Just like any typical family, organisations often face various types of challenges thus the effective management of people is often fundamental to corporate success. As Griffin and Moorhead (2011) posits, the organisation’s management should strive towards the understanding of organisational behaviour in order to know how to effectively manage people hence addressing challenges associated with the human resource in the organisation. As discussed in the class notes, the concept of organisational behaviour is associated with examining how and why employees act, think as well as feel in corporate and other organised settings. Further, as DuBrin (2013) postulates, the field of organisational behaviour is concerned with timeless questions such as how to motivate employees, how to create effective teams, the nature of organisational leadership as well as how to resolve interpersonal conflicts. In effect, this paper seeks to describe an organisational problem that occurred while I was working as an intern at Alfax Electronics Company, a firm that manufactured home appliances. Subsequently, the paper will describe as well as diagnose the issue using various concepts discussed in organisational behaviour. Furthermore, the paper will highlight some of the relevant underlying organisational behaviour factors that contributed to the situation. Lastly, the report will discuss how the concepts associated with organisational behaviour could have helped the organisation to address the issue more effectively.
At the time I joined the organisation as an intern, there had been a major conflict occurring among the workers hence forming two opposing groups. One group supported the general manager’s manner of leadership while the other did not approve of this. More aggravatingly, the general manager together with some few supervisors seemed to side with the group that supported the general manager’s style of leadership as well as his ideologies. I remember at some point while conveying a meeting; the general manager said that he was not going to condone any form of opposition and asserted that the organisation was not a political party hence dissents were not tolerated. He further posited that he was happy with his team (referring to those who supported him) and would soon reward them while “the rebels would be watching from the fence.” Those who opposed him were significantly livid by his statement as they had been labelled as “rebels.” The division between two factions continued to burgeon and even had even banded together in an “us versus them” mentality. Also, the workers involved in this conflict were resistant to resolving or addressing any issues, and general manager together with his supervisors was aware of this problem but chose to ignore.
One supervisor, Mr Simon, who happened to be my immediate boss and mentor confided in me that when he was promoted in the department of human resource as the supervisor, one of his goals was to make the department more cohesive. According to Mr Simon, there was a multiplicity of approaches that he could have taken but he wanted to know more about his own conflict style and as such he received approval to go for a conflict management conference. Upon going through the seminar sessions, he gathered that his style was that of a collaborator since he often looked for ways to address issues in which an optimum result is provided for. This indicated that he needed to understand that conflict could be resolved without necessarily tampering with relationships and as a manager it was his responsibility to identify as well as assist in resolving workers conflicts.
Organisational Behaviour Factors that Contributed to the Dilemma
One significant factor that has contributed to the disunity among the employees was the lack of proper communication. The general manager lacked good communication skills which could help in addressing the issue as a leader. According to Pazcoguin (n.d), a significant number of studies associated with the concept of organisational behaviour have found that miscommunication is one primary contributor of conflict within the organisational environment. Carlopio, Andrewartha and Armstrong (2007) further add that miscommunication within the organisation has been found to be the creator of office politics, which often come as a result of an unfair manager or incompetent supervisor, who is aware of a miscommunication between the workers but fails to address the situation. Similarly, the conflict that occurred at Alfax Company was associated with miscommunication between the general manager and the employee. When addressing the employees, the general manager used demeaning language which created hatred between those supporting the manager’s ideologies and those in the opposition.
The other factor that led to the conflict was the lack of group cohesion, which eventually resulted in the development of two opposing factions. Banwo, Du, and Onokala (2015) argue that there is often a significant correlation between strong group performance and a high degree of group cohesion among the workers. Similarly, Singh and Kumar (2013), is of the opinion that lack of cohesion between the employees leads to what is referred to as organisational conflict, which in turn adversely affects the organisational performance. Accordingly, looking at the Alfax conflict case, disunity among the employees, which was contributed by the manager’s unapproved leadership skills eventually led to the lack of cohesiveness among them. They could not work together anymore, and as Fitzpatrick, (2007) puts it, when employees experience a personal disconnect with other group members, the team risks becoming non-functional. Equally, Carlopio, Andrewartha and Armstrong, (2007) points out that lack of cohesiveness among the employees often stems from organisational communication breakdowns which can certainly be addressed by the organisation’s leadership.
Discussion of Possible Remedy
From the case study delineated above, it is evident that conflict between the employees as well as between the general manager and the employees escalated because of inappropriate leadership style from the manager. A transformational style of leadership would have been significantly effective in addressing this conflict. According to Singh and Kumar (2013), transformational leadership is associated with an intrinsically based motivational process whereby the leader is expected to engage his or her followers with the intention of creating a connection, which raises the degree of effort as well as moral inspiration in both. As a leader, the general manager could have avoided expecting too much from the employees but instead sit together with the workers and allow them to express their views as well as suggest the way forward. This way, the employees from the either divides or factions would have felt associated with the organisational top decision-making process as well as feel appreciated. This would have in turn changed their perception towards their colleagues as well as the manager.
Evidently, the two factions existed because there was a perception of power, in that, those who were in support of the manager’s style of leadership were viewed to be favoured than those in the opposition. As a transformational leader, the manager could have taken the conflict as an opportunity to cross-train all the workers in various job descriptions. This would in turn help to level out the playing field (Erkutlu, 2008). Besides, the concept of motivation would have been injected as well. When the leader gives the employees the opportunity to participate in the solving of a conflict or a crisis, they often gain what behavioural scientists refer to as intrinsic motivationBirasnav, Rangnekar and Dalpati (2011). Ultimately, the organisational leadership through the general manager would have come up with a departmental handbook that each would have a hand in giving feedback on and contributing towards decision making. This would in turn help significantly as every employee would feel as part of the organisation.
In summary, conflict is bound to happen in any business, the manner in which the leadership in conjunction with the employees decides to address the issue is often vital to maintaining a positive as well as a positive work environment. Ultimately, this paper has successfully delineated a practical organisational problem and subsequently diagnosed the issue using various concepts discussed in organisational behaviour. Furthermore, the paper has highlighted some of the relevant underlying organisational behaviour factors that contributed to the situation. Lastly, the paper has discussed the concept of transformational leadership could have helped the organisation to address the issue more effectively.
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