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Organizational Change

By wwagner1 Jan 20, 2013 809 Words
The rational model was probably first recognized by Fredrick Taylor in the start of the twentieth century. The idea behind the model was to have repetitive motions, completed by employees to produce products in an efficient manner. Assembly lines are a prime example of the rational model. Although there are several other examples behind the rational model, it is important to understand that in today’s business world, the model has evolved and is used in organizations to determine employees output. In the organizations today we measure employees and rate the employee’s performance based on metrics or departmental goals. It may be the goal of the company to sell several overall products in a timely manner and in volume, but it is the employee’s job or objective to produce and or speak with customers in a certain time period while taking care of their needs. Let’s say we measure performance just as an assembly line. It would be the employee’s job to assemble the product, which is the customer and the company product within minutes. Each call is handled by a representative and it is their responsibility to provide customer service, fit the customer to the correct product and maintain these actions within a certain timeframe. Each employee may be assigned several metrics, and they all apply to each employee and can be theirs to own. What this means is that everyone’s performance is based on the same metric. Depending on how you perform may determine your reward or yearly raise. This can be an advantage in the company because it puts employees that are on the frontline on an even playing field when yearly raises are determined. It helps drive numbers within the department and can be competitive to be in the top percentage of receiving a higher raise than others that only do a mediocre job, and a better raise than those who fail to perform to standards. Having the same metrics also shows employees what the company expects from each employee without them wondering if they have to perform to a different standard than the employees that perform the same job as they do. Disadvantages of this model may be the monotony of the job itself. Doing the same thing day in and day out may become tedious to some and morale may be lost. Because performance appraisals are usually based on yearly performance, it is important to have continued morale and training for all that are performing the job. Sometimes competition may be a morale booster to help those employees that lose motivation meet the standard. Another disadvantage may be the introduction of new products. For those that do not receive the new product may not be inclined to try and fit the new product to the customer even though it may be a right fit for them. Change is inevitable, so it is important to identify the employees that struggle with change, and help them adapt. Although senior management implements what changes will be made to an organization, it is important when applying the rational method to get input from