Case Study: Organizational Behavior What Influence Tactics

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[. . .] If an employee took advantage of the situation and was absent too much they would come in for the same disciplinary action that any lackadaisical employee could expect.

The answer to the question then is no I do not think that empowerment has been taken too far in this case. Employees, especially in these economic times, value their jobs. It seems very unlikely that many would take negative advantage of this opportunity. Since this system has worked for one company, it is not outside the realms of possibility that it would work for others. Though there may be some additional challenges because this is a small company (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2010), there is precedent of the system working in the past even for smaller firms.

What impact do you expect the ROWE program to have on organizational politics at J.A. Counter? Explain.

The given case explains that the attitude within the company was at a very low point. The case states that "Skoglund had started doing more comprehensive performance reviews, increased the company's sales goals, cut expenses, and fired a couple of employees." All of this was in the interest of reversing the trend that had started regarding the sluggish performance at the company. The atmosphere within the company had become bleak. Employees were afraid of losing their positions, so it is likely that politicking against others to maintain employment was rampant. Since organizational politics are basically self-serving (Alagse, 2010), personal interest was preeminent instead of company being the main focus.

The ROWE system is designed to give empowerment to the employee, so it is designed to be an organizational politics killer. Empowerment has to be handled correctly though or it can result in an even worse environment. Keitner and Kinicki (2010) relate that empowerment cannot be just handed to employees one day without any preparation on the part of management. Thus, employees will be given freedom by degrees rather than all at once. This allows them to be successful in the new system.

Most likely, once employees at J.A. Counter felt comfortable with the new system, they also understood the autonomy it gave them. The company in this situation is seen to understand the importance of what the employees give to the company (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2010). This means that the employee begins to change the way they regard the company; they become more invested in the company and less engaged in individual success. Basically, the success of the company is the success of the individual. Therefore, the change in office politics would be from "everyone for themselves" to "all for one."

What are your own feelings about the ROWE concept? Would you like to work in such an unstructured situation? Explain why or why not I have always believed in the concept of autonomy or personal responsibility. It seems to me that I am the best judge of personal motivation and I can work better for the organization if I am given the trust that comes with personal responsibility. Of course, this type of management can be taken too far, but there are boundaries inherent in the ROWE system. I believe that because a person has personal freedom, each individual will be more willing to work with the personal freedom of others. There are times that one person will have to stay at work so that some other can do something that they need to do. I believe that the ROWE system will foster a family spirit along with personal freedom.

I do believe that it would take someone willing to accept responsibility for their actions to thrive in this system. The employees would also have to be good self-starters. I personally would like to work in this type of system because it allows for something I have always sought in employment -- autonomy. The main reason I am seeking higher education is because I believe it will give me more freedom.

References

Alagse. (2010). Leadership and organizational politics. Retrieved from http://www.alagse.com/leadership/l3.php

Bloomberg Businessweek. (2006). Smashing the clock: No schedules. No mandatory meetings. Inside Best Buy's radical reshaping of the workplace. Bloomberg http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_50/b4013001.htm

Kidwell, R., Bennett, N., & Valentine, S. (2010). The limits of effort in understanding performance: What employees 'do' and what might be done about it. Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship, 15 (1), 3-9.

Kreitner, R., & Kinicki, A. (2010). Organizational behavior, (9th Ed.). New York: McGraw- Hill Higher Education. [END OF PREVIEW]

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