TABLE OF CONTENT INTRODUCTION 2 PROBLEM 2 ANALYSIS OF THE SITUATION 3 Groups and Teams 3 Power and Politics 7 Motivation 12 ALTERNATIVES AND SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEM 14 SOLUTION: 16 IMPLEMENTATION PLAN: 17 JUSTIFICATION OF THE SOLUTION 18 Introduction In the Federal government, 14 divisions composed the administrative service division. The engineering service division was a smaller part to a government research laboratory. Their purpose was to design and manufacture equipment needed for experiments. There are four formal teams: the Design and Drafting Branch, Planning and Production Branch manufacturing Service Branch and the Engineering Service Branch. There are 50 people in the design group which was divided into three subgroups: two drafting sections and one checking section.
There was a consistent flow between the branches that enabled projects to be completed in an efficient manner. The engineering service division worked competently with no manager for nine months. At this time, Francois Duplessis succeeded Josie Maguire, who previously held the management position. As the corporate consultants we will analyze the company current situation. Problem The recent change in managers within the Engineering Services Division has caused some concern for the success of the company. Francois Duplessis has developed various changes in the workplace.
The changes had cause the group to be less cohesive due to poor communication and conflict. Their level of interdependence was altered which made tasks harder to accomplish. Duplessis did not effectively use his power in order for the laboratory to succeed which resulted in organizational politics. The designer and engineers were content with working together to reach their goals in the organization, therefore, being more independent caused their overall motivation to decline. Analysis of the Situation Groups and Teams Within the Engineering Services Division, there were formal teams and communities of practice. A formal team can be described as "groups of two or more people who interact and influence each other, are mutually accountable for achieving common objectives, and perceive themselves as a social entity within an organization" (McShane 234).
While communities of practice are "informal groups bound together by shared expertise and passion for a particular activity or interest" (McShane 234) The formal teams consisted of the Design and Drafting Branch, the Production and Planning Branch, the Mechanical Shop Branch, and the Electronic Services Branch; all of which were mandated by management. However, there were several communities of practice, which were initiated by the employees themselves. The designers aligned themselves with the machinists to discuss progress on projects and to allow collaboration between the two departments, which in turn developed a strong team cohesiveness and time-efficient production. Team cohesiveness it the degree of attraction people feel towards the team and their motivation to remain members. (McShane 245) Also, the designers, draftsmen, and production all met and interacted frequently on projects.
These communities of practice allowed for a high level of task interdependence, in which work output was exchanged back and forth between the design, production, and planning divisions. The level of task interdependence that the team was at is called reciprocal interdependence. This common exchange created high feelings of responsibility and motivation to work together towards a quality final product. The organizational structure that existed before Duplessis' arrival allowed the individual employees autonomy and responsibility for their work. Management did not interfere with their interaction and encouraged the different departments to communicate openly with one another, rather than with supervisors.
There was no formal, impersonal style to give and receive feedback on the projects, and many employed face-to-face communication. There are two types of team composition: (1) homogeneous teams and (2) heterogeneous teams. Homogenous teams include members with common expertise, demographics, skill and ethics. (McShane 239) The various teams within the Engineering Services Division were homogeneous, as they were mostly divided according to common technical expertise.
This permitted better interpersonal relations, and the high degrees of cooperation and coordination that was needed in developing future products and overcoming problems with present ones. For example, the designers often met socially outside of work and discussed projects, which resulted in innovative solutions. However, the communities of practice allowed the employees to tackle more complex problems as they were heterogeneous groups, formed from different departments which allowed different technical skills and opinions to collaborate on problems. Scientists and designers often went on field trips together, attended meetings and went for lunch in informal groups. Within team development, there are five stages that a team can be at in one point in time. Many times a group will go through all five stages.
The five stages include: (1) forming, (2) storming (3) nor ming, (4) performing and (5) adjourning. The designers were at the performing stage of team development, prior to Duplessis's arrival. This was demonstrated by their ability to solve and create alternatives for the problems encountered by the machinists. Furthermore, there was high level of mutual trust for their individual decisions, as the designers had the ability to make their on the spot decisions. They efficiently tackled these issues with minimal or no conflict or disagreement. It is further exemplified by the great emphasis they placed on task accomplishment.
