Portfolio for Organizational Behavior Essay

The portfolio describes the business implementations of the concepts we learnt in the Organizational Behaviour [MGMT 5100] course. The course enabled us to understand and learn how the organisations work and what key considerations a manager should take care of while managing different people. It also provided us the opportunity to understand ourselves through Concrete Experiences and Reflective Observations of various concepts. It also explains how human behaviour differs based on culture, geography, gender and other external environmental influence.

It explained how our ideas and behaviour are perceived by others in an organisation. By actively participating in the class lecture sessions, group discussions, reading the articles and the textbook we learnt to relate our knowledge to the business organisations. In addition to that we learnt how to effectively express our thoughts across different organisational environment. Above all, we learnt how we can perform efficiently to become good managers or employees at the organisation.

The objective of the portfolio is to emphasize the concepts taught in the lecture sessions and relating it to the today’s business world. The research and study conducted during the work helped us understand the concepts through Concrete Experiences of different organisations in the articles. In future it will help us throughout our career to perform well in the workplace. Moreover it provided us with the cognitive approach of thoughts that will help us to understand the problems or challenges faced by an organisation and how to respond to it wisely taking into consideration different business aspects.

The portfolio comprises of 8 topics that we studied during the course – Psychological Contract, Perception & Attribution, Motivation, Personality, Operating across Culture, Learning, Communication and Management Theory. The portfolio describes each topic through different business articles or video. Each section comprises of the article relating to one of the 8 topics along with summary & analysis. I tried to analyse the problems or challenges faced by the organisation in each of the article or video or movie and relate it to the concepts learned from the course.

 PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTRACT 2. 1 ARTICLE: Pay-for-performance can be a minefield http://www. theglobeandmail. com/report-on-business/small-business/sb-managing/h uman-resources/pay-for-performance-can-be-a-minefield/article1951605/ It took Peggy Aulenback three tries to get her pay-for-performance structure just right. The founder and president of Langley, B. C. based Paramount Refund Management, which processes claims for clients of the federal Scientific Research and Experimental Development program, tried two designs before introducing her current one a year and a half ago. “I had in the past put the targets in the wrong place, so to speak, and got the wrong results,” says Ms. Aulenback of the system. “I had systems where I let employees participate in part of the profits, and some years they got no bonus because the company didn’t hit its target for whatever reasons,” she says. And then one year I had an employee who was able to go back to school because her bonus was so big. ” Pay-for-performance can mean anything from pure commission-based compensation, typical in sales environments, to annual bonuses, to salary increases based on merit (rather than cost of living). Used correctly, the structures can align staff with company objectives while providing a financial reward – creating a win-win for both employer and employee, says Andreas Hesse, a consultant with Clear HR Consulting in Vancouver. If you’re not tying raises or bonuses to performance you’re “simply giving your money away,” Mr.

Hesse says. But employers should tread carefully, says Lynn Brown, managing director of Toronto-based human resources firm Brown Consulting Group. “What I see often is people doing pay-for-performance based on their own discretion,” says Ms. Brown. “They’ll say, “I think this person did a really good job and I’m going to give them an increase or bonus. ’” Such a lack of clarity can confuse and upset employees, particularly if the results are inconsistent. “Pay-for-performance needs to be spelled out or employees can become demotivated and disgruntled,” she says.

The first step in setting up a good plan is identifying measurable goals. And that’s where many employers go wrong. “Business owners might be able to say, ‘This is our revenue target for the year,’ but they aren’t able to tell their account manager how that translates into his goals,” says Mr. Hesse. Whether the goals are related to revenue, number of clients or cost-cutting, they must be realistic and measurable. “If it’s too pie-in-the-sky then [employees] likely are going to disengage or not try as hard – perhaps even sabotage,” says Mr. Hesse. “Sabotage may take the form of talking to colleagues and saying there’s no oint in trying,” he adds, which can quickly create a toxic workplace. Setting goals for staff who do administrative tasks can be challenging, says Mr. Hesse. He suggests looking at process improvement and cost-cutting goals. In the case of Ms. Aulenback’s company, which sought advice from Clear HR Consulting in creating its system, goals are based on the number of claims filed by individuals and the entire team, a system Mr. Hesse endorses. “It helps the motivation of the employee if they feel they have ownership of achieving goals on a day-to-day basis,” he says.

To come up with targets, Ms. Aulenback looked at three previous years of sales. “It’s based on very real, attainable numbers, which I think is really important,” she says. Ms. Brown says it’s important not only to set goals but to revisit them periodically through a performance appraisal system. “A lot of small businesses do not have that,” she says. Having regular check-ins ensures that there will be no surprises if an employee does not meet objectives, adds Mr. Hesse. “If you’re seeing how an employee is doing against the objectives, then you can support them as necessary,” he says. The employee should know whether or not they’ve met their goal. ” Some employers may not have a large sum of money to pay out in bonuses, says Ms. Brown. She encourages small business owners to consider all their options before committing to a pay-for-performance structure. “They should look at how much they have and play with what type of program they can put in place,” she suggests. A three per cent salary increase may not seem significant spread over a year, but a bonus paid out quarterly in the same total amount may seem heftier to employees, for instance.

Not to be overlooked is the importance of simplicity. Not only must the goals be easy to understand, but the entire system needs to be easy for employees to participate in and managers to implement, says Ms. Brown. Above all, the system should ensure fairness and consistencies. “You can pretty much guarantee that the staff will discuss it amongst themselves,” says Mr. Hesse. If employees catch wind of any inconsistencies in payment structures, they will quickly lose interest in participating. Ms.

Aulenback has found a side benefit of her pay-for-performance structure: “I can be a bit more hands off,” she says. “The goals give us a bit of a road map, so everyone knows what they should be doing and is planning ahead. I’m not managing their work flow, they are. ” 2. 2 SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS SUMMARY: The article describes how inefficient pay-for-performance structure can result into negative impact on the psychological relation between employer and the employee. In this section we first analyse the reasons of failure of pay-for performance structure adopted by Mr.

Peggy Aulenback’s the founder and president of Langley, B. C. -based Paramount Refund Management, which processes claims for clients of the federal Scientific Research and Experimental Development program. Then it describes the opinions of Mr. Andreas Hesse, a consultant with Clear HR Consulting in Vancouver and Mr. Lynn Brown, managing director of Toronto-based human resources firm Brown Consulting Group on the pay-for performance strategy and how it affects the psychological contract between the employee and the employer.

Finally conclude with the importance of simplicity that the company must enforce to ensure a healthy work place. ANALYSIS: Peggy Aulenback, the founder and president of Langley, B. C. -based Paramount Refund Management, which processes claims for clients of the federal Scientific Research and Experimental Development program, tried two designs before introducing her current one a year and a half ago. She explains putting the target in the wrong place may land you with wrong results. In her earlier pay-for-performance strategy, she incorporated the profit-bonus technique among her employees.

According to which, if the company achieves its target then the profit earned shall be distributed among her employees in the form of bonus. This approach had greater uncertainty of the desired outcome which resulted into the failure of this technique. For instance, the year in which the company didn’t hit the target, the employees received no bonus whereas the other year, when company achieved its target she had an employee who went back to school because her bonus was so big. Such imbalance in the strategy could result into the negative psychological impact [(Osland, J.

S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin, I. M. & Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organisational Behaviour] on the employees. With this strategy, the psychological contract [(Osland, J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin, I. M. & Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organisational Behaviour] between the employees and the employer was highly vulnerable to loss and profit of the company that could hurt their feeling which ultimately affects the performance. Because the year when profits went well, the employee would believe the promises made by the employers were ulfilled and maintains a healthy psychological relation between employee and employer. But when the profits are not met not they do not receive bonus, the employee expectations are hurt and they may start to believe, although they did their part of labour but the employer did not keep up to the promises. This phenomenon relates to the concept of how external influence and changing expectations creates an impact on the psychological contract between the employer and the employee described in (Osland, J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin, I. M. & Turner, M. E. 2007) Organisational Behaviour. Pay-for-performance can mean anything from pure commission-based compensation, typical in sales environments, to annual bonuses, to salary increases based on merit (rather than cost of living). Used correctly, the structures can align staff with company objectives while providing a financial reward – creating a win-win for both employer and employee, says Andreas Hesse, a consultant with Clear HR Consulting in Vancouver. If you’re not tying raises or bonuses to performance you’re “simply giving your money away,” Mr. Hesse says.

