MBA mid term exam Essay

 

 

 

 

 

Q No. 1.

We are experiencing changes in all spheres of our lives — relationships, ambitions, living standard, work, tools, techniques. There are numerous visible and invisible forces, which are constantly affecting changes in organizations, a few of them are as follows:

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Political — Warning ideologies, new equations, transitory relationships,

Financial — New types of Finances and Financial Institutions.

All changes are not similar in nature. Some changes keep on happening on their own and some are planned. There are three types of changes.

• Evolution

• Revolution

• Planned change

When people are not willing and not prepared for facing the change, change comes gradually as a natural process, in small adjustments or shifts in response to emerging problems — this type of change is called Evolution.

When people reach a state of readiness to resolve conflicts by applying force on others to comply through coercion or suppression, Revolution takes place.

When efforts are made to make others experience the need of change and determine the ideal or desired situation and striving to achieve the ideal or desired state through planned actions — Planned Change takes place.

Three Significant Consequences

Exceptional Change: A particular change is accepted as an exception as there is no change in ongoing aspects. The existing beliefs are not changed but specific change is introduced separately, as an exception.

Incremental Change: A gradual change, those who are affected do not experience it initially.

Pendulum Change: Change from one extreme point of view to the opposite is termed as pendulum change.

PHASES OF PLANNED CHANGE

For getting the enduring results, change cannot be left to choice; rather planned efforts will have to be made. Consolidating various models, a general approach of making planned change may be evolved:

Creating awareness and disturbance.

Feeling the need of change.

Exploring the readiness.

Diagnosis.

Designing and planning interventions.

Intervening — managing the transition

Q No. 2.

BENEFITS OF THE COMPETENCY APPROACH

There are different approaches to competency analysis. While some competency studies take months to complete and result in vague statements that have little relevance to people in the organization but if done well they provide the following benefits to the organization such as: :

a) Increased productivity;

b) Improved work performance;

c) Training that is focused on organizational objectives;

d) Employees know up front what is expected of them;

e) Employees are empowered to become partners in their own performance development; and

f) The approach builds trust between employees and managers

One of the strong points of this approach is that it requires interaction between the employer and the employee. The job analysis is a catalyst to meaningful discussion of lob performance because the employer and employee have a common understanding of expectations. This is due to the explicit nature of the competency statements pertaining to the job. The fact that the employee conducts a self-appraisal of performance and the employer must confirm this assessment requires a counseling type of interaction to take place. The growth plan requires input from the employer and the employee for its development and follow-up.

IDENTIFYING OF COMPETENCY APPROACH IN AN ORGANISATION

Competency approach is a foundation upon which to build a variety of human resource development initiatives. This adaptable, flexible, and scalable tool has been used for the following benefits to the organization:

a) provides a systematic approach to planning training

b) customizes training delivery to the individual or organization

c) evaluates suitability of training programs to promote job competence

d) provides employees with a detailed job description

e) develops job advertisements

f) helps in personnel selection

g) assists in performance appraisals

h) targets training to skills that require development

i) gives credit for prior knowledge and experience

j) focuses on performance improvement

k) promotes ongoing employee performance development identifies employee readiness for promotion

Q No. 3.

DIFFERENT VIEWS ABOUT CONFLICT

Whether conflicts are avoidable or are they inevitable. The views about conflict itself are conflicting.

The Traditional View

The traditional view regarded all conflicts as harmful and evil. Conflict was viewed negatively and was associated with violence, turbulence, agitation, destruction and irrationality. It was believed that conflict indicated a malfunctioning within the organization and that the appearance of conflict was the consequence of the management’s failure to bind the employees and the organization together and failure to communicate to them the commonality between the individual and organization interests. Had the management corrected those lapses, according to the traditionalists, there would have been no conflict, and the organization would have been able to function as a smooth integrated whole if the principles of scientific management were properly applied, then the age-old conflict between labor and management would disappear.  Since all conflict is bad and is to be avoided, then we need merely isolate the factors that cause conflict and eliminate them.

