Human Behavior

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SOCIAL SYSTEMS & ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE
Source: Organizational Behavior
John W. Newstrom
McGraw-Hill International Edition

SOCIAL SYSTEM – is a complex set of human relationships interacting in many ways.

Two(2) points that stand out in the complex interactions among people in a social system: 1. THE BEHAVIOR OF ANY MEMBER CAN HAVE AN IMPACT, DIRECTLY & INDIRECTLY, ON THE BEHAVIOR OF ANY OTHER.

2. SOCIAL SYSTEMS ARE OPEN SYSTEMS THAT INTERACT WITH THEIR SURROUNDINGS

Consequently, members of a system should be aware of the nature of their environments and their impact on other members both within and outside their own social system.

SOCIAL EQUILIBRIUM – is achieved when a system’s interdependent parts are in dynamic working balance.

SOCIAL DISEQUILIBRIUM – when the parts of the system are working against one another instead of in harmony.

EFFECTS OF CHANGES:
1. Functional Effects – when the changes are favourable to the system 2. Dysfunctional Effects – when an action or a change creates unfavourable effects

Employees can also have functional or dysfunctional effects on the organization. They can be creative, productive, and enthusiastic and actively seek to improve the quality of the organization’s product or service.

On the other hand, they can be tardy, absent frequently, unwilling to use their talents, and resistant to organizational changes.
For employees to exhibit functional behaviours, they need to receive clear expectations and promises of reward.
Furthermore, in exchange, the organization needs to receive a commitment from the employees.

PSYCHOLOGICAL & ECONOMIC CONTRACTS
When employees join an organization, they make an unwritten PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTRACT with it, although often they are not conscious of doing so.
As shown in the figure below, this contract is in addition to the ECONOMIC CONTRACT where time, talent, and energy are exchanged for wages, hours, and reasonable working conditions.
The PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTRACT defines the conditions of each employee’s psychological involvement – both contributions and expectations – with the social system.
Employees agree to give a certain amount of loyalty, creativity, and extra effort, but in return they expect more than economic rewards from the system.
They seek job security, fair treatment (human dignity), rewarding relationships with co-workers, and organizational support in fulfilling their development expectations.

Figure: The Results of the Psychological Contract and Economic Contract Employee:
If expectations are met:
-High job satisfaction
-High performance
-Continuance with org.
If expectations are not met:
-Low job satisfaction
-Low performance
-Possible separation
Employee:
-Expected gains
-Intended contribution

PSYCHOLO-GICAL
CONTRACT

Employer:
If expectations are met:
-Employee retention
-Possible promotion
If expectations are not met:
-Corrective action;
discipline
-Possible separation

ECONOMIC CONTRACT
Employer:
-Expected gains
-Rewards offered

If the organization honors only the economic contract and not the psychological contract, employees tend to have lower satisfaction because not all their expectations are being met.
They may also withhold some of their work-related contributions.
On the other hand, if both their psychological and economic expectations are met, they tend to experience satisfaction, stay with the organization, and perform well.
A desirable sense of mutuality has been reached.

GUIDELINES: To prevent breakdowns of the psychological contract, employers are urged to help employees clarify their expectations and perceptions, initate explicit discussions of mutual obligations, exercise caution when conveying promises, provide candid explanations for broken promises, and alert employees to the realistic prospects of reneging...
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