Psychology of Organizations. Reflect on own assumptions about organizations, individuals and individuals in organizational contexts Discuss the implications of these assumptions for the analysis and management of OB in contemporary society. Organizational Behaviour.
‘we are shaped, nurtured, controlled, rewarded and punished by organizations throughout our lives’ (Furnham, 1997:1)
Questions about what organizations are, what makes them work the way they do and the implications of this for individuals
Importance of political, economic, historical and social context
e.g. computer, social organism, psychic prison, cultural entity, cooperative system of exchange, bundle of roles..
The language of organization, does it matter? Psychology => individual in a social vacuum, organization as a collection of individuals
Whose metaphor? Yours, Organizational Representative, Employees
Exercise and Discussion
Does the way we talk about organizations have an effect on the way we think about organizations?
Does any of this matter to the way managers manage organizations on a day-to-day basis and/or the way we intervene if problems arise?
Different metaphors of organization have different implications for how we think about and manage organizations and the people therein
Organizational structures and systems shape individual and group behaviour and vice versa
Deterministic assumptions dominate
Structure can be reified and can inhibit flexibility
Flexible structures are process dominated; structure is a process of applying strategy flexibly as suits the occasion e.g. migrating authority in the military
How to organise work and allocate it
How to recruit, train, and effectively manage people
How to create working conditions and reward systems to maintain high morale and sustained effectiveness
How to adjust the organization to changing conditions
How to cope with competition
Crude assumptions made about human nature – who are we managing?
Psychology – individualistic
‘the organization is a complex social system which must be studied as a total system if individual behaviour within it is to be truly understood’
What do managers do? Control philosophies
HRM – employee relations styles in relation to business strategy
HRM rhetoric and reality (mask harsh business realities)
Relationship humans and technology is central to work of all kinds
Is technology serving us or are we slaves? What is the relationship between work, organization and technology?
Today’s workplace = an influx of fast developing new technologies
individual-organizational linkage concepts
e.g. relationship of exchange, dynamic, systems approach, role (congfluence of subjective and structural)
But, ignores role of conflict
What are your own metaphors?
What could be problematic about the sweeping use of one or two metaphors?
When might one particular metaphor be more appropriate than another?
What are the limitations of any metaphor in use?
How would you use metaphor as an intervention tool?
Behavioural processes in organizational contexts
Aim to understand, explain and manage employee performance
And enhance/maintain employee health and wellbeing
Are these two aims efficiency and welfare possible?