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Final Project Overview and Timeline
Final Project Overview
The final project for MGT 345 is a 2000- to 2500-word research paper on the successful and/or unsuccessful application of organizational behavior concepts in any organization. Select and research three to five organizational behavior main concepts that, uniquely practiced, make your chosen organization either successful, unsuccessful, or a combination of both. The organization you select should provide you with ample opportunities for research, since you will be required to use five to seven references as part of your research. The final paper should be formatted according to APA guidelines, and contain the following elements:
- An introduction and a thesis statement
- A body with supporting evidence and in-text citations
- A conclusion
- A reference list with at least five to seven sources
Choose three organizational behavior main concepts. Your research should uncover how your selected organization successfully uses, or suffers by ignoring, any three of these concepts:
- Decision Making
- Group Behavior
- Power and Politics
- Organizational Structure
- Organizational Culture
- Human Resources Practices
- Change Management
Be sure to provide multiple examples of the main concepts as practiced at the organization.
Many organizations use organizational behavior concepts, but not all organizations publicize their methods for success or missteps to embarrassing failures. Select an organization for which a good amount of research has been conducted and has been made publicly available. Some suggestions are:
- General Electric
- Southwest Airlines
- Time Warner
- SAS Institute
- Whole Foods Market
- Lincoln Electric
- Adobe Systems
An Organizational Evaluation of the Boston Brothers
At one time the Boston Brothers was the premier technological organization in the world. As a global organization, It faces challenges similar to those encountered by the global private companies found in today's marketplace. Known as a great place to work, employees are highly motivated but yet management still continues to foster a climate of motivation. Its organizational structure is one that enables it to meet its unique mission and its culture remains from inception during the Cold War era. Leadership abilities throughout the company have continually progressed since the early 1990's. Training and Educational opportunities are numerous yet challenges exist to get employees to participate.
An Organizational Evaluation of the Boston Brothers
The Boston Brothers (BB) is responsible for providing security and Information Technology services to State and Federal governments. BB is located throughout the world, making it a global organization that faces the same challenges today that a publicly held global company encounters. Additionally, as technology continues to become more prevalent around the world, BB's challenge to conduct its mission is magnified and requires that it be a flexible, change oriented, learning organization.
A Global Organization
The Boston Brothers of today is much different than the BB that my father went to work for nearly 35 years ago. Back in those days, the BB, like today was a global organization, but staffed by mostly white middle age males that could essentially remain stagnant with regards to their skills and knowledge due to BB's vast superiority in the technology arena. During the late 80' and 90's this complacency started to take its toll on the company's effectiveness, as the boom in technology started to see other companies by-pass the BB with regards to technical capabilities. This forced the BB to look internally at the way it conducted business which led to a complete makeover of the company.
Today, the BB is vastly different than the company of the past. The BB today, is a diversified organization consisting of people of all different cultures, races, genders and ethnicities, and education level's, with an organizational mentality that enables it to rapidly adapt to the global environment as necessary. This change to a diversified organization did not happen overnight. It was a long and continuous process that caused some significant challenges for the BB's leadership. But it was important for the company to take this path as the technological boom created a huge competition for the talent that existed in the workforce and those companies that did not want to incorporate diversity into their workforce would be unable to compete for this talent (Competitive Advantage, 2005). As the workforce started and continued to diversify, managers were challenged with providing leadership to people from different ethnic backgrounds than what the typically worker at BB previously had. According to Seyed-Mahmoud Aghazadeh, "people of different ethnic backgrounds possess different attitudes, values, and norms" (Aghazadeh, 2004). The challenge was magnified as BB's typical manager was one who had come up the ranks by demonstrating a high competency in a technical capacity, but a demonstrated ability for leading people and management in general, was certainly not a factor taken into account when it looked for entry and middle level managers. How were these new managers, who for the most part were seriously lacking the necessary people skills that would enable them to be effective managers, deal with this changing workforce? How were these new managers with limited training at best, expected to motivate their employees to achieve their organizations objectives? The answer was simply by trial and error, which led to very ineffective leadership, particularly at the lower levels of the company's management chain.