The designers took pride in their work and shared in the "tense excitement" of bringing a project to fruition. When Duplessis hired a group of industrial engineers the teams level of development suddenly changed. Now they were at the storming stage, the interpersonal conflicts began to arise. This started to interfere with the groups goal and team norms. In order for a team to be effective, much depends on the organizational and team environment. Francois Duplessis's arrival was definitely felt by all within the Engineering Services Division.
Duplessis attempted to implement a reward system which would allocate reward to individuals and not the team as a whole. (McShane 236) His new promotion and salaries policy had a negative impact on the teams that were flourishing. He made it very clear that only a select few would receive the higher salaries, and they would have to compete against one another for them. This conflicted with the existing organizational and team environment, as they should have been rewarded for team performance or a combination of team and individual performance, and not pitted against one another The communications system in place also took a turn for the worse. Duplessis brought in project engineers, who were to act as middlemen and carry ideas back and forth between the designers, planners, and production. Therefore, the communication system changed from being all-channel to a wheel formation.
Communication throughout the Engineering Services Division was undermined because information was not free-flowing, now the project engineers had the capability to pick and choose which information was dispersed between the different departments. This also made the groups have a pooled interdependence (the lowest) rather than the reciprocal interdependence (the highest) that existed prior. (McShane 238) This also lessened the interaction taking place, which in turn loosened the team cohesiveness. Prior to Duplessis's arrival and that of the Industrial Engineers, the employees of the Engineering Services Division had a strong bond that was based upon their drive to complete projects and their ability to collectively work together. The Engineering Services Division was largely made up of self-directed work teams.
These teams can be defined as cross-functional work groups organized around work processes, that complete an entire piece of work requiring several interdependent tasks, and that have substantial autonomy over the execution of these tasks (McShane, Page ) This is demonstrated by the fact that they oversaw projects from start to finish; essentially they completed the projects as a unit with little assistance from management. This helped develop their enriched working environment where the employees derived job satisfaction and realized that working in teams created successful outcomes. There was a high identity-based trust established within this agency, which is based on their identification with each other and mutual understanding of one another's roles and objectives (McShane). It was further bolstered by the fact that many had social relationships outside of work. However, this level of trust fell to the lowest level of calculus-based trust, which is based on deterrence and fear of punishment (McShane) after Duplessis's entrance into the Engineering Services Division due to the arrival of the Industrial Engineers and outsourcing the workload to contacted technicians. This level of trust was not a positive influence to the team environment, as the basis for this trust is founded upon a fear of punishment if one does not deliver.
This level of trust was insufficient. Social loafing can occur within an organization that employs teams when people make less of an effort to accomplish their task than they would work alone (McShane ob text). This occurred with Duplessis's introduction of the Industrial Engineers; because many thought that if the design failed they could easily blame the engineers and screen themselves with the guise that it was not their job to closely examine the plans. Power and Politics There is much power that individuals display in the Engineering Service Division, which results in influences around the work environment.
Power is defined as the "capacity of a person, team, or organization to influence others." (McShane 344) Power expresses the importance of relationships that come with power. Although one may have weaker power than another, their power is of significance to the stronger power holder. This type of relationship is counter power. McShane defines counter power as the "capacity of a person, team, or organization to keep a more powerful person or group in the exchange relationship." (344) Even though the old manager had a "laissez-faire" attitude, she still had legitimate power. (Research and Development 3) Legitimate power is the ability "to influence others through formal authority." (McShane 345) Employees of all departments were aware of the formal authority, which she could wield. However, she chose to be lenient instead of controlling which she knew meshed with the existing work environment.
For approximately nine months, the Engineering Service Division had an absence of any manager at all. The division continued with regular work and completed tasks. The Design and Draft Branch employees had a sense of the sources of power within the organization. There are five sources of power: legitimate power, referent power, reward power, expert power, and coercive power.
