Dysfunctional Organizations Are Like Dysfunctional Families

Topics: Dysfunctional family, Family, Management Pages: 4 (1318 words) Published: December 9, 2013
Dysfunctional Organizations Are Like Dysfunctional Families Dysfunction causes organizations and families to fail to meet their goals. I wish I had time to do actual digging (and research) on this, but other things like … making a living … make that impossible. Still, I have my observations, and here they are: The impact of dysfunctional relationships and behaviors is almost always negative. When an organization is dysfunctional, such as when one part of it has inordinate power, it will be challenged to meet its goals. Quality, timing, and cost will all usually be less favorable than planned. Projects will be routinely delayed, costs will routinely be revised upward, quality will be at risk of being forgotten in the quest for profitability and timeliness, products will be at risk of many and/or severe defects, and customer satisfaction will lag behind more capable and less dysfunctional competitors. Similarly, a dysfunctional family will have parallel problems with achieving its goals. An imbalance of power is a frequent cause of dysfunction in families. Imagine: a family with several children embarks on a big project, a trip to Ocracoke Island, for example. If one child is more demanding, needy, or otherwise exceptional, and the family has developed a dysfunctional behavior pattern centered on that child, things will be disrupted and plans will not work out. The child may have to stop at every rest stop, and take a long time getting back into the car, delaying progress on the trip. The father may know the ferry schedule for getting to the island, and know when the family needs to be at the dock, but he may not be able to change the child’s behavior, nor the behavior of the mother who caters too much to the demanding child. Random and unanticipated delays caused by the child, who has no understanding of the constraints the father faces, make them late and they miss the ferry, incurring additional cost of a night’s stay on the mainland. An imbalance of power is...
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