Organization Behavior and Administration
1- Case Incident 2 : Era of the Disposable Worker
Q) 1-24: To what extent can business decisions (as opposed to economic forces) explain deterioration in working conditions for many workers ?
Answer: It seems that poverty stricken the economy is leading to the deterioration in individual businesses. The economy is making it difficult for businesses to draw in a steady income and therefore they need to make decisions to keep the business open and above water. That’s when they start depending on layoffs and budget cuts for their business. And in this situation employees will end up with reduced hours, pay cuts, less pay raise and bad working environments. It seems that businesses will sink to the lowest level that is considered to be legal to make sure they can still make profits.
Q) 1-25: Do business organizations have a responsibility to ensure that employees have secure jobs with good working conditions, or is their primary responsibility to shareholders?
Answer: Yes, organizations must make sure that their employees are working under good conditions and enjoying the best working environment. Also organizations needs to focus on improving their leadership skills and organizational culture. employees that have secure jobs and good working conditions will be more loyal, productive and efficient in the workplace.
Professional leadership skills and solid organizational culture are important in improving the efficiency and productivity of any organization. Organization culture is a set of values, and beliefs that are shared by individuals working together, whereas organizational climate is the environment of the organization which both will affect the structure, performance and responsibility of the employees in any organization. And as a greater result leading the organization toward more creativity and innovation which will meet and satisfy shareholder needs.
In organizations, both parties are important, Shareholders provide fund for the company and the company needs employees to operate its business. Therefore, both parties must have good relationship with each other in order to achieve company's goals.
Q) 1-26: What alternative measures of organizational performance, besides share prices, do you think might change the focus of business leaders ?
Answer: I think that Productivity levels will give a big picture on how efficient and effective the organizational performance is. Also, productivity reports will provide more information on how an organization is performing and where it would like to be in the future and how it will achieve its goals.
Another alternative is employee attitudes especially when they are positive its more likely to work for the benefit of their firms and lead to customer satisfaction and loyalty which in turn will have a positive effect on firms profitability. Also, innovations not also related to products but processes, marketing , sources of supply, the exploitation of new markets and new ways to organize business.
2- Case Incident 2 : Job Crafting
Q) 3-18: Why you think many people are in jobs that they are not satisfying? Do organizations help people craft satisfying and motivating jobs, and if not, why not ?
Answer: People may be in jobs that are not satisfying because of a possible tough financial situation they are in to or they are looking for an accommodating work schedule to fit their life style. Also, I believe that most firms try to craft a satisfying job by applying a number of elements through jobs, such as job enrichment, job rotation, education and training as a method to make the job more attractive and satisfying. In addition, Job crafting behaviors may lead to many positive outcomes, such as work engagement, resilience and thriving. Thus, job crafting is seen as a very promising concept in organizational psychology that will affect productivity and result in high motivation.
Q) 3-19: Think about how you might reorient yourself to your own job. Are the principles of job crafting described here relevant to your work? Why or why not ?
Answer: Job crafting is defined as changing the boundaries and conditions of job tasks and job relationships and of the meaning of the job. So as an employee i can reorient myself to my job by changing how the work is conceptualized and carried out and with whom i interact and how i cognitively add meaning and significance to my work..
I use to work as an academic advisor at a private university. The principles of job crafting mentioned above are not related to my work because Fatima holds a higher position than I do. Her position allows her to share and implement her new social media strategies with other members from her staff. And comparing her midlevel management position, my work does not offer me the same amount of flexibility and does not allow me to craft my job.
Q) 3-20: Are there any potential drawbacks to the job crafting approach? How can these concerns be minimized ?
Answer: A potential drawback to the job crafting approach would be the erosion of focusing on the job that needs to be done. The more modification added to the job methods may lead to un-efficient ways completing the task, and therefore a loss of productivity and poor outcomes. These concerns can be minimized by supervising very close the way jobs are done and the predicted outcomes.
3- Case Incident 2 : The Power of Quiet
Q) 5-19: Would you classify yourself as introverted or extraverted? How would people who know you describe you?
Answer: Believing that all my ideas are solid and important for me, I can classify myself more as an introverted person than an extraverted as I prefer and dealing with ideas that are inside my head and in my inner world. Also I prefer being and doing things alone or with one or two people that I feel comfortable with. Mostly I take time to reflect so that I have a clear idea of what I’ll be doing when I decide to act.
a comfortable and compassionate person and a very kind friend in a softhearted way, and that rarely i get into fights or arguments because I'm to mature and intelligent for such situations. In terms of tasks assigned to me they describe me as a fighter. But people's advice to me is to get out and socialize and get noticed.
Q) 5-20: Would you prefer to be more introverted or more extraverted, than you are? Why?
Answer: In my situation, I might prefer to be more introverted than an extraverted person. Believing that being an introverted person is not a bad thing. Because in general introverts are good listeners, and known for having fewer friends but long lasting strong relationships. Also introverts are known for having better attention and focuses effectively at tasks and have creative ideas especially when working or involved in projects. Introverts can observe things most people are oblivious too and sometimes can read people from a wide perspective.