(McShane 346) Each employee has power in the designing and implementing of their tasks. Design could make "[frequent] alterations on the spot" to speed the process. (Research and Development 2) They often used their own discretion rather that seeking permission. They were confident in their positions to realize they did not need to confront individuals with legitimate power.
Expert power is derived from the knowledge that an individual possesses. (McShane 347) The designers were "well-educated" and known for their expert power. (Research and Development 2) They possess many years of experiences, some "as long as 25 years." (Research and Development 2) Their skills were an asset to the company and often linked with other departments. Soon after the arrival of Duplessis, he exhibited his reward power. He exerted this power through his ability to "control allotment of rewards valued by employees and his capability to remove the negative penalties." (McShane 347) He had the control of where to allocate bonuses and raises.
He used this reward power in hopes to increase the performance of individuals. In contrast to reward power, coercive power refers to the "ability to punish." (McShane 347) In this case, Duplessis also had coercive power. Those individuals that did not meet standard would be given "less challenging tasks." (Research and Development 4) Individuals with referent power are identified and respected by others. (McShane 347) Many employees did not see any referent power in Duplessis. They did not respect him or identified with his management style. This caused conflict with the employee's values and they did not find him charismatic or likeable.
This is similar to how Duplessis did not respect the rules of "no smoking." (Research and Development 3) They saw him as "crude and aggressive", which greatly contrasted with their views of the former manager. (Research and Development 3) Information power is obtained from legitimate or expert power that exists in two forms: (1) control of information flow and (2) ability to cope with uncertainties within an organization. (McShane 348) The employees lacked information because Duplessis gave ambiguous instructions for various tasks. Duplessis had full control of the information on how that task was to be completed and employees "somehow put together" the assigned tasks.
(Research and Development 4) The company demonstrated centralized information flow; only the industrial engineers had convenient access to Duplessis. By having an organization structured with the centralized information flow, Duplessis made it difficult for employees to accomplish the task at hand. The employees were unable to cope with uncertainties as they rose. The employees did not forecast any change that the new manager may bring. If employees had better preparation for the changes in the company, they would have had the opportunity to adapt accordingly. They only knew that Duplessis had great expert powers and was "successfull" but not how much.
(Research and Development 3) The employees were unable to absorb the environmental changes around them. the employees were not the only ones to lack information power, Duplessis had similar actions. Duplessis did not use his power to help employees cope with uncertainty. Instead of preventing any environmental change, had changed the routine in which employees conferred with the chief engineers.
Previous to the changes, employees could directly go to a member of management. There are also contingencies of power within an organization. These include: , centrality, discretion, and visibility. Outside of the job designers maintained social relationships. They were introduced to family members, and joined each other in various activities.
They spent much time networking and building stronger relationships with others. Networking is refining social relationships with others to accomplish one's goal. (McShane 352) During this time, they would discuss projects and "creative solutions would result." (Research and Development 2) In turn, networking helped individual with their visibility. By building relationships in the work place, employees were easily identified throughout the company and roles were more clearly defined. This also caused others to notice the kinds of expert power that they carried. They were friendly and informal with each other, which made working together run flow effortlessly.
When the transition of managers occurred, the level of centrality that existed between the design and drafting branch critically decreased. Centrality describes the degree of interdependence between employees and the power holder. They now do "not have to worry about coordinating projects between scientist, planning and production." (Research and Development 4) The departments do not depend on each other as much as before. Now their presence does not affect one another, because their interaction is not as vital as it once was. Before Duplessis's arrival, the designers had much discretion.
They had the freedom to use their own judgment when it came to decision-making. They did not need to follow specific rules or receive permission before making final decisions. When the industrial engineers were hired there was immediate conflict. The industrial engineers had much visibility power. The designer and planners knew that industrial engineers had an easygoing relationship with Duplessis.
Their powers were displayed and known by all the other employees. Influence tactics are often used in organizations. There are seven types of influence tactics that McShane identifies: silent authority, assertiveness, exchange, coalition formation, upward appeal, ingratiation/ impression management, persuasion, and information control. (354) Duplessis used a couple of types of influence tactic with his employees. He exercised exchange by implementing a "promotion policy" in attempts to gain higher employee performances. (Research and Development 4) (McShane 355) Duplessis also used information control.