Employers should tread carefully, says Lynn Brown, managing director of Toronto-based human resources firm Brown Consulting Group. He explains that often employers conduct pay-for-performance based on their own discretion, for instance they’ll say, “I think this person did a really good job and I’m going to give them an increase or bonus”. Such a lack of clarity can confuse and upset employees, particularly if the results are inconsistent. In such situations, the employee who received the bonus as a result of employer discretion can cause tension the working environment.

The trust and faith of the employees on their employers is badly hurt. Their psychological contract is broken due to such discretion. Pay-for-performance needs to be spelled out or employees can become demotivated and disgruntled. The self fulfilling prophecy described in (Osland, J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin, I. M. & Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organisational Behaviour, where a manager’s expectation for the employee causes the manager to treat the employee differently: therefore the employee responds in a way that confirms the manager’s initial expectation can come into play among the other employees who did not receive the bonus.

They may bring down their performance as their psychological contract is now broken and they believe that their employer will decide bonus depending on his discretion and not on performance so they do not perform well thus satisfying the self fulfilling prophecy (Osland, J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin, I. M. & Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organizational Behaviour Goal setting is the common approach adopted by many companies to reward their employees. The first step in setting up a good plan is identifying measurable goals. And that’s where many employers go wrong.

For instance, if the business owner states ‘This is our revenue target for the year,’ but they aren’t able to tell their account manager how that translates into his goals, causes gap between the employee motivation and performance. (Osland, J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin, I. M. & Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organizational Behavior explains that in order to create a great place to work employers must share information broadly, accessible to employees, willing to answer hard questions, deliver on-promise, show recognition and appreciation and demonstrate personal concerns.

According to these factors described in [(Osland, J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin, I. M. & Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organizational Behavior] employers must be able to and willing to explain whether the goals are related to revenue, number of clients or cost-cutting required. The fact must be realistic and measurable. “If it’s too pie-in-the-sky then [employees] likely are going to disengage or not try as hard – perhaps even sabotage,” says Mr. Hesse. Sabotage may take the form of talking to colleagues and saying there’s no point in trying, following the self fulfilling prophecy [described in (Osland, J.

S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin, I. M. & Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organizational Behavior] which can quickly create a toxic workplace. In the case of Ms. Aulenback’s company, which sought advice from Clear HR Consulting in creating its system, goals are based on the number of claims filed by individuals and the entire team, a system Mr. Hesse endorses. It helps the motivation of the employee if they feel they have ownership of achieving goals on a day-to-day basis. To come up with targets, Ms. Aulenback looked at three previous years of sales.

It’s based on very real, attainable numbers, which he thinks is really important. Ms. Brown says it’s important not only to set goals but to revisit them periodically through a performance appraisal system. A lot of small businesses do not have that. Regular check-ins ensures that there will be no surprises if an employee does not meet objectives. Some employers may not have a large sum of money to pay out in bonuses, says Ms. Brown. She encourages small business owners to consider all their options before committing to a pay-for-performance structure.

They should look at how much they have and play with what type of program they can put in place. For instance, a 3% salary increase may not seem significant spread over a year, but a bonus paid out quarterly in the same total amount may seem heftier to employees. Ms. Aulenback has now found a side benefit of her pay-for-performance structure: “I can be a bit more hands off,” she says. The goals give us a bit of a road map, so everyone knows what they should be doing and is planning ahead. I’m not managing their work flow, they are. To this (Osland, J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin, I. M. & Turner, M. E. 2007) Organizational Behavior describes such positive relations with the employees provides the company with the competitive advantage Simplicity is the key to this concept. To create a healthy work environment the broad information sharing is really important the employers must show the willingness to answer hard questions as described by [(Osland, J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin, I. M. & Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organizational Behaviour]. Not only must the goals be easy to understand, but the entire system needs to be easy for employees to participate in and managers to implement. Above all, the system should ensure fairness and consistencies.

The staff will discuss these topics amongst themselves. If employees catch wind of any inconsistencies in payment structures this can hurt their psychological contract with the employer [(Osland, J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin, I. M. & Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organizational Behavior] and they will quickly lose interest in participating. 2. PERCEPTION AND ATTRIBUTION 3. 3 ARTICLE: Angry flight attendant becomes cult hero http://www. smh. com. au/travel/travel-news/angry-flight-attendant-becomes-cult-hero-20100812-120b7. html A folk hero in digital times, JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater has been thoroughly embraced by the Web.

Not only have news stories about his meltdown on a plane from Pittsburgh to New York City been exceptionally popular on the Internet, but he’s been feted in all manner of online tribute. Even JetBlue Airways wryly noted on its blog post Wednesday that many people reacted: “Like, the entire Internet. ” Slater has consistently ranked as one of the most popular topics on Twitter and has birthed a small cottage industry of Facebook pages, with titles such as “Free Steven Slater” and “I Support Steven Slater. ” One page has amassed more than 170,000 fans.

One group, dubbed the “Steven Slater Legal Defense Fund,” is seeking to raise money for the airline veteran. More than 650 people are members of the group, which was founded by Gary Baumgardner, a pilot who pledges transparency in donating all the collections to Slater. He said he had raised more than $US1500 ($A1668) as of early Wednesday, US time. Slater, 38, is accused of swearing at a passenger over the intercom after his plane landed Monday at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, grabbing some beer and exiting on the plane’s emergency slide. He was arrested and jailed before being freed on bail.

A defense attorney says Slater didn’t put anyone in danger. The website Free Steve Slater has been launched in support of Slater. It introduces itself: “Steve! This page is for you! Get in touch and let us know what you want to do with it! ” One of the trends on Twitter has been to imagine T-shirts dedicated to Slater’s audacious escape. Film critic Roger Ebert was among those churning out ideas, including: “Front: ‘I may be under arrest… ‘ Back: ‘But I got two free beers out of it. ‘” Actual T-shirts were already for sale online, though with the more simple “Free Steven Slater” printed on them.

On eBay, luggage tags reading “Steve Slater: An American hero” were for sale, as was a painting of Slater holding a prison number, which was going for $US355 as of Wednesday afternoon. Other designs took the easy bait of parodying flight manuals. One that quickly went viral — designed in a lark by Aurich Lawson, creative director of the technology news website Ars Technica — is labeled the “proper technique for exiting aircraft” and shows a generic figure descending an inflatable slide with two beers in hand. “Watching people root for him … is half the fun,” Lawson said in an e-mail. The reaction makes the event larger than life, kind of catapulting it into myth status overnight. ” Response in song has been common, too. On Wednesday’s “Late Night,” Jimmy Fallon said Slater “inspired me,” and the host then performed a country-style The Ballad of Steven Slater. The oft-repeated chorus goes: “You gotta get two beers and jump. ” Similar odes were popping up on YouTube, including one from Jonathan Mann, whose project of writing a song every day has already brought him online fame. His song about the flight attendant, also titled The Ballad of Steven Slater, takes a folk approach with mature language. Warning: video contains bad language) Mann sings: “Steve Slater I wrote this song for you/ Because you said what we’ve been dying to say/ I’m sick of feeling powerless/ To affect any kind of meaningful change. ” On Tuesday, Slater was led into a state court in the New York borough of Queens to be arraigned on charges of criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and trespassing, counts that carry a maximum penalty of seven years in prison. After posting bail, he told reporters: “It seems like something here has resonated with a few people. And that’s kinda neat. ” 3. 4 SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS

NEWS ARTICLE SUMMARY: A folk hero in digital times, JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater has been thoroughly embraced by the Web. Slater, 38, is accused of swearing at a passenger over the intercom after his plane landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, grabbing some beer and exiting on the plane’s emergency slide. He was arrested and jailed before being freed on bail. A defence attorney says Slater didn’t put anyone in danger. Not only have news stories about his meltdown on a plane from Pittsburgh to New York City been exceptionally popular on the Internet, but he’s been feted in all manner of online tribute.