The Behavioral View

The behavioral school of thought argues that conflict is the logical and inevitable outcome in any organization and as such should be accepted.. Managers of various departments had separate priorities and conflicting ideas about resource allocation. Hence conflict was the unavoidable outcome. Subordinates may clash with the manager over whether the work can be accomplished in the given period of time or not. Thus, according to the behaviouralists, conflict was an unavoidable outcome but at the same time they believed that conflict need not always be detrimental. Under some circumstances it could focus on problems and instigate a search for better and more innovative solutions to problems. According to the behaviouralist, the major antecedent conditions which induce aggressiveness and conflict in people are the faulty policies and structure resulting in distortion and breakdown in communication. Hence the manager’s role in resolving conflict is to restore understanding, trust and openness between parties.

The Interactionist View

The thinking currently prevalent about conflict has been labeled as the interactionist view. In contrast to the behaviouralist view which merely accepts conflict as inevitable, the interactionists not only accept conflict but also encourage it. The inevitability of conflict results from the interaction between organizationally imposed struggle for limited rewards and innate aggressive and competitive instincts in people. Against this perspective, the interactionists maintain that if harmony, peace, tranquility and cooperativeness prevail in a situation for a longtime, the group is prone to become nonresponsive to innovation and change. To shake the group out of its complacency and to make it viable, self-critical and creative, an ongoing minimum level of conflict must be maintained. Advocates of interactionist view emphasize that the mission of management is effective goal attainment, not the creation of harmony and cooperation. So, a manager’s task is not to eliminate or reduce conflict but to manage it in such a manner so that it beneficial effects are maximized and its negative or harmful aspects are minimized.

Q No. 4.

Interpersonal competence refers to the degree to which one is accurately aware of ones impact on others and of the impact of others on him. It is the ability to engage in an mutually helpful relationships. It enables one to achieve ones personal goals as well as task goals in the organizations where one is a member.

Interpersonally incompetent managers create an organizational environment in which members act very defensively to protect their own interests. Since everybody acts defensively in the organization where roles and relationships are basically interdependent, neither the personal goals of the members, nor the task goals can be fully realized. Problems are not confronted and are kept hidden from each other for fear that exploring the problems will only aggravate the situation. In course of time, issues which were avoided and swept under the rug assume gigantic proportions and overwhelm the members. On the other hand, interpersonally competent managers allow their subordinates to challenge their views and to question the organization’s norms, policies, rules and objectives. When these kinds of behavior are tolerated people are likely to discover problems and commit themselves to their solutions. Organizational effectiveness increases.

Mankind is unique because only a human being has the capacity for thinking about his or her behavior and appearance. Each person has an attitude toward himself or herself and this attitude comprises the self or self-concept. The self-concept has three aspects—beliefs, feelings and behaviors. The belief component represents the content of the self. This is illustrated by such thoughts as “I am intelligent, sociable, sincere” etc. The feeling component about one’s self is reflected in feelings of self-worth or in general as ‘I’m O.K.’ or ‘I’m not O.K.’ Finally, the behavioral component is the tendency to act toward one’s self in a self-deprecating or self-enhancing manner.

Ones self-concept is a reflection of all ones past experiences with other persons and includes characteristics which distinguish him from others. Once self-concept is established and specific patterns of behavior are adopted, it tends to resist change. This resistance to change also gives a degree of stability that prevents  from regarding oneself as worthless at one moment and worthy at the next. As activities are organized and integrated in relation to ones self-concept, he can expect to develop a relatively consistent life-style. Also, one achieves a stable interpersonal environment by maintaining a consistent relationship between  self-concept and beliefs about how others behave and feel toward him with regard to  self-concept. In order to maintain interpersonal environment and to maximize  harmony, one actively uses certain mechanisms to stabilize interactions.

 

 

Q No. 5

SOCIALISED AND PERSONALISED POWER

Authority is the right to command and extract obedience from others. It comes from organization and it allows the leader to use power. Power is the ability to exercise influence or control over others.

In the functioning of a leader the ability to guide the action of others is achieved through his authority. Carrying out of these decisions is accomplished because of the power of the leader.

Legitimate Power

This power comes to the leader when the organizations authority is accepted. It comes from the rules of the organization. For example, teachers, managers, police, etc. have legitimate power only when their authority is accepted in the positions they hold.

Expert Power

This is the power of knowledge and skill of special kind that are important in getting the job done. A person’s professional competence or knowledge gives him the expert power. His credibility increases. He can lead other persons to trust his judgments and decisions, as an expert like a physicist or a lawyer or a chemist or a computer programmer or a purchasing agent or a financial analyst A leader himself may not be an expert in all fields, but he can certainly take the help of experts in particular fields.