Q) 5-21: Do you agree with Cain's argument? Why or why not?
Answer: It really makes sense that so many introverts hide even from themselves. In my personal perspective i believe that most people are introverts or in other words one out of every two or three people you might be an introvert. Most of us will probably be surprised believing that because many people pretend to be extroverts. Some people reaches the point of fooling themselves, until some life event comes up and frees them to spend time as they like and takes them back into their true natures.
I'll agree that too many out there have a false perception that being introverted means you're quiet, and shy. Quietness and shyness are both common traits, but has little to do with being introverted. What defines introversion is the fact that we focus more on our internal thoughts, feelings, and moods, as opposed to seeking out external stimulation. Just because I am quiet doesn't mean I am not, fun, intelligent, adamant, reliable, helpful, etc..
4- Case Incident 2 : Attaching the Carrot to the Stick
Q) 8-17: Do you think that, as a manager, you should use incentives regularly? Why or why not?
Answer: Taking in mind that incentive plans might leave us with many disadvantages such as fairness and jealousy or tax issues also not all incentives plans will lead to successful output, even though as a manager i believe that incentive plans can be used regularly. But it differs from one department to another and especially in a field where employees must make sales or meet specific goals. Incentives are not only a bonus reward based on money, but it can also be used as a meaning of appreciation for a hard working employee throughout the year or in a specified time. Receiving an incentive will not only show the employee that he was appreciated for his hard work but it will for sure motivate him for further rewards.
As managers we must know that every company needs a strategic rewarding system for employees that must address these main areas (compensation & benefits & recognition & appreciation), but in real life the problem is that most rewarding systems in businesses are missing one or more of these elements and the elements that are addressed are not properly aligned with the company strategy. Then it's time to review the strategic rewarding system and make sure that it will address compensation, benefits, recognition and appreciation and will be aligned with other remaining business strategies. Also making sure that the rewarding system is driving the right behavior for the company performance. Otherwise it can mean the difference between the business success and failure.
Q) 8-18: Can you think of a time in your life when the possibility of receiving an incentive reduced your motivation ?
Answer: Yes, especially when the incentive was not created equally and not enough inspirational to take me to the action. Also it was planned to get me engaged in a certain behavior for stopping me from performing a certain action.
Q) 8-19: What employee behaviors do you think might be best encouraged by offering incentive rewards ?
Answer: The first step is to identify the behaviors that are important to the company and the activities that might include enhancing customer relationships or helping employees expand their managerial skills.
A winning system should recognize and reward two types of employee activity (performance and behavior). Performance is easy to address because the direct link between the goals you set for your employees and the final outcomes that will result.
Rewarding a specific behavior that made a difference to the company is more challenging than rewarding performance, but we can overcome that by knowing what we are compensating employees for and what are the behaviors we want to reward ? For example, are we compensating employees for coming in very early and staying late, or for coming up with new innovative ideas on how to complete their work more efficiently and effectively?
5- Case Incident 1: The Calamities of Consensus
Q) 9-30: Is consensus a good way for groups to make decisions? Why or why not?
Answer: The responsibility is to create the vision for any organization, clearly articulate the role of each member and then give each person the room to succeed.
I think in some situations it is a good way to make a decision acting according to consensus because it will enable a group to take advantage of all group members ideas, and by combining their ideas, people can often create a higher quality decision . Consensus decisions can be better than any other decisions making procedure because people are more likely to implement decisions they accept, and makes acceptance more likely. On the other hand, consensus is often achieved by following the path of least resistance and allowing everyone an equal say. This throws personal accountability out, as well as the capacity for independent thought.
Q) 9-31: Can you think of a time where a group of which you were part relied on consensus? How do you think a decision turned out ?
Answer: When i worked as Human Resource Manager, i planed to implement an experiment on a group of employees. So i hired a well-known trainer to present a workshop event about leadership. And before the workshop began i asked the trainer to be as boring as possible. As a normal reaction some of the audience was bored while a majority of members pretended to be excited. Actually i wanted to see if positive reviews from the majority would influence the others. After the event ended, i publicly asked to rank the trainer on a scale of 1-10. And it turned out that everyone in the audience, even those who did not know about the experiment, ranked the trainer highly. Because they were swayed by the group and were uncomfortable with speaking the truth.
It may seem low risk, but in reality its highly dangerous. At its best, it creates an agreement that is disliked by everyone. At its worst, it impedes innovation, forfeits the potential for excellence, destroys trust, neutralizes individual strengths, and holds no one in particular accountable for anything.
Q) 9-32: Martin Luther King Jr. once proclaimed, '' A genuine leader is not a seeker of consensus but a modeler of consensus.'' What do you think he meant by that statement? Do you agree with it? Why or why not ?
Answer: Martin meant that a real leader does not look for a way to have everyone's agreement but to create a way to have everyone agree. Trying hard, working hard and managing can often be confused with leading.
I believe that leadership is about leading people and creating a natural movement and a culture of action and success. I do agree with the statement as its one of the most true statements about leadership because it’s not about searching for others to provide answers but it's to create and shape a leadership culture.