Even JetBlue Airways wryly noted on its blog post that many people reacted: “Like, the entire Internet. ” Slater has consistently ranked as one of the most popular topics on Twitter and has birthed a small cottage industry of Facebook pages, with titles such as “Free Steven Slater” and “I Support Steven Slater. ” One page has amassed more than 170,000 fans. The website Free Steve Slater were launched in support of Slater. It introduces itself: “Steve! This page is for you! Get in touch and let us know what you want to do with it! One of the trends on Twitter has been to imagine T-shirts dedicated to Slater’s audacious escape. Film critic Roger Ebert was among those churning out ideas, including: “Front: ‘I may be under arrest… ‘ Back: ‘But I got two free beers out of it. ’” Response in song has been common, too. Jimmy Fallon said Slater “inspired me,” and the host then performed a country-style The Ballad of Steven Slater. The oft-repeated chorus goes: “You gotta get two beers and jump. ” Similar odes were popping up on YouTube, including one from Jonathan Mann, whose project of writing a song every day has already brought him online fame.

ANALYSIS: This is an interesting incident illustrating the different perceptions (Osland, J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin, I. M. ;amp; Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organisational Behaviour of the people in the world on how they responded to flight attendant Steve Slater’s action. On studying the scenario it was clear that the Steve Slater’s behaviour was a backfire to the ill-treatment he received from the passenger. The passenger responded badly to Slater’s appeal for an apology when the baggage from the cabinet hit his head. Thus the recency effect described in [(Osland, J. S. , Kolb, D. A. Rubin, I. M. ;amp; Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organisational Behaviour ] overly dominated Slater’s mind resulting into such mishap of swearing on the intercom. His perceptual distortion was influenced by the recency effect which resulted into swearing ill about the passenger. In addition to that, contrast effects [described in (Osland, J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin, I. M. ;amp; Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organisational Behaviour] could also had been dominating his perception as he encounters other passengers following his instructions whereas only one particular passenger not following the instructions.

All of these resulted into an outburst of Slater’s emotions. Moreover after the incident Slater’s tried to persuade in the media that his attitude was the result of the passenger’s mistake. This tendency to attribute one’s personal attitudes or feelings to another person thereby relieving one’s own sense of guilt or feeling s known as Projection described by(Osland,J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin,I. M. ;amp; Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organisational Behaviour]. After the incident Slater was arrested and jailed before being freed on bail. This aspect of the story describes another perception of the government officials.

According to the defence attorney Slater should be bailed because he did not cause any danger to the life of the people in the flight. Quite interestingly, the response of the people around the world was surprising. The passengers on the flight had a negative perception about the flight attendant because of his uncivilized behaviour whereas on the other side of the story, people appreciated his attitude towards the passengers. They had a positive perception towards Slater and supported for his bail through social networking sites such as facebook, twitter etc. Moreover responses in song ere also common. The reason for such astonishing response from the people can be described by the Attribution theory [(Osland,J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin,I. M. ;amp; Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organisational Behaviour]. People observed Slater’s behaviour and determined the cause to be the amalgamation of the internal stress from his job and the external influence from the passenger’s ill behaviour. To analyze further we shall frame the response of the people into an important information type – consensus to help us understand why the people made such judgment about Slater.

According to consensus- Putting themselves on that situation people believed that what Slater did was correct which can be proved from the comments and responses which Slater received on the social networking sites. Slater was consistently ranked as one of the most popular topics on Twitter and has birthed a small cottage industry of Facebook pages, with titles such as “Free Steven Slater” and “I Support Steven Slater. ” One page has amassed more than 170,000 fans. Thus, it was evident that this incident illustrated different perceptions of the people.

Slater had a perception about the passenger’s behaviour to be an irrelevant attitude. The passenger also demonstrated his negative perception about Slater. Slater respondent to that irrelevant cue and was also influenced by his negative emotions. People weighed the incident on the basis of stress and out-burst of emotions and showed a positive response to the incident. 3. MOTIVATION 3. 1 ARTICLE: Companies’ concerns Got talent? Competing to hire the best and motivate the rest http://www. economist. com/node/21528436 “I’VE GOT 54 post-it notes on my wall on building a community in downtown Las Vegas,” says Tony Hsieh.

The CEO of Zappos, an online shoe retailer now owned by Amazon, is turning the city’s old town hall into its new campus, and part of Mr Hsieh’s strategy is to engage his staff in helping to revive what was until recently an archetypal run-down urban area, ignored by the millions of tourists who visit Sin City’s pleasure palaces. The post-it notes are ideas—how to improve the food scene, get a farmers’ market, encourage the arts, build a hackers’ space—from Zappos employees, a growing number of whom have moved into the area well ahead of the campus opening in 2013.

A regeneration that “usually takes 10-15 years will take five”, predicts Mr Hsieh. Reviving downtown Las Vegas is not an act of corporate social responsibility but part of a strategy to increase his firm’s long-term profitability, insists Mr Hsieh. “Vegas can be a hard sell to people who have the stereotypical casino view of it. By developing a tech community, an arts scene, a music scene, we will make it more attractive for the sort of people we want to recruit. ” One of his goals is to “increase the number of serendipitous interactions of our staff, inside and outside the firm”.

At Zappos, dating among employees is encouraged, as is “work-life integration, because if you are going to spend eight or ten hours a day on something, it might as well be with people you like. ” In the end, “it is going to be the companies that make their employees happiest that will attract the best people,” says Mr Hsieh, picking up a theme from his best-selling book, “Delivering Happiness”. This philosophy is taking hold in many of the world’s leading firms as they engage in an increasingly fierce war for talent. This is being fought on at least three fronts, each of which requires a somewhat different strategy.

The first involves trying to hire the very best people in their field—because they are thought to be potentially far more productive than the merely competent. As Mark Zuckerberg, the boss of Facebook, recently put it, an exceptional employee is “not just a little better than someone who is pretty good; they are 100 times better”. Second, some skills are much more sought after than others. For instance, “chemistry graduates are now getting some of the best starting salaries among all graduates,” says Andrew Liveris, the boss of Dow Chemical.

In emerging markets, the rapid pace of economic growth is creating across-the-board shortages of people with outstanding skills, from accountants to pilots. That makes it as hard to hold on to workers as to hire them in the first place. According to Manpower, 46% of senior human-resources executives surveyed in the company’s latest global annual survey said that their talent gap was making it harder for their firm to implement its business strategy. Only 27% said they felt their business had the talent it needed.

And the shortage is likely to get a lot worse because of the imminent retirement of a generation of seasoned workers with sought-after skills in the rich economies. In 2008, one in four workers in America with a degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics was 50 or over. Lockheed Martin, an aerospace firm, expects nearly half its science and engineering workforce to retire by 2019 and will have to hire a total of 142,000 engineers. Currently only 60,000 engineers a year graduate from American universities.

Money can help, even in Silicon Valley, the home of touchy-feely corporate cultures. Last November Google, which pampers its staff with everything from free food and tax advice to pre-natal classes for expectant fathers, announced a $1,000 cash bonus and a 10% pay rise for everyone, hoping to stem a wave of defections to rivals such as Facebook. The average total starting package for a software engineer in Silicon Valley has risen from $85,000 in 2008 to $98,000 this year, according to Glassdoor, the workplace website.

At Google a software engineer can now earn a basic starting salary (before options, bonuses and so on) of up to $151,000, even more than at Apple ($149,000) or Facebook ($138,000), let alone Microsoft ($128,000). Not everyone is convinced that this star culture is a good idea. “Most of business life isn’t really a choice between one great person and 100 pretty good people, but if that is the choice, I’m not sure I’d make the same choice as Mark Zuckerberg—especially if those 100 pretty good people work great as a team,” comments William Taylor, a management guru.