He only provided information to the industrial engineers. Decisions were made without inquiring suggestions or feedback from others in the organization. Duplessis exercised assertiveness when he "asked for a report" from the designers. (Research and Development 4) The designers followed his request even though it was against the company's goal of cost saving. The legitimate power that is associated with assertiveness caused the designers to ignore the "War on Waste" (Research and Development 4) He did not use this influence tactic to the best of his abilities because he did not follow through with the promotion policy. The employees also used influence tactics in the organization.
They attempted to influence people outside the group by pooling the power of its members. This is called coalition. (McShane 355) The employees were less focused on tasks and more focused on using their power against the industrial engineers. Within the laboratory, there were political behaviors. This type of behavior is perceived as self- serving personal gain and at the expense of others and the organization. (McShane ) Individual's motion to support organization politics can often be traced to their personal characteristics.
Locus of control refers to a personality trait to the extent which a person believes that events are within their control. Those who feel that they are much in control of their own destiny have an internal locus of control. Those who feel that fate or luck are responsible for the events in their lives have an external locus of control. (McShane, 59) In this case, the designers have an internal locus of control. They believed their actions would determine the outcome. When the designers formed their coalition, their goal was to "discuss new ways of sabotaging the work of the industrial engineers." (Research and Development 5) These actions were done only to benefit the employees within the coalition.
They had no consideration for the industrial engineers or for the research laboratory. Although there were many types forms of power exercised in the research and development laboratory, power was not used in its fullest extent. Duplessis did not utilize his power to benefit the employees, and some forms of power from the employees did not benefit the organization. Power can be effective and beneficial when it is used in its proper form. Motivation Upon Duplessis's arrival there was an overall negative impact on employees' motivation. Employees' motivation is the force within them that can affect their voluntary behavior in the workplace.
They became less motivated once Duplessis made too many changes in the company. One of the motivational theories is the McClelland's theory of learned needs. Before Duplessis, employees had the need for achievement. Need for achievement is the learned need to accomplish challenging goals through their own efforts.
(McShane 139) The individuals showed a need for affiliation. Need for affiliation is when people seek acceptance from others and to avoid conflict. This need is displayed by the employees' relationships that extended beyond the workplace, such as their golf trips, and weekend hiking and camping trips. By forming positive relationships they built better self images with each other. McClelland's theory concludes with a need in which people seek control over their surroundings in order to achieve power for themselves or others.
The employees within the Engineering exhibited socialized power through One way to discuss motivation is through the expectancy theory. It is the "motivation theory based on the idea that work effort is directed toward behaviors that people believe will lead to desired outcomes." (McShane 142) To measure one's effort level relies on three sections: effort-to-performance (E = >P) expectancy, performance-to-outcome (P = >O) expectancy, and outcome-valance (V). Expectancy is defined as probability, and ranges on a scale from 0. 0 to 1. 0. (McShane 142) The first part of this theory is effort-to-performance.
E = >P is the "perceived probability that his or her effort will result in a particular level of performance." (McShane 142) After the arrival of Duplessis, the designers' E = >P was at a 0. 7. They were use to being able to "[work] closely with scientists, planners, and production on their projects." (Research and Development 5) Recent changes have stated that they would no longer need to interact with other departments. This caused the designers nuisance as their level of performance dropped due to the alterations of the process of task completion. The second section is performance-to-outcome. P = >O is the " perceived probability that a specific behavior or performance level will lead to specific outcome" (McShane 143) The designers; P = >O was at a 0.
3. They knew that if they "excelled" in their work, they would receive a raise. However, along with this Duplessis explained that "only an exceptional few would get the larger salaries" (Research and Development 4) Although they knew the outcome, the probability for many of the employees to receive the bonus was unlikely. The last section of expectancy theory is valence (V) is "the anticipated satisfaction or dissatisfaction that an individual feels toward an outcome." (McShane 143) The (V) for the designers was at a - 0. 0 Employees were unsatisfied with the outcome of their work efforts. Instead of being proud and feelings of achievement, they felt as if they were in "prison" (Research and Development 7) Many of them "considered returning to university" instead of keeping their positions.