6- Case Incident 1 : Choosing Your Battles
Q) 14-11: How would you ensure sufficient discussion of contentious issues in a work group? How can managers bring unspoken conflicts into the open without making them worse?
Answers : By creating a friendly environment, so that everyone feels free to bring up the issues, because if people have fear that what they say would be used against them they will avoid to speak. Though, if a friendly environment is created employees can bring up their issues freely and we will have sufficient discussions on solving different issue. However, many situations and issues will still be unspoken and can't be brought into discussions, but with good notice and close observation they can be addressed and solved.
Q) 14-12: How can negotiators utilize conflict management strategies to their advantage so that differences in interests lead not dysfunctional conflicts but rather to positive integrative solutions?
Answers : There are two negotiation approaches, the first one is distributive and the second is integrative. where the distributive is a win-lose situation and the integrative is a win-win situation. In the integrative situation both parties will work and contribute to each other. Especially, when conflicts appears it will result in creative ideas and both parties will share the outcomes among them. So they can come with a better or an alternative idea. If conflicts are used in this way, a healthy completion environment will be created and will result in a better outcome. So instead of negative outcome, positive outcome will be the result.
Q) 14-13: Can you think of situations in your own life in which silence has worsened a conflict between parties? What might have been done differently to ensure that open communication facilitated collaboration?
Answer : I have faced a situation where silence has worsened the conflict between parties and ego was the reason for silence. I had a friend whom I used to talk with on a daily basis, but one day i heard that he was talking rudely about me with someone else, and as a result i stopped talking or dealing with him. Of course, my ego prevented me from investigating the truth and kept me silent for a long time with no further reaction. I always ask myself what if I tried to know the truth directly from him, will the situation be different?
A Similar case that I was silent when two of my friends were arguing on something i could've solved myself but i preferred not to bother much as I thought It's something between them. but the small issue resulted them to stop talking to each other and raised a bigger conflict in work.
7- Case Incident 2 : Did Toyota's Culture Cause Its Problem?
Q) 16-29: If Toyota is not the cause of unintended acceleration, why was it blamed for it?
Answer: In the auto industry vehicle recall is common. But, this Toyota recall show's us a different situation. Because we have seen almost 9 million of Toyota vehicles around the world recalled within months. Especially when the recall issue was focused on unintended acceleration, which were closely related to the safety driving.
Toyota was blamed because of its failure in public relations. Public relations response was very slow, as many Americans started to believe that the company tried to hide something and cover the mistake. The American media criticized the company for its lack of transparency and action during the situation. It turns that the primary problem was that the company had been practicing the Japanese style of public relations.
Another problem addressed is the cultural difference between the Americans and Japanese. As they vary especially in the way of communication. When a company face a problem in Japan, the management most likely tries to solve the problem silently and then inform the media about it. But the American style is the other way around, they consider silence as an act of ignorance, and prefer answers first and actions second. Also in the USA, apologies are not enough, and Americans often expect rational explanations for incidents like this. And for that, the CEO failed to provide a clear explanation until February 24-2010 where he appeared to be late.
Q) 16-30: Is it possible to have a strong - even arrogant - culture and still produce safe and high-quality vehicles?
Answer: We have to realize that a company is most likely to suffer from its arrogant culture. A company with an arrogant culture may create negative publicity for itself and people may start to lose their trust.
In this case, the management team have reacted in a arrogance way. From the beginning the management never took the responsibility, although there were several incidents related. As the management team was still with their method and never spoke to public about the incident. People thought that Toyota was trying to cover its imperfect actions and there was a harmful reaction all over which caused a confused situation for the company.
I can say that strong organizational cultures may delay the overall process and this what happened to Toyota. Despite Toyota's strong culture we can finally realize that the problem is that they tried to apologize but a huge negative publicity have happened. So without good public communication it will be almost impossible for a firm to produce safe and high quality products and services.
Q) 16-31: If you were the CEO of Toyota when the story was first publicized, how would you have reacted ?
Answer: As we can see in this case the CEO of Toyota was totally inactive when the story was first published. There was no statement from the CEO regarding this incident. As a result, there was a huge negative publicity in the media. The general public and media started to believe that Toyota was guilty for the overall situations regarding the “unintended acceleration”. The situation was starting to go out of hand. So the CEO tried to calm the situation but it was already too late. And Toyota had to pay a huge price for this.
According to the researchers the late reaction of the CEO was due to cultural differences. As in America when a problem occurs, individuals or firms relating to the problem first try to describe the overall situation and causes of the problem to the public and then they try to solve the problem. But in Japan it is exactly the opposite, firms and individuals first try to solve the problem and then they try to describe the overall situation to the public. So this nature of Toyota was totally unacceptable to the Americans.
If I were the CEO of Toyota the first step i will do is to establish and maintain a good public relation and communication system that really represents the company vision and reputation. especially when The incident happened, I will move seriously and ask my management team to provide me with more and specific details clarifying the incident. Then I will call a press conference to clarify the situation to the media, public and the stakeholders. Then i will suggest to create an advertisement showing how Toyota takes the safety issues very seriously, to reduce the misunderstanding happened and to create a better reputation and a greater value about the company.