Marc Andreessen, a venture capitalist who made a fortune as co-founder of Netscape, reckons that income disparity is going to get far more extreme over the next 30 years, mainly because “as market sizes increase, the people who really know how to build businesses and brands globally stand to make a lot more money. ” Peter Thiel, another 40-something tech billionaire, says that Silicon Valley is starting to overtake Wall Street as the place to make money. Still, Mr Hsieh is onto something with his ideas on creating a happy corporate culture. When people are asked to rate the best companies, they increasingly favour those that let them bring their pets to work or spend more time working from home,” says Samantha Zupan of Glassdoor. Having more control over their working lives is particularly important for educated, creative people. Google’s decision to allow its staff to spend 20% of their paid-for time to work on whatever they want was controversial at first, but has started to spread. “How could you take your scarcest, most valuable employees and free them to do what they like?

I thought they were nuts. But I was nuts. They were smart,” says Scott Cook, the boss of Intuit, which has enjoyed a surge in performance since he introduced something similar. Setting your employees free in this way “helps you keep the most inventive people, because they want to invent”. Netflix, a booming film-rental outfit, has taken to letting its employees take as much holiday as they like, hoping to establish an employment culture it calls “freedom and responsibility”. But it also has a policy of firing people who do not perform well.

The other big challenge for employers is burn-out, especially for the supposed victors of the winner-take-all markets who are expected to be “always on”. “The big losers from a lifestyle perspective are those who have unlimited opportunity,” says Tony Schwartz, founder of The Energy Project, which trains people to understand the ebbs and flows of their energy at work and manage them better. The advice to get more sleep usually goes down well; after that it gets harder, he admits. Among other things, he teaches employees to take a break after 90 minutes’ work, because effectiveness declines rapidly after that.

This may sound elementary, but The Energy Project has been hired by firms such as Apple, Intel, Oracle, Facebook, Twitter and Google which rely heavily on the creativity of their employees. According to Erica Fox, head of learning programmes in Google’s cross-functional learning and development team, they chose it because it is “science-based and has a measurable and demonstrable impact. ” In the first year 2,000 Googlers went through a course called “Managing Your Energy for Your Sustained Performance”, many of them senior executives who then wanted their teams to attend the course too.

The firm’s famously supportive culture of supplying everything from free food to free massage can do only so much. “Until people become aware of where they are in terms of energy levels, all the massages in the world won’t help,” says Ms Fox. Finding the right people is hard enough; keeping them motivated once they are on the payroll is even harder However, the war for talent is not just about knowledge workers. Walmart, the world’s largest private-sector employer, which operates in 28 countries, sees a scarcity of talent in many fields.

Susan Chambers, head of the giant retailer’s “People” division, says that in merchandising, for instance, “you can’t hire enough talent that can deal with the merchandising complexity. So it is incredibly important to develop talent internally. ” Even in the lower ranks employees have to handle growing complexity, not least because customers are changing the way they shop, making more use of the internet and mobile technology. “Not so long ago, I would have thought new technology would have affected the electronics department or our dotcom business.

In fact, it has implications across the entire organisation, requiring a general increase in technical skills across the board. ” In India the firm has even established some free academies to train future store workers in its joint venture with Bharti, a local conglomerate. Firms that do a lot of business in emerging markets are generally much more enthusiastic about spending on training than those dealing mainly with rich countries, both because these markets are growing faster and because fewer people come out of the education system “work-ready”.

This is particularly important in India, where outsourcing firms such as Infosys and Wipro train new recruits in state-of-the-art corporate university campuses. Despite its reputation as a tough, anti-union employer, Walmart is currently trying to shift its corporate culture across the world from one based on rules to one based on values, says Ms Chambers. The aim is to ensure that employees will “feel empowered and have the right values so they can make the right decision. The thing that will decide if Walmart continues to be special as it grows around the world is getting these values across, she explains, noting that this will raise serious challenges for recruitment, workforce development and pay. Just-in-time hiring Jeff Joerres, the boss of Manpower, reckons that new information technology has made it much easier for companies to manage their workforces to keep them in step with demand for the goods and services they supply.

That helps explain why firms in America and some other big economies have been slow to start hiring again in the current economic recovery: they have been waiting for tangible evidence of demand picking up, which in many of these economies has yet to materialise. But his optimism is not universally shared. Edmund Phelps, the economist, suspects that the huge wave of dismissals in big rich-world companies after the crash of 2008 got rid mainly of people working on forward-looking projects, thus reducing the potential for future innovation.

Nor do companies seem to have given enough thought to dealing with important demographic shifts. For example, even though women have been flooding into the labour market in growing numbers in the past few decades, the “glass ceiling” that stops them getting to the top mostly remains in place. “There is a sense that progress has stalled,” says Nicole Schwab, co-founder of The Gender Equality Project, an organisation that works with firms to close the gap between male and female workers.

One problem is that “most companies are still structured around one type of career-advancement model, and if a woman doesn’t conform to that model she won’t progress. ” As younger people enter the labour market they will demand a very different workplace, says Don Tapscott, another management guru. Firms that try to maintain a “generational firewall” will do so at their peril, because for the first time in history “younger people know more than their elders about the biggest innovation of the day,” namely social media. They may also favour practices such as remote working to make jobs greener.

Equally, a growing number of people are remaining healthy and active well past the traditional retirement age and want to carry on working, whether for the money or for the fun of it. That can create problems for younger workers, who may find it harder to get a promotion or find a job in the first place. On the other hand, points out Lynda Gratton, “There are some really smart 65-year-olds. Surely we can reconfigure work to keep them aboard. ” She thinks that many older people would prefer flexible working to complete retirement in the later stages of their career.

Yet in the corporate world “there isn’t enough experimentation going on. Everyone talks about Walmart and B;amp;Q and their 90-year-old greeters, but that isn’t enough. ” There is also much to be done to ensure that workers are not exploited, especially in emerging markets. Western multinationals have generally improved labour practices throughout their supply chain compared with 20 years ago, when firms such as Nike were often accused of operating sweatshops, but some of the charges persist.

For example, Hershey’s, an American chocolate maker, has been targeted by activists such as the International Labour Rights Forum for buying its cocoa from countries where the abuse of workers is rife. (The company vigorously denies such abuse. ) And some emerging-market firms still lag far behind Western multinationals, not least in their use of bonded labour. An executive at one Western multinational operating in the Gulf says he is currently encouraging other firms in the region to end the practice of holding the passports of cheap workers they ship in from abroad, as his has already done.

Work, rest and play Finding the right people is hard enough; keeping them motivated once they are on the payroll is even harder. Surveys have suggested that about four out of five employees would leave their current job if they could, but most think they would have trouble finding another one at the moment. A global Gallup survey found that at the average big firm only 33% of employees describe themselves as fully engaged in their work, 49% say they are not engaged and 18% say they are “actively disengaged”.

At what Gallup calls “world-class” companies, the proportions are 67%, 26% and 7% respectively. China is not exempt from this problem. “There are so many university graduates,” says Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, a Chinese internet empire, “and it is difficult to send them back to work in a factory. They want to work on the internet, be an entrepreneur. ” Firms are also making a bigger effort to engage large numbers of employees in decision-making, which thanks to new technology is becoming ever easier and cheaper.

Infosys, for example, involved some 56,000 employees in a strategy discussion, using a collective-intelligence portal, and felt the exercise was worthwhile. New collaboration platforms such as Salesforce Chatter—a sort of Facebook meets Twitter for companies—make it easy for people to network and work on joint projects within a firm, and for management to see who is doing what with whom. Such things are easily done when the work is inherently interesting. But what if it is not?

If employees find their jobs too boring, they will soon become demotivated and leave, and finding replacements is time-consuming and costly. So companies are doing their best to keep even people doing routine jobs engaged in their work. “Higher purpose is a great catalyst for employee engagement,” says Judah Schiller, who until recently worked for Saatchi ;amp; Saatchi S, a consultancy that has advised big companies including Walmart, McDonald’s and AT;amp;T. It gets staff involved in good causes, hoping that this will motivate them more broadly at work.

