After reading this chapter, you should be able to do the following:
1. Define organizational structure.
2. Analyze basic elements of organizational structure.
3. Describe the dimensions that make up a company’s culture.
4. Discuss the role of leadership in defining an organization’s culture.
5. Describe process for managing organizational change
6. Understand connections between organizational behavior at work and ethics, technology, and cross-cultural management.
ASSIGNMENT 1: (50 points)
Choose 2 organizations from the following list:
• Costco + Walmart
• AirBNB + Marriott Hotels (you may compare with any other well-known brick and mortar chain of hotels with which you are familiar).
• LinkedIn + Facebook
• Harvard University + University of Phoenix
• Starbucks + Dunkin Donuts
1) If you choose two other companies, with which you are more familiar, they must be in the same industry/business. Based on the dimensions of OCP, how would you characterize its culture? This means you must analyze both companies based on all the dimensions of OCP as described in your text. You must start your paper with a description of both companies, their business, how they function, and the type of structure in their organization. This work will require research from your text and beyond.
2) Out of the culture dimensions described, which dimension do you think would lead to higher levels of employee satisfaction and retention? Which one would be related to company performance?
Impact of HR Practices on Organizational Culture (20 points)
Below are scenarios of critical decisions you may need to make as a manager. Read each question and select one answer from each pair of statements. Then, think about the impact your choice would have on the company’s culture.
1. You need to establish a dress code. Would you
1. ask employees to use their best judgment?
2. create a detailed dress code highlighting what is proper and improper?
2. You are considering monitoring employees during work hours. Would you
1. not monitor them because they are professionals and you trust them?
2. install a program monitoring their Web usage to ensure that they are spending work hours actually doing work?
Organizations are always changing to keep pace with, and adjust to changes in the local and global environment. When organizations seek to make enterprise-wide changes, the task is seldom easy. Yet, environmental factors like the pandemic, has caused many organizations to implement changes to the way work (or school) is conducted, with relatively little time for people to adjust to these changes.
The need for change has been implied throughout this semester, whether we are discussing attitudes, diversity, motivation, work teams, communication styles, managing conflict, leadership, human resource policies, or organization cultures. Change is an essential part in the discussion of each of these OB factors. If environments always remained static, organizational change would have little or no relevance to managers or employees. However, the real world is always changing, as such organizations and their members are required to adjust to these changes if they are to perform at competitive levels. Coping with all these changes can be a source of stress, but with effective management, with insight to the impact of stress on persons’ behavior, it is possible for organizations and their members to deliver high performance and optimal productivity, even in the face of stress. Additional factors that emphasize acknowledging the impact of change in an organization:
• Consider a manager as a change agent of your organization. The decisions the manager makes and her role-modeling behaviors will help shape the organization’s change culture.
• Management policies and practices will determine the degree to which the organization learns and adapts to changing environmental factors.
• Some stress is good. Low to moderate amounts of stress enable many people to perform their jobs better by increasing their work intensity, alertness, and ability to react. This is especially true if stress arises due to challenges on the job rather than hindrances that prevent employees from doing their jobs effectively.
• Managers can help alleviate harmful workplace stress for employees by accurately matching work-loads to employees, providing employees with stress-coping resources, and responding to their concerns.
• Managers can identify extreme stress in employees when performance declines, turnover increases, health-related absenteeism increases, and engagement declines. However, often by the time these stress symptoms are visible, it may be too late to be helpful, so managers might be more effective if they stay alert for early indicators and be proactive. The video below is a quick TED Talk regarding a shift in the way we view stress. (Here is the URL https://www.ted.com/talks/kelly_mcgonigal_how_to_make_stress_your_friend)
• IMPACT OF A CULTURE OF CONSTANT WORK
• After reading the chapters and viewing the video, I ask you to consider the role of HR in leading change by developing a positive culture that is focused on workalike balance.
• Consider the statement: “The 24-hour Workplace is Harmful”.
• In today’s workplace, technology makes it possible for employees to be plugged in all the time, and be in constant contact around the globe. This was especially true during this pandemic, yet, research suggests that employers who push employees to check in at all hours and stay connected may well be doing themselves (and their employees) a disservice.
• A growing body of research has uncovered serious health consequences of insufficient sleep, and work practices that encourage employees to be plugged in 24 hours per day may be making the situation worse. One study examined how late-night work influenced job outcomes by having employees complete diary surveys on their sleep and engagement at work over multiple days. Those who used smartphones at night for work were less engaged in their work tasks the next day, even after accounting for other technology use.
• From another angle, researchers have looked at the personal consequences of “workaholism,” which is the tendency to think constantly about work off the job and to feel compelled to work excessive hours. This habit is associated with higher levels of burnout, stress, and family problems. While workaholism is partially driven by personality factors, surveys suggest that features of the workplace itself can enhance workaholic tendencies, including excessive workloads, conflicting work priorities, and time pressures. The employee may not immediately perceive these effects, since workaholics are often highly committed to their work and enjoy it in the short term, until burnout occurs.
• The key to maintaining performance over time may lie in developing psychological detachment from work. Alongside studies showing the negative effects of overexposure to work demands, we can place another body of work showing that short regular breaks made up of total rest and avoidance of work responsibilities can recharge a person’s energy. Unplugging from constant work demands for short periods actually makes us much more productive over the long haul. Therefore the evidence is clear: unplug to recharge yourself. HR can support this effort by presenting the research findings to managers and helping to establish practices and boundaries that benefit everyone
ASSIGNMENT 3: (50 points)
• Imagine you are consultant to an HR department of an organization that is called in to be a change agent. Your paper will be a proposal help HR help the company improve its culture and increase employee retention through work-life balance initiatives. Your proposal must address the following and use sub-headings to clarify. Each item is approximately half page.
• 1) Describe how the current culture may be negatively impacting the organization.
• 2) Explain how the policy of work-life balance would help the organization develop a positive culture. (This requires you will explain how the text helps us understand what factors comprise a positive culture and why this is important to performance, productivity, and retention of employees.)
• 3) Explain how a policy of work-life balance would help employees better manage and reduce stress and increase productivity and performance. (This requires you to explain factors that contribute to stress and how the text helps us understand the importance of managing stress.)
• 4) What would be HR’s strategy as change agent? Describe the steps HR would take to gather information, create buy-in for your ideas, communicate, and implement this change. (You would need to address some relevant functions of HR as well as the steps to creating change. You would also need to address challenges that HR should anticipate and how you might address them.)
• 5) Provide a summary to wrap up your paper.
• (Approximately 3 pages in total- 120 points)