everyone cross examines the work of the individuals below them before taking it to the next required step (Aamodt, 2009). However, these strategies may have negative implication to the employees, especially if their competence is suspicious.

References

Aamodt, G. (2009). Industrial/Organizational Psychology: An Applied Approach. Belmont, Carlifornia: Cengage Learning.

Martin, K. (2006). Organizational Psychology: Leadership Strategies. New York, NY: Thomson Learning.

Conger, J. (1992). Learning to Lead. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc.

Kotler, P. (1990). A Force for Change: How Leadership Differs from Management. New York: Free Press, Inc.

Andrew, D. (2003). Maintaining a Competitive Advantage. New Delhi, India: Prentice Hall.

Rahim, A., Garrett, E., and Buntzman, G. F. (1992), Ethics of managing interpersonal conflict in organizations, Vol. 11 May, pp. 423-32.

Jordan, C. (2007). Maintaining a Competitive Advantage. London: Prentice Hall.

Porter, M. (1980). Competitive Strategy, New York: Free Press.

George, P. (2005). Organization change: Theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.

Maanen, J., & Schein, E. (1979). Toward a theory of organizational socializationResearch in Organizational Behavior, 1, 209–264.

Bogdan, R., & Biklen, S. (1998). Qualitative research for education: An introduction to theory and methods. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, Inc.

Ott, J. (1989). The Organizational Culture Perspective. Chicago: Dorsey Publications.

Burke, W. (2002). Organization change: Theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.

Quinn, R. (1996). Deep change: Discovering the leader within. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Press.

Boase, N. (1997). HR fundamentals: Resolving conflict in the workplace People Dynamics, 15, 48.

Robbins, S. (2009). Organizational behavior: global and Southern African Perspectives. South Africa: Pearson.

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