Charismatic Power

This is the power of attraction or devotion, the desire of one person to admire another. A subordinate feels a positive attraction towards a leader by identifying himself with the leader or gets influenced by the leader’s attractive power. This power helps the subordinate to understand and value the leader so much that he understands and acts according to the expectations of the boss or the leader.

Reward Power

This power is the present or potential ability to reward for worthy behavior. The superior or the leader has the power to give tangible rewards such as promotion, office space, time off from work, attractive work assignments and help to the subordinate. Also psychological rewards like praise, appreciation, approval and recognition can be given by the leader or the superior to the subordinate. The subordinate has to believe that he has access to higher authorities, therefore he can give rewards.

Coercive Power

This is the ability’ to threaten or punish. The leader can give tangible punishments like dismissal, demotion, low rating, less satisfying work assignments, etc. Psychological punishments include criticism, avoidance, disapproval, satirical remarks on the subordinate. The reward power helps to avoid something undesirable. Self-esteem of the subordinate increases because of reward power and decreases because of punishment or coercive power. Even a subordinate may withdraw or break the rules or become hostile. He may not feel attracted towards the charismatic power of the leader and at times may ignore the leader’s legitimate power.

Q No. 6.

SELF-LEADERSHIP

The word style is the way in which the leader influences followers.  Various studies that help us to understand the leadership styles are:

Hawthorne Studies

One phase of these studies aimed at finding out if changes in illumination, rest period and lunch breaks can affect the productivity of the workers. It was found to the surprise of the researchers that less light, shorter and fewer rest periods and shorter lunch breaks resulted in increased productivity. And once all these changes were eliminated and the normal working conditions were resumed, it was also seen that the workers’ productivity and the feeling of being together went up. The increase in productivity was attributed to the attitude of workers towards each other and their feeling of togetherness. In addition, attention paid to the workers by the researches made them feel important which resulted in improvement in their work performance. This is known as Hawthorne effect. These findings made Mayo and Roethlisberger conclude that a leader has not only to plan, decide, organize, lead and control but also consider the human element. This includes social needs of being together and being recognized for the work interaction of the group members with each other and their well being. A good leader ought to keep the above aspects in his style of working with people and supervising their work,

Theory X and Y

McGregor (1960) categorized leadership styles into two broad categories having two different beliefs and assumptions about subordinates. He called these Theory X and Theory Y. The Theory X style of leaders believes that most people dislike work and will avoid it wherever possible. Such leaders feel they themselves are a small but important group, who want to lead and take responsibility, but a large majority of people want to be directed and avoid responsibility. Therefore, this style of leadership exercises strong controls and direction and wherever necessary punish people if they do not do the work. If people do the work as desired, they may even get monetary or other rewards. Theory Y leaders assume that people will work hard and assume responsibility if they can satisfy their personal needs and the objectives or goals of their organization. Such leaders do not sharply distinguish between the leaders and the followers in contrast to Theory X style. They feel that people control themselves within rather than being controlled by others from outside such as a leader or a manager or a supervisor.

 

 

Michigan Studies on Leadership Styles

Likert (1961) at University of Michigan Survey Research Centre identified two major styles of leadership orientations -_employee orientation and production orientation. The employee oriented style of the leader emphasizes the relationship aspect of the jobs of the individual. Such a leader takes interest in every one and accepts the individuality and personal needs of the individual. He has complete confidence and trust in all matters in his subordinates. His subordinates feel free to discuss things about their jobs with their superior. He always asks subordinates for ideas and opinions and always tries to make constructive use of them.

The production oriented style of the leader emphasizes production and technical aspects of the job. He looks at subordinates or employees as tools to accomplish the goals of the organization. Work, working condition and work methods are tried to be understood better in his style of the leadership orientation.

Q No. 7

STRESS MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME

Quality of working life changed gradually and became popular only in 90s and organizations realized its potential to enhance the productivity in the new century. This works as a comprehensive model to those employers who want to ensure quality in working life of their employees. An ideal quality of work life programme will include practices in  major areas as  below:

1) Adequate and fair compensation: This is fundamental to  quality of working life. Human beings work for livelihood. Therefore success of rest of the initiatives depends upon fulfillment of this. However, important here is that compensation offered must be adequate implying it must be proportionate to labor, and there should be internal consistency among salaries of employees.