When BB was the leader of the world in technology innovation, this was not a significant issue. Since its creation to the beginning of the 1980's, the Boston Brothers was the premier technological organization in the world. However, as the world changed and the technology market started to overtake BB's lead, the need for effective leaders that were able to get the best from their people, was necessary. The need for leaders, that were able to put this vast diversity found amongst their employees to use, to benefit the company, was necessary as new ideas, along with new methods and ways of doing things was vastly needed for BB to maintain its relevancy in the Technical Community.
This forced BB to make some significant changes to the way it had previously operated. First and foremost, a diversity program was put in place, which consisted of a number of training programs provided to the company employees (see Table I). These training programs were not just for management but for all employees throughout the enterprise.This was an admission by the company that the world was changing, and that the company needed to stay in step with the world by changing as well. Additionally, to ensure that it obtained the most from its employees in terms of efficiency and effectiveness, a number of leadership programs were implemented that consisted of programs ranging from the entry level manager to the most senior managers in the company.
Today, another challenge the company faces in regard to globalization, is how to ensure those employees stationed throughout the world continue to feel a sense of belonging and community. With the differences in distance and time, this is not always an easy task. However, the company leadership goes to significant lengths to ensure that those employees in the global enterprise do not feel isolated and feel part of the corporate enterprise. Although some of these tactics used by leadership do not seem significant by themselves, the sum of these tactics leads to a feeling of belonging throughout the enterprise. For instance, on a regular basis, the Director of BB holds "all-hands" sessions at the company's Headquarters. Naturally those employees stationed in the field cannot attend. However, to ensure that these employees are able to ask questions and maintain an awareness of the on-goings in the company, the Director of the company, holds "all-hands" meetings with regional parts of the world via video teleconferencing. Another mechanism used by leadership to maintain a sense of belonging amongst field site personnel, is by implementing new technologies and/or processes to the field sites prior to implementation at Headquarters. This is contrary to what is typically found in larger organizations. Deploying new processes and technologies to field sites, ensures that the personnel stationed there are aware and familiar with up and coming changes to the enterprise and ensures a feeling of not "falling behind" by keeping the field sites more up to date than Headquarter elements.
Attitudes and Job Satisfaction
The Boston Brothers is known as a great place to work and overall the job satisfaction level amongst the employees is very high. This can be seen by the number of employees that spend their entire career with the company. Most employees that work for the company are highly educated, individually motivated, and extremely productive. However, I do not attribute any of these factors to the pay, benefits, or flexibility the company provides, although each of these are certainly do not hurt. I attribute the high level of job satisfaction to a factor that is not found in all organizations .This high level of job satisfaction comes from a sense of Patriotism, Defense of the County, and working for something that is bigger than ones self. Quite frankly, there is a significant amount of pride felt amongst the agencies population for the work that is done and the contribution that is made to the defense of our country. There is a direct correlation with pride and job satisfaction with the positive behavior seen amongst employees (Arnett, Laverie, & McLane, 2002). Certainly, this is not the case for all employees and there are those who feel that the grass is greener on the other side, and elect to take contracting positions that pay a higher salary or elect to leave the government for the private sector. But those employees that elect to leave for higher paying salaries are certainly a minority amongst the population. It's important to note, that although I do not have any hard data, I would think that the turnover rate at the company is much smaller than what is found in private industry.
Motivating the Motivated
Even with the high level of motivation found throughout the employee population at the Boston Brothers, a significant program is in place throughout the corporate enterprise to maintain and foster a climate of motivation. In order to motivate performance, reward change, and encourage the development new capabilities and competencies organizations need reward programs (Lawler & Worley, 2006). The main program that BB has available comes in the form of an employee recognition program. Once a year each employee is provided an opportunity to apply for promotion to the next pay level within their particular career field. At the Boston Brothers, employees do not receive promotion simply for doing a good job. Employees are promoted at the Boston Brothers by demonstrating the ability ...
Synthesis of organizational behavior is discussed. Behavior concepts are analyzed.