(Research and Development 7). With the combination of the three values in each section, it measures the level of motivation. Since all three numbers were low, this concludes that they were highly unmotivated after the arrival of Duplessis. Organization justice can be defined in two terms; distributive justice and procedural justice. Distributive justice is "the perceived fairness in the outcomes we receive relative to our contributions and the outcomes and the contribution of others." (McShane 151) The designers had to "compete for [the]" large salaries when their work and contribution with one another was unchanged. They were all required to contribute the same amount of work and focus on one ultimate goal.
However Duplessis implemented a bonus system that would reward some individuals and not others. Procedural justice is " the fairness of the procedures used to decide the distributions of resources." Although Duplessis never followed through with the reward system, if he would have it would have caused some conflict. The designers did not know which job characteristics would earn a "super-grade" (Research and Development ) and which would be punished for. Alternatives and Solutions to the problem Alternative #1: Train employees with updated skills, procedures and resources.
This would provide employees with more expert power. Employees would to be at a reciprocal level of interdependence instead of a sequential level of interdependence due to new resources. Teams would be more effective and motivated. Pros: Cons: - more highly skilled workers- high task performance- employees would be more satisfied with their job - middle management would feel threatened by advancing employees, as there would be less need for their roles - salary disputes due to lack of clear roles Alternative #2 Enroll Duplessis in a team-building workshop, in order to effectively manage his team.
Duplessis would have more expert power and his level of referent power would increase. The team would be more cohesive after learning new techniques. This would eliminate the conflict between the designers and the industrial engineers. Motivation would increase due to the positive outcomes of the team-building exercises. Pros: Cons: - create a more cohesive work environment- complement the employees existing values and their roles- clarify performance goals and increase motivation - costly to the company to train Duplessis- short time without a manager- Duplessis may feel undermined and choose to leave the company on bad terms. Alternative #3 Duplessis should not be considered for the extension on his position as manger.
Employees would be more motivated to stay due to the fact that Duplessis's management style did not satisfy them. This would cause the team to function in the manner in which they were previous to Duplessis's reign. Employees would be able to utilize their expert power to its full extent. Pros: Cons: - teams would work effectively - employees would not have to work with a manager they did not value- employees would be more motivated to come to work everyday - no manager for some time- costly to the company to find a new manager Solution: The solution that we have decided is best suited for the research and development laboratory is alternative # 2. Our solution is to enroll Duplessis in a team-building workshop, in order to effectively manage his team.
Duplessis would have more expert power and his level of referent power would increase. The team would be more cohesive after learning new techniques. This would eliminate the conflict between the designers and the industrial engineers. Motivation would increase due to the positive outcomes of the team-building exercises. Implementation Plan: In order to implement the solution the Research and Development laboratory will undergo these following steps: 1) Duplessis will be enrolled in a team building training workshop which is exclusive to managers in charge of a large number of associates. 2) Duplessis will learn about role definition, goal setting, problem solving, and interpersonal process.
3) Duplessis will return to the laboratory to introduce the new activity which will help the team develop in a positive conduct. 4) Employees will be encouraged to describe their role perceptions and expectations within their own branch. 5) Employees will revise roles and work toward a similar goal. 6) Duplessis will set goals for the team, mainly performance goals. 7) Duplessis will guide employees to improve on task-related decision making dealing with problems within the organization.
8) Duplessis will assign tasks that require trust and communication between team members. After the preceding steps have been completed, Duplessis will have used his power effectively. He would have helped teams become more cohesive and more motivated. Justification of the Solution Make all employees of the Research and Development Laboratory undergoes team building exercises. One of which could be role definition, which would allow the team members to describe their views of what others roles were and what their own roles consisted of, this would enable them to build their cohesiveness and allow them a mutual understanding of one another's responsibilities, this could also increase their motivation.
Another form of team building they could participate in would be interpersonal process. This encourages the employees to build open dialogue amongst them, which would in turn reveal any negative attitudes they had towards one another and allow them to develop a better working relationship.