Organizational Theory & Behavior
Liberty Construction Company
1. Discuss this case in terms of the social system, equilibrium, the psychological contract, role, status, and status symbols
Liberty Construction Company is a small company in Colorado. Over half its revenue is derived from the installation of underground water and power lines, so much of its work is season and turnover among its employees is high. With so many high turnovers the social system established within the company leads the employees to believe that retaining a job there mean you are a very important person. A social system is a complex set of human relationships interacting in many ways. Within a single organization, the social system includes all the people in it and their relationship to one another and to the outside world.
In a social system the behavior of any one member can have an impact, directly or indirectly, on the behavior of any other. A change in one part of a system affects all other parts even though its impact may be slight. As in the case when Michael Federico was given the second newest backhoe to operate over his time at the company for the summer. Even though this was a slight change in operation Alvarez thought differently because he originally operated it. This minor adjustment affected the whole company because the work force eventually took sides. Job conflicts arose, and each group seemed to enjoy causing work problems for the other group. Eventually in less than a month Alvarez left the company.
When minor changes occur in a social system, they are soon absorbed by adjustments within the system and equilibrium is regained. However, the minor change proved to have a different effect and the company could not retain equilibrium. The incident created disequilibrium because groups were working against one another instead of harmony.
When employees join an organization, they make an unwritten...