Introduction This assignment will analyse the organisation behaviour of two mining companies: WMC Resources and BHP Billiton. It will discuss issues such as: motivating in the short term, resistance to change, internal and external forces that favour change, characteristics of an effective team, factors of team effectiveness, and how to use punishment strategies successfully. Summary Clear understanding of the relationship between performance and outcomes – e. g. he rules of the reward ‘game’ Trust in the people who will take the decisions on who gets what outcome (BHP) Transparency of the process that decides who gets what outcome The people who will make the decisions (BHP) have stated “we continue to grow and expand our business quite significantly, and that always requires first-class people” So this again should be used to motivate the employees into realising that, good performance leads to your desired outcome (keeping their job).
Evidence to justify this is the following example; there are three sales representatives who are candidates for promotion to one sales manager’s job. Bill has had a very good sales year and always gets good performance evaluations. However, he isn’t sure that he wants the job because it involves a great deal of travel, long working hours, and much stress and pressure. Paul wants the job badly but doesn’t think he had much chance of getting it. He has had a terrible sales year and gets only mediocre performance evaluations from his present boss. Susan wants the job as much as Paul, and she thinks that she has a pretty good shot at it.
Her sales have improved significantly this past year, and her evaluations are the best in the company. Expectancy theory would predict that Bill and Paul are not very motivated to seek the promotion. Bill doesn’t really want it, and Paul doesn’t think he has much of a chance of getting it. Susan, however, is very motivated to seek the promotion because she wants it and thinks that she can get it. (Pride, 2009) b) There are three reasons the WMC employees are resistant to change; Fear of the unknown, need for security, and not feeling the need to change.
Employees resist change because they have to learn something new. In many cases there is not a disagreement with the benefits of the new process, but rather a fear of the unknown future and about their ability to adapt to it. De Jager (2001, p. 24) argues, ‘Most people are reluctant to leave the familiar behind. We are all suspicious about the unfamiliar; we are naturally concerned about how we will get from the old to the new, especially if it involves learning something new and risking failure”. The WMC employees are facing this problem right now with the takeover that is about to go through.
The employees are unsure about the future of the company and won’t know whether BHP will change things such as: daily duties, company protocol/processes, and even add new tasks. To help minimize resistance to change, the manager should try to offer information to the employees about what might change in the future. This will remove the element of the unknown and help them to deal with the changes early on. Also they should try to encourage staff and make them believe that they have the ability to adjust, therefore removing the anxiety of the takeover.
If employees don’t see the need to change, they may become very stubborn and difficult to work with. Sometimes when there is a change in the workplace, employees don’t agree with it and feel they are doing jobs well enough and the organisation is running smoothly already. Even if this is true, there is always room for improvement and this should be expressed to the employees. WMC has a great opportunity to become involved in a bigger corporation and with some employees having a chance to keep their jobs, it should be highlighted to them that perhaps this will lead to a pay rise or even promotion.
To minimize the resistance they should: provide support to the staff by actively listening to the problems and complaints they have, provide training to help the staff blend in with the new way of doing things, and help to overcome the performance pressures. Maybe then, the WMC employees will see that this change will lead to an improvement of the company and work efficiently and peacefully once again. c) Organizational change can be caused by external forces and internal forces. External forces commence outside of the organization and not only do they affect a company, but they also cause global affects.
There are three components that play a crucial role in change of an organization from an external forces view. These three key factors allow a company to undergo change and reconstruct its organization to improve its production and services. Economic factors greatly affect WMC. This includes the nature and direction of the national economy in which a company does business. For international entities, it includes the global economy. We know that consumption is affected by the wealth of the population, and business people must plan accordingly.
Some major considerations include the availability of credit and the amount of disposable income in a given market. Both inflation and interest rates and a given country’s GDP are other economic factors that can help or hinder a company’s marketing efforts. The current economy has left smaller companies vulnerable to bankruptcy. Merging with a larger company like BHP will allow WMC to compete effectively in the world market. Internal forces for change come from inside the organization. These forces may be subtle, such as low morale, or can manifest in outward signs, such as low productivity and conflict.
Internal forces for change come from both human resource problems and managerial behaviour/decisions. Human Resource Problems is a major internal force for change. These problems stem from employee perceptions about how they are treated at work and the match between individual and organization needs. Dissatisfaction comes from an underlying employee problem that should be addressed. Unusual or high levels of absenteeism and turnover also represent forces for change. WMC might respond to these problems by reducing employees’ role conflict, overload, and ambiguity, and by removing the different stressors.
Prospects for positive change stem from employee participation and suggestions. Managerial Behaviour/Decisions are an essential reason for organisational change. Excessive interpersonal conflict between managers and their subordinates is a sign that change is needed. Both the manager and the employee may need interpersonal skills training, or the two individuals may simply need to be separated. For example, one of the parties might be transferred to a new department. Inappropriate leader behaviours such as inadequate direction or support may result in human resource problems requiring change.
Leadership training is one potential solution for this problem. Inequitable reward systems are additional forces for change. Clear Purpose – The vision, mission, goal or task of the team must be defined and accepted by everyone. In the case of BHP-WMC, there will be many changes when the two merge, so all the staff will have to be notified of the new action plan. This will make the team focused on the goal. Informality – A good team should be informal, comfortable and relaxed. There shouldn’t be any obvious tensions or signs of boredom.
This may be tough for BHP-WMC because of the merger, there may be some resentment towards the other company’s staff for having to merge with them. Also cliques will have formed which may cause some problems with the group working together. If they can work together effortlessly they will perform to a higher standard. Participation – There should be much discussion and everyone should be encouraged to participate. This is also great for getting all the new staff members to bond with the BHP staff and to make them feel they are important to the company.
Listening – The members should use effective listening techniques such as questioning, paraphrasing and summarizing to get out ideas. Therefore benefiting the company with possible innovative ideas. Civilized Disagreement – If there is disagreement, the team must be comfortable with this and show no signs of avoiding, smoothing over or suppressing conflict. This is likely to happen with the two companies’s having their own previous ways of doing things, but to create an effective team, they must all constructively discuss and find a middle ground.
Consensus Decisions – For important decisions, the goal is substantial but not necessarily unanimous agreement through open discussion of everyone’s ideas, avoidance of formal voting or easy compromises. This way the group should get the most suitable outcome without upsetting any of the group members or giving in to a poor idea due to peer pressure. Open Communication – Team members should feel free to express their feelings on the tasks as well as on the group’s operation. There should be few hidden agendas.
Communication takes place outside of meetings. This way nobody is hiding any feelings and is comfortable with the ongoing operations. Shared Leadership – While a team has a formal leader, leadership functions shift from time to time depending on the circumstances, the needs of the group and the skills of the members. The formal leader should models the appropriate behaviour and helps establish positive norms. This will give everyone a chance to feel important to the company and a chance to improve their leadership skills.
External Relations – The team should spend time developing key outside relationships and mobilizing resources, then building credibility with important players in other parts of the organization. This will be handy for when they need help from other departments, especially in a fast growing company like BHP. Style Diversity – The team should have a broad spectrum of team-player types, including members who emphasize attention to task, goal setting, focus on process and questions about how the team is functioning. This gives diversity and strength is every area.
Self-Assessment – Periodically, the team should stops to examine how well it is functioning and what may be interfering with its effectiveness. This is essential for any team, especially a newly created one like BHP-WMC. b) In creating effective teams, managers should act as facilitators and accept mutual accountability. do not monopolize team projects do not control daily activities. BHP-WMC could adopt these two theories quite easily. The managers could act as facilitators to the team so that it became more effective.
They need to have a shared understanding and share responsibilities so that they can understand each other and work together as a well functioning machine. Mutual influence and task autonomy is also necessary to make BHP-WMC more effective than they currently are. Mutual accountability will improve BP-WMC effectiveness because it means the responsibility doesn’t land all on one person, which means it’s more likely to improve your chances of achieving your objective if the responsibility is shared across the team.
To increase an employee’s behaviour, a positive re-enforcer is used immediately after the behaviour is presented, the premise being that if the employee does something and is rewarded, then they are more likely to repeat the act. Constant reinforcement must be used to help new behaviours become established. To maintain the desired behaviour once it is established, an intermittent re-enforcer, one that is used only occasionally, should be sufficient to use. Negative reinforcement is similar to the concept of a reward.
Essentially, this is when something negative is removed from a person’s experience as a way to increase the likelihood of good behaviour happening again. For example, if a child studies hard for a test and the parent rewards the child by not making him do chores, it is likely that this good studying behaviour will recur. Extinction is the stopping of positive reinforcers that have been maintaining an inappropriate behaviour. This relies on the theory that behaviours which are not reinforced will soon disappear. Both positive and negative reinforcement result in learning. They strengthen a response and increase the possibility of repetition.
Both punishment and extinction, however, weaken behaviour and tend to decrease its subsequent frequency. b) Punishment should be used as a last resort only. With the employees already low on morale due to the uncertainty of their jobs, it wouldn’t take much to push them over the edge and start acting inappropriately, or even worse, quitting. Ways of using punishment as a reinforcement strategy are as follows: The behaviour plan is congruent must be within regulations and company policies. The use of punishment procedures to manage employee behaviours is an issue of growing debate.
Employees should take care that all elements of a behaviour plan, including punishment procedures, fall within disciplinary guidelines both of the company policies and within the law. Reference List Dick, P. & Ellis, S. (2006), Introduction to Organizational Behaviour 3rd Edition, McGraw-Hill Education, Berkshire, UK Mosley, D. C. , Megginson, L. C. , & Pietri, P. H. (2001) Supervisory Management: The Art of Empowering and Developing People, South-Western College Publishing, Ohio, U. S. A Ehlen, D. (1994), Supporting high performance teams, Manage, 46(2), pp. 32-34. Organizations, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, U. S. A
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