2) Safe and healthy working conditions: Unsafe and hazardous working conditions cause problems to both employers and employees. There may be little advantage to the employer in short-term but in medium and long-terms, it adversely affects the productivity. Therefore, adequate investment must be made to ensure safe and healthy working conditions.

3) Social integration in the work organization: Relationships between and among the employees is an indicator of healthy work organization. Therefore, opportunities must be provided for formal and informal interactions. All kind of classes religions, races, crafts, and designations must be treated equally on a social platform. In other words, it creates egalitarian environment.

Q No.8

EMPLOYEE INVOLVEMENT

Participation of employees is the process of passing authority and responsibility to individuals at lower levels in the organizational hierarchy. To achieve empowerment, managers must be sure that employees at the lowest hierarchy levels have the right mix of information, about process, quality, customer feedback and events, knowledge of the work, the business and the total work system, power to act and make decisions about the aspects of work and rewards tied to business result and growth in the capability and contribution, to work autonomously or independently of management control and direction. The advantages of an empowerment or involvement are said to include higher quality products and services, less absenteeism, lower turnover, better decision-making and better problem solving which, in turn, result in greater organizational effectiveness.

Benefits of Employee Involvement

Participation benefits the organization itself by creating an environment which encourages proactively problem-solving, accepting challenge, innovation, continuous improvement, optimum utilization of employees, a high degree of employee motivation and enhancement of business performance.

For employees, empowerment provides a sense of high self-esteem, high degree of involvement and participation, a learning environment opportunity for personal growth and development and a greater sense of achievement. Replacing the fear and greed hierarchy with network of empowered workers creates benefits like; faster responses, loyal customers, quality-lower costs, greater productivity and employee.

Empowerment is an important process in the organization to foster the decision- making, issues and to motivate the employees who get immense job satisfaction. In the contemporary business environment, empowerment is essential to be more competitive and productive. In most of the organizations, empowerment is not practiced in true spirit because of the absence of a positive organizational culture that believes in trust, transparency and employee development.

Q No. 9

MANAGING TEAM NORMS

Teams take time to develop. A team is not formed merely by declaring some individuals as a team. A lot of research has been done on group formation and development, and different theories of groups development have been suggested. The following four actions are suggested to minimize the practice:

1) Awareness: At this stage individuals get to know each other. By knowing the goals of the team they commit themselves to the goals. The members get to know and accept to work together for a goal about which they have enough knowledge.

2) Conflict: At the first stage the members know the team goals and accept to work together; but this is at the surface level. At the second stage they search and begin to ask questions. As a result several matters are clarified. They also fight with each and in this process of interaction resolve any hostilities they may have, resulting in the feeling of belonging to the group.

3) Cooperation: In the third stage the members own the team goals and get involved in those goals. Having resolved feelings, they also Support each other.

4) Productivity: This is the stage of real achievement of the goals/outcomes, and the team members achieving these objectives feel proud of their achievement.

Q No. 10.

PERSONALITY TRAITS OF MANAGERS

Since managers emanate from the stock of human beings, the personality types significantly vary. No one person can be the repository of only favorable attributes that make a manager effective. Hence a forceful and dominant manager may not display the required sensitivity to feelings of people: a strong communicator is generally a bad listener: a decisive individual is seldom reflective in his disposition.

However, from experience and specific studies there has been a fair appreciation of what the followers want in a manager. The preferred attributes are:

1) Honesty

2) Competence

3) Credibility

4) Inspiring

5) Courageous

6) Forward looking

In addition, there is also some reliance on trait approach. i.e. on manager having distinguishable physical and socio-psychological characteristics such as impressive physique, sociability, communicativeness, adaptability, etc.

There is still a different school of thought that believes in the following .What a manager does is more important than his personality traits. What helps a manager to influence the behavior of his followers are the following:

a) Challenging the process: Initiating things to happen by removing the road blocks and instituting the vision, the goal and the purpose.

b) Inspiring a shared vision: Something meaningful to strive — best service, highest quality industry leadership. etc.

c) Enabling others to act: Exhibiting confidence in others, allowing them initiative to act, encouraging to do better and empowering them.

d) Modeling the way: Being authentic, he does what he says and people see it as such.

c) Encouraging the heart: Being warm and responsive in dealing with people

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Moorhead & Griffin ,  (1998). Organization Behavior –“Managing People and Organizations Hougton Mifflin Company, New York
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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