At AT;amp;T an internal marketing campaign was created around the idea that everyone working for the company should “Do One Thing” for the environment. Walmart initially concentrated on environmental sustainability and saved a fortune from the ideas that employees came up with; now it has moved on to health, with a campaign that has already caused associates to lose a combined 200,000lbs of weight. “The goal is to get employees engaging with each other again, not just about the cause but about everything,” says Mr Schiller. . 2 SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS One of the largest factors that affect productivity in a business is motivation. This article is composed of three parts. The first describes the strategy of how money incentives increase motivation. The second describes the goals and strategies adopted by the company Zappos and how it keeps its employees motivated. Finally, the third part illustrates interesting facts and figures about employee involvement in the workplace. Google incorporated money incentives into its motivational strategy.

It went so far as to pamper its staff with everything from free food and tax advice to pre-natal classes for expectant fathers, announced a $1,000 cash bonus and a 10% pay rise for everyone. This string of incentives was primarily targeted to stem a wave of defections to rivals such as Facebook. Silicon Valley’s strategy for motivating employees is by enforcing the work place as the home of touchy-feely corporate cultures. The average total starting package for a software engineer in Silicon Valley has risen from $85,000 in 2008 to $98,000 this year, according to Glassdoor, the workplace website.

At Google a software engineer can now earn a basic starting salary (before options, bonuses and so on) of up to $151,000, even more than at Apple ($149,000) or Facebook ($138,000), let alone Microsoft ($128,000). Such great salaries along with attractive incentives plans contribute a lot to maintain employee motivation. But not everyone is induced by money. Mr Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos, an online shoe retailer now owned by Amazon, is turning Las Vegas’ old town hall into a new campus, which is to revive what was, until recently, an archetypal run-down urban area, ignored by most tourists.

Part of his strategy is to engage his staff through post-it notes. The CEO received 54 post-it notes ideas from his employees, which ranged from how to improve the food scene, to a farmers’ market, to re-encouraging the arts, to build a hackers’ space. The idea behind this strategy relates to the concepts of “job- enlargement” or “job enrichment” described by [(Osland,J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin,I. M. ;amp; Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organisational Behaviour]. By involving the employees in the information gathering, planning and implementation process of the project they get the sense of ownership over the project and decreased monotony.

Being responsible for a larger task may increase the meaningfulness of the job in the employee’s eye. Also broadening the responsibilities give them the autonomy and pride of being highly involved in the work. Apart from Zappos efforts on improving employee motivation through better job design, they also encourage friendly and close interpersonal relationship at the workplace. The goal at Zappos is to “increase the number of serendipitous interactions of our staff, inside and outside the firm”. McClelland’s theory- need for affiliation [(Osland,J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin,I. M. ;amp; Turner, M.

E. ,2007) Organisational Behavior] is implemented here in keeping them motivated. Dating among employees is encouraged, as is “work-life integration, because if you are going to spend eight or ten hours a day on something, it might as well be with people you like. ” In the end, “it is going to be the companies that make their employees happiest that will attract the best people,” says Mr Hsieh. “When people are asked to rate the best companies, they increasingly favor those that let them bring their pets to work or spend more time working from home,” says Samantha Zupan of Glassdoor.

Having more control over their working lives is particularly important for educated, creative people. These preferences of employee’s workplace illustrate the essence of McClelland’s theory- need for power [(Osland,J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin,I. M. ;amp; Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organisational Behavior]. Google’s decision to allow its staff to spend 20% of their paid-for time to work on whatever they want was controversial at first, but has started to spread. “How could you take your scarcest, most valuable employees and free them to do what they like? I thought they were nuts.

But I was nuts. They were smart,” says Scott Cook, the boss of Intuit, which has enjoyed a surge in performance since he introduced something similar. Setting your employees free in this way – “helps you keep the most inventive people, because they want to invent”. Netflix, a booming film-rental outfit, has taken to letting its employees take as much holiday as they like, hoping to establish an employment culture it calls “freedom and responsibility”. Such authority and autonomy at work place fulfills the employees’ need for power[(Osland,J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin,I. M. amp; Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organisational Behaviour] thus sustaining the motivation among them. Surveys have suggested that about four out of five employees would leave their current job if they could, but most think they would have trouble finding another one at the moment. A global Gallup survey found that at the average big firm only 33% of employees describe themselves as fully engaged in their work, 49% say they are not engaged and 18% say they are “actively disengaged”. At what Gallup calls “world-class” companies, the proportions are 67%, 26% and 7% respectively.

Firms are also making a bigger effort to engage large numbers of employees in decision-making, which thanks to new technology is becoming ever easier and cheaper. Another interesting job design strategy for employee motivation – sociotechnical system [(Osland, J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin, I. M. ;amp; Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organisational Behavior] could be found at Infosys. Infosys involved some 56,000 employees in a strategy discussion, using a collective-intelligence portal, and felt the exercise was worthwhile. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs- self esteem [described in (Osland,J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin,I. M. ;amp; Turner, M.

E. ,2007) Organisational Behaviour] is achieved in involving employees in causes that serve higher purpose not only for themselves but for the society as well. This theory is well implemented in various companies. Judah Schiller, who until recently worked for Saatchi ;amp; Saatchi S, a consultancy that has advised big companies including Walmart, McDonald’s and AT;amp;T gets staff involved in good causes, hoping that this will motivate them more broadly at work. At AT;amp;T an internal marketing campaign was created around the idea that everyone working for the company should “Do One Thing” for the environment.

Walmart initially concentrated on environmental sustainability and saved a fortune from the ideas that employees came up with; now it has moved on to health, with a campaign that has already caused associates to lose a combined 200,000lbs of weight. “Higher purpose is a great catalyst for employee engagement,” Finding the right people is hard enough; keeping them motivated once they are on the payroll is even harder. If employees find their jobs too boring, they will soon become demotivated and leave, and finding replacements is time-consuming and costly.

So companies are doing their best to keep even people doing routine jobs engaged in their work. The goal is to get employees engaging with each other again, not just about the cause but about everything. 4. PERSONALITY 5. 5 ARTICLE: Hiring Practices: Pencils down. Time to see if you’re right for the job http://www. theglobeandmail. com/report-on-business/small-business/sb-managing/human-resources/pencils-down-time-to-see-if-youre-right-for-the-job/article2067746/ Every year, air transport services operator NAV Canada receives a daunting number of online applications for one the world’s most demanding jobs: air traffic controller.

The only requirements for the position are a high school diploma and Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status. As a result, the company receives more than 16,000 submissions every year, says Michelle Gauthier, national manager for candidate selection. To sort through such a large volume of applications, the company uses a series of screening procedures, including a personality test. “The personality test looks at things like stress tolerance, flexibility, dealing with others, working independently and so on,” said Ms.

Gauthier. It helps NAV Canada, a private, non-share capital corporation with 4,900 employees, select the most suitable 40 per cent of applicants to interview and put through a battery of other tests. Its training program “lasts upwards of two years and implies a significant investment for the organization,” she says. For a company where safety is paramount – it won last year’s Eagle Award from the International Air Transport Association – gauging the attributes of potential employees is “of significant value,” according to Ms.

Gauthier An increasing number of human resources departments throughout North America are relying on personality tests, also called pre-employment assessments. A recent American Management Association survey found that 39 per cent of respondents use them as part of the hiring process. The practice is growing in Canada as well. “We have more people asking about them, and using them,” said Shawn Bakker, a psychologist at Edmonton-based Psychometrics Canada, a company that helped develop the NAV Canada test.

And as David Towler of Creative Organizational Design in Waterloo, Ontario puts it: “We wouldn’t have been in business for 30 years – and the suppliers we deal with wouldn’t have been in business for more than 30 years – were there not a need for these types of assessments. ” Originally devised in 1919 to help the United States Army screen for recruits susceptible to shell shock, standardized personality assessments have not only grown in number – Creative Organizational Design, for example, carries over a thousand titles – but also in scope.

At their simplest, they “try to measure different traits that people have, that they would bring whether they’re at work or to any situation,” said University of Guelph professor Peter Hausdorf. “It gives you an extra piece of information with a candidate. ” The former chair of the Canadian Psychological Association’s Section on Industrial-Organizational Psychology, he believes that they can be useful to employers because some traits, like conscientiousness, for example, are relevant for many jobs. “What they do is bring you an efficient way of covering a lot of bases,” said Mr.

Bakker. “You can consider a personality assessment like a pre-interview, allowing you to quickly gather information you could find out in other ways but that will take you a lot more time. ” Potential employers may look for extroversion, for example, in hiring a sales rep, or other attributes that will mesh with the company’s culture. Making sure the candidate is right for the job means less turnover and better performance and, added Mr. Bakker, tests help employers go beyond the first impressions of an interview and be more objective.

Yet a tool meant to clarify questions for employers can find itself in a murky policy area. If the test screens out anyone on the basis of creed, ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, marital status or disability – even indirectly – it could result in a complaint to Ontario’s Human Rights Commission. “Our position is that the tests that are given during a selection process should be tailored to the actual job needs,” said Commission spokesperson Pascale Demers, “but if an employer is going to ask candidates to do this type of test, it only be done after a conditional offer of employment has been made. While she was unaware of any current complaints about employers requiring a personality test, she said, the Commission has received inquiries about them. Mindful of that, Mr. Towler prefers to use them with existing employees. “You can use personality tests for team-building purposes, career development, for individual counseling and coaching and for situations in which you have people who are having internal conflicts,” he said. They can also be helpful in writing up resumes and carrying out job searches. For his part, Dr.

Hausdorf has found that concerns about discrimination in the tests may be largely unfounded. “I’ve done a couple of studies where we found that there is no adverse impact against visible minorities with these measures,” he said. Nonetheless, experts agree that personality testing needs to be approached with care. Employers have to be very clear about – and only test for – the traits that are relevant for the job. What’s more, companies hiring too many like-minded employees run the risk of fostering a lack of diversity among staff, leaving it with gaps in its overall efficiency, experts point out.

An employer might like having an outgoing person around the office, but if the job doesn’t fit, that person could be unhappy and leave. Using a test as the only measurement for consideration is also ill-advised. As Dr. Hausdorf suggested, “I may not be that conscientious at home, for example, but can be very conscientious at work. ” Providing candidates with the right test is crucial, and running with an off-the-shelf product could lead to not only a hiring mistake but a lawsuit. “It’s hard to use personality tests without having an expert resource,” said Dr.

Hausdorf. That’s why psychometric experts and even the Ontario Human Rights Commission agree that for any company seeking the advantages of personality testing, it’s best to consult a professional. 4. 2 SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS Personality can be defined as an individual’s relatively stable characteristics patterns of thoughts, emotion, and behaviour and the psychological mechanism that support and drive those patterns(Osland, J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin, I. M. ;amp; Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organisational Behaviour]. This section analyses the article “Pencils down.

Time to see if you’re right for the job” stating the several applications of personality test and the major challenges which the company faces while assessing the personality tests of its employees. One of the major applications of personality test is with the recruitment process as it is exemplified in the article for the air traffic controller. Every year, N. A. V. Canada, Canada’s main air transport services operator, will receive a large number of applications for one of the world’s most intense jobs: an air traffic controller.

In order to sort through such a large volume of applications in a timely fashion, the company uses a series of screening procedures, one of which is a personality test. The personality test analyses traits like stress tolerance, flexibility, dealing with others, working independently and so on. Essentially, this test depicts the same five dimensions of the Big 5 model – openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism [described in (Osland,J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin,I. M. ;amp; Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organisational Behaviour].

The personality test is the most useful tool in helping NAV Canada to reduce the number of applicants to 40 % of the original selection. Once picked, the applicants are put through a battery of other tests. An increasing number of human resource departments throughout North America are beginning to rely on personality tests, sometimes called pre-employment assessments in the business world. A recent American Management Association survey found that 39 per cent of respondents use them as part of the hiring process. The practice is growing in Canada as well.

Interestingly, the personality test was originally devised in 1919 to help the United States Army screen for recruits susceptible to shell shock. Since then, standardized personality assessments have not only grown in number but also in scope. At their simplest, they “try to measure different traits [as described by (Osland,J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin,I. M. ;amp; Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organisational Behaviour ] that people have, that they would bring whether they’re at work or to any situation,” said University of Guelph professor Peter Hausdorf. It gives employers an extra piece of information with a candidate.

The former chair of the Canadian Psychological Association’s Section on Industrial-Organizational Psychology believes that they can be useful to employers because some traits, like conscientiousness [described in (Osland,J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin,I. M. ;amp; Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organisational Behaviour]for example, are relevant for many jobs. What they do is bring you an efficient way of covering a lot of bases. If we consider a personality assessment like a pre-interview, it allows us to quickly gather important information about the employee would take a lot more time to figure out without the test.

Furthermore, it allows the employer to screen for certain required traits. For example the extroversion trait is highly regarded when in hiring a sales representative. “Making sure the candidate is right for the job means less turnover and better performance” believes Mr. Bakker, “tests help employers go beyond the first impressions of an interview and be more objective. ” Mindful of that, Mr. Towler prefers to use them with existing employees for team-building purposes, career development, for individual counseling and coaching and for situations in which there is internal conflict.

By framing this thought of Mr. Towler in terms of MBTI (Myers- Briggs Type Indicator) described by (Osland, J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin, I. M. ;amp; Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organizational Behavior we can categorize people by Extroversion/Introversion, Sensing/Intuiting, Thinking/Feeling and Judging/Perceiving. Companies can use this test to efficiently form teams depending upon the personality traits shown and the need of the project or task. For example, an employer might prefer to have an outgoing person around the office, and will base his decision to hire someone based on MBTI results.

This can backfire, however, because a wrong fit could mean job dissatisfaction and consequently the employee termination. A completely different way of looking at the MBTI is its usefulness for the employee. Knowing ones traits can actually be very beneficial in the way one tries to work. Essentially, after doing an MBTI assessment, knowledge of your personality traits may end up helping you write your resume, carry out more suitable job searches and even lead to a better job performance.

Even with the benefit of knowing ones personality type, experts agree that personality testing needs to be approached with care. Employers should be very clear about conducting personality tests only for depicting the traits that are relevant for the job. If the test screens out anyone on the basis of creed, ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, marital status or disability (even indirectly) it could result in a complaint to Ontario’s Human Rights Commission. Our position is that the tests that are given during a selection process should be tailored to the actual job needs,” said Commission spokesperson Pascale Demers, “but if an employer is going to ask candidates to do this type of test, it should only be done after a conditional offer of employment has been made. ” Providing candidates with the right test is crucial, and running with an off-the-shelf product could lead to not only a hiring mistake but a lawsuit. “It’s hard to use personality tests without having an expert resource,” said Dr.

Hausdorf. That’s why psychometric experts and even the Ontario Human Rights Commission agree that for any company seeking the advantages of personality testing, it’s best to consult a professional. Using a test as the only measurement for consideration is also ill-advised. As Dr. Hausdorf suggested, “I may not be that conscientious at home, for example, but can be very conscientious at work. ” This behavior relates to the Interactionist models described by (Osland,J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin,I. M. ;amp; Turner, M. E. 2007) Organisational Behavior which explains about the conditional reasoning approach and the cognitive processing system of personality. Individual’s behavior may vary depending upon the situations they assume. According to attraction-selection-attrition framework, they may be drawn to some situations where they demonstrate exceptional performance and can also avoid other types of situations. Individuals differ in their motives in how they frame the world and the assumptions that they make regarding events. [(Osland,J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin,I. M. ;amp; Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organizational Behavior] . OPERATING ACROSS CULTURE 5. 1 ARTICLE: Workplace: The downside of hiring people just like you http://www. theglobeandmail. com/report-on-business/small-business/sb-managing/human-resources/the-downside-of-hiring-people-just-like-you/article2189484/ Nick Noorani has met a lot of talented immigrants who have had a hard time landing a job. The founder of Canadian Immigrant magazine says some of the biggest challenges can stem from cultural differences evident during the job interview. “Some newcomers come from places where it’s not okay to boast about your achievements, so you play it down.

In Canada, you can’t play down your achievements,” said Mr. Noorani. “We have different body language in interviews. In a lot of countries, especially Asian countries, it’s considered rude to look you in the eye … you can imagine how that measures up with the Western notion of shiftiness. ” Since moving to Canada from Dubai in 1998, Mr. Noorani has been helping newcomers overcome the challenges of cracking the Canadian job market, through his book, Arrival Survival Canada, and his seminar, Seven Success Secrets for Canadian Immigrants.

But while there are ways for newcomers to improve their skills at interviews, says Mr. Noorani, there are also problems on the other side of the desk. “When I started my magazine, a large publisher wanted to buy it and he said, ‘I wish you worked for me,’ and I said, ‘Well, I applied and they offered me a job at such a low level I couldn’t even pay my rent. ’ “He said, ‘There’s something wrong with a system that does not recognize talent,’” said Mr. Noorani. “The fact is we tend to hire who we look like. So are employers across the country missing out on the best candidates because they look, sound or act differently? It’s a question that Julie McCarthy, associate professor of organizational behaviour at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, has been investigating. Prof. McCarthy says there has been a great deal of research into whether interviewers tend to adhere to the “similarity attraction paradigm” when hiring – a theory first developed in the early 1970s, which found that in general, people are most attracted to those who share similar attitudes.

However, when Prof. McCarthy looked at previous studies to see whether factors such as race, sex and age affected hiring, the results were “mixed, all across the board. ” Those findings prompted the question: Why did some interviewers tend to hire “similar” people and some didn’t? “We found it depends on interview structure,” she said. “When a highly structured interview is used, those similarity effects wash out. ” Prof. McCarthy and her team studied nearly 20,000 applicants who were interviewed for positions at a U. S. government agency.

They concluded that if interviewers adhere to a set of questions based on the knowledge, skills and abilities required for the job – as opposed to engaging in a more casual, “get-to-know-you” session – it will reduce the biases that could slip through. “When we structure an interview, we’re forcing the interviewer to focus … on relevant information, not the colour of the person’s hair or whether they are male or female or how they are speaking,” said Prof. McCarthy. ” She says that though many companies now use this type of structured interview, some still do unstructured interviews, relying on “gut feeling. It’s a practice that is “really problematic,” in her view. “For example, the crazy questions like your favourite colour or what kind of animal you would be – that’s when cultural biases slip in and the similarity attraction might be stronger,” she says. “Structured interviews, when they are done well, include panels that make the interviewer accountable,” she says. “If there’s more than one person, there’s diversity. Mixing it up – males and females, different cultures, ages – reduces these biases and people are inclined to take it more seriously. ” Prof.

McCarthy says that one of the barriers to highly structured interviews is the cost and time it takes to put it all together. “In a smaller organization, they may not think they have the resources to implement a structured interview, but it’s important for them to know that they can always improve the format they have. ” Antoinette Blunt, president of Ironside Consulting Services, says she doesn’t think any HR person would consciously show bias to a new immigrant – but because their goal is to find someone who has the traits that they admire, “things like that can happen as kind of unconscious bias. ” Ms. Blunt agrees that it’s essential to have a very clearly defined list of the skills, capabilities and attributes you are looking for from an employee, and that you ask questions that are very much “behavioral and competency-based. ” “For example, ‘Can you explain to me a time in one of your previous jobs when you had to deal with a very complex situation in a similar department, and how did you handle that? ’” she says. “You give the candidate the opportunity to use their own past experience to describe how they might handle a situation in your company.

It removes personality from the interview, or selection based on attributes that you like or admire, and it gives the candidate the opportunity to express themselves. ” Ms. Blunt also says it’s important that HR managers and employers become more educated about the cultures of the people who may be looking for positions at the company, so they understand what might be acceptable in a particular culture. Mr. Noorani says he’s seen some significant changes that should help newcomers get jobs in Canada. “A lot of immigrant HR professionals are being employed in companies.

And that’s an important fact – they’ve walked that walk, they’ve gone that route,” he said. “We need to start becoming colour-blind, looking at people as people rather than ethnicities and hyphenated Canadians. ” 5. 2 SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS The article tries to analyze how cultural differences prove to be a barrier in the company’s intercultural operations. We would first look into the deficits in the company’s recruitment process as described by Mr. Noorani. He explains how these deficits affect the landed immigrants during recruitment process resulting into the causes of rejections of the talented applicants due to cultural difference.

Further the article provides with few of the experts’ advice and viewpoints on how these problems can be resolved. The founder of Canadian Immigrant magazine says some of the biggest challenges in finding a job can stem from cultural differences evident during the job interview. Mr. Noorani, an immigrant from Dubai moved to Canada in 1998, works on helping the landed immigrants in overcoming the challenges of cracking the Canadian job market, through his book, “Arrival Survival Canada”, and his seminar, “Seven Success Secrets for Canadian Immigrants”.

He believes that there are ways for newcomers to improve their skills at interviews but there are also problems on the other side of the desk. From his experience and counselling he believes that there is something wrong with the system that does not recognize talent. It is important for the organization to be aware of the cultural differences. What works for one culture doesn’t work well with the other. For instance, a lot of countries, especially Asian countries, it’s considered rude to look you in the eye.

It can be interpreted as the sign of disrespect whereas in the western notion it could be interpreted as lack of confidence, lack of interest or even lack of power (ie. being coward). Moreover it must be taken into consideration that people in collectivist culture are likely to encounter situations in which there is a preference for silence and high context, indirect, and self-effacing communication. Whereas in an individualist culture they are more likely to encounter situations in which there is a preference for talkativeness, low-context and self-enhancing communication. [(Osland, J. S. , Kolb, D.

A. ,Rubin, I. M. ;amp; Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organisational Behaviour] Another instance, when a newcomer comes from a place where they practice the self-effacement verbal style (Osland, J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin, I. M. ;amp; Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organisational Behaviour emphasizing the importance of humbling oneself via restraints, hesitations, modest talk, and the use of self- deprecation concerning one’s effort or performance. Hence, you play down your achievements. Whereas in countries like Canada, people practice the self enhancement verbal style (Osland, J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin, I. M. amp; Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organisational Behaviour which emphasizes the importance of boasting about or drawing attention to one’s accomplishments and abilities, so here you can’t play down your achievements. These misinterpretations from the candidate’s behaviour by the recruiters during interviews can result into rejection of the applicant in-spite of his talent and knowledge. It is because the company recruiters are expecting the applicant to behave in an expected way for the situation given but the behaviour may vary from culture to culture thus causing discontentment of the HR manager.

On the contrary, Antoinette Blunt, president of Ironside Consulting Services doesn’t believe any HR person would consciously show bias to a new immigrant. She explains, because their goal is to find someone who has the traits that they admire things like that can happen as a kind of unconscious bias. Ms. Blunt agrees that it’s essential for the recruiters to have a very clearly defined list of the skills, capabilities and attributes they are looking for from an employee, and that they ask questions that are very much “behavioural and competency-based. On that note, Prof. Julie McCarthy, associate professor of organizational behaviour at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, says there has been a great deal of research into whether interviewers tend to adhere to the “similarity attraction paradigm” when hiring – a theory first developed in the early 1970s, which found that in general, people are most attracted to those who share similar attitudes. From her research she found that the interview structure accounts for the inefficiency of an interview.

Unstructured interview relying on the gut feeling are really problematic in her view. For example, the crazy questions like your favorite color or what kind of animal you would be – “that’s when cultural biases slip in and the similarity attraction might be stronger,” she says. A structured interview focusing on the relevant information, not on the color, sex, race, and age and adhering to a set of questions based on knowledge, skills and abilities can help to reduce the biases that could slip through.

One of the barriers to highly structured interviews is the cost and time it takes to put it all together. In a smaller organization, they may not think they have the resources to implement a structured interview, but it’s important for them to know that they can always improve the format they have. It is important that HR managers and employers become more educated about the cultures of the people who may be looking for positions at the company. They must know the collectivist and individualistic cultures described in (Osland, J. S. , Kolb, D. A. Rubin, I. M. & Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organisational Behaviour and should understand what might be acceptable in a particular culture may be unacceptable in the other. 6. LEARNING 7. 6 VIDEO: LEARNING ORGANISATION: http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=Rhu3xXjT3lw 7. 7 SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS SUMMARY: This video is related to the CEW’s research around Learning Organizations. The Centre for Education and Work (CEW) documented how Duha Color Group and Carte International are implementing systems to harness formal and informal learning in their workplaces.

This video was presented at an event developed by the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (Manitoba) and the CEW. The goal of the documentation is to understand the inner learning and training techniques of the learning organizations. Duha Color Group manufactures paint chips using color matching technology and paint based printing processes. Mr. Rod Smith, Director of Operations at Duha Color Group believes in having a sustainable learning program that links to the business plan. Carte International manufactures transformers for electrical utilities, distributors and large industrial clients.

Mr. Darek Mikita, Vice-President in Manufacturing at Carte International believes that the basic of a learning organization is to recognize skills of the employees in order to build a strong and powerful organization. These companies don’t share the same markets and pooled their talents to share learning across sectors. Further it demonstrates how the employees are improving their skills and talents to become leaders that can bring the organization with efficient managers through their internal process. ANALYSIS: We shall just analyze on one of the two given organizations.

Taking Duha Color Group as our learning organization we recognize that it implements a sustainable learning program that links to the company’s business planning. According to this organization informal learning is valued recognizing what adults learn by asking questions, observation, demonstration and trial and error. Some of the essential characteristics [also described in (Osland,J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin,I. M. ;amp; Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organisational Behaviour]of the learning organization are problem solving, experimentation, transferring knowledge, learning from others through communication and team-building.

Majority of the Employees are given time to reflect on their learning during their regular work schedule. Some department employees work three days independently and then overlap on the fourth day with their counterpart. This one day overlap allows time for employees to reflect on the effectiveness of current processes and procedures and share new learning. Such practice relates to the Active Experimentation and Reflective Observation modes of learning [described in (Osland,J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin,I. M. ;amp; Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organisational Behaviour].

Employees will coordinate activities between departments to prevent work stoppages and maintain supplies. If one department is falling behind, the employees from another will jump in to help out in order to return the work to a smooth and even work flow. This is referred to as the Duha Line Balancing System. Thus, we realized how the characteristics of a learning process are implemented at Duha Color Group and how employees learn through Active Experimentation and Reflective Observation as described in (Osland,J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin,I. M. ;amp; Turner, M.

E. ,2007) Organisational Behaviour. 7. COMMUNICATION 7. 1 MOVIE: (OFFICE SPACE,1999) In the movie Office Space, a comedy about work life in a typical 1990s software company, the protagonist, Peter Gibbons, has eight different bosses. All of them, seemingly unaware of each other, pass by his desk and tell him what to do. While the movie is most certainly a satire for some, it is not far from the truth. More and more people report to more than one boss and learning to handle multiple managers is an essential skill in today’s complex organizations.

The movie sets a good example of what happens with communication and interpersonal relationships on the workplace. 7. 2 ANALYSIS In the movie Office Space, a comedy about work life in a typical 1990s software company, the protagonist, Peter Gibbons, has eight different bosses. All of them, seemingly unaware of each other, pass by his desk and tell him what to do. While the film is most certainly a satire, for some, it is not far from the truth. More and more people report to more than one boss and learning to handle multiple managers is an essential skill in today’s complex organizations.

Communication barriers as discussed by (Osland,J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin,I. M. ;amp; Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organisational Behaviour were evident in the movie. There were various incidents in the movie describing different communication barriers. For instance: The verbal communication between Stan, Chotchkie’s Manager and Joanna. This conversation depicts the idea to engage/participate the employee into a community (which is the flair). As described in the (Osland,J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin, I. M. ;amp; Turner, M. E. 2007) Organisational Behaviour it shows how Gender differences in thoughts and conversation affects the working environment. The minimum and maximum number of flairs discussion depicted an example were females sometimes involve themselves overemotionally in the workplace as described by [(Osland, J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin, I. M. ;amp; Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organisational Behaviour]. Another instance which acted as communication barrier was the lack of assertiveness in communication that worsens the office environment. As described in the (Osland, J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin, I. M. ;amp; Turner, M. E. 2007) Organisational Behaviour it is very essential for an employee to communicate clearly and directly what he needs or want from another person in the way that does not deny or infringe upon the other’s right. To extend this idea, it is important for an employee to show assertiveness in communication while putting forward the problems faced by him in the workplace. Few scenes in the movie depicted where cultural differences had an impact over the communication. Sometimes these cultural differences could even result into lack of clarity (Osland, J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin, I. M. ;amp; Turner, M. E. 2007) Organisational Behaviour in speech which hampers a healthy communication. Another interesting example of barrier in communication is the external noise. While the incident depicted how the corporate accounts payable, Nina caused a distraction to the employee’s concentration toward their work. It could be further extended to analyze how such distractions affect the behaviour of the person who is constantly getting distracted and hence can result in frustration and low productivity. Thus, it is very important for the employees to understand that most bosses appreciate when employees bring them solutions rather than problems.

But this is complicated with more than one manager. Whether the employees need to resolve contradictory directions, reducing workload, or sorting out inconsistent demands, the best approach is to communicate the problem by showing assertiveness in speech and get the bosses to communicate with each other, rather than trying to represent one’s agenda to the other as described in (Osland, J. S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin, I. M. & Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organisational Behaviour the importance of assertiveness. Overall we observed how the different communication barriers widen the arc of distortion [(Osland, J.

S. , Kolb, D. A. ,Rubin, I. M. & Turner, M. E. ,2007) Organisational Behaviour] that hampers a communication. Moreover few hurdles like gender and culture becomes pretty dominant during communicating one’s thoughts. Gender tends to create differences in the level of emotions one involves during speech whereas cultural differences may often result into lack of clarity or misinterpretations. 8. MANAGEMENT THEORY ————————————————- 8. 1 ARTICLE: Steve Jobs (Chairman Apple) and Tim Cook’s (CEO Apple) management style and CIOs http://mubbisherahmed. ordpress. com/2011/09/09/steve-jobs-chairman-apple-and-tim-cooks-ceo-apple-management-style-and-cios/ This article is an article in a series of articles where I will analyse current and past leaders to ascertain how Chief Information Officer’s (CIOs) can learn better management by applying the management practices of leadership, practiced by these leaders. I have broken down Steve Job’s style into two distinct pieces. The management style and the presentation style. PS: CIO is a generic term and other analogous titles are Head of IT, IT Director, Director of IT etc.

The Management Style In an interview with Fortune, Steve Job’s (SJ) opened up about his management Style (In no particular order and a few other sources utilised): 1. SWOT analysis: As soon as you join/start a company as a CIO, make a list of strengths and weaknesses of yourself and your company on a piece of paper. Don’t hesitate in throwing bad apples out of the company. 2. Spotting opportunities: SJ – “We all had cellphones. We just hated them, they were so awful to use. ” The lesson that can be learnt is that within IT we need to spot opportunities for improvement.

It is not enough, however, just to spot them, the onus is to spot them and then to create an environment to leverage that opportunity and to make it happen. 3. Improve productivity: – SJ – “We figure out what we want. So you can’t go out and ask people, you know, what the next big [thing. ] There’s a great quote by Henry Ford, right? He said, ‘If I’d have asked my customers what they wanted, they would have told me “A faster horse. ” As a CIO, we need to ask ourselves, what can we do that will improve our customers or our own productivity? That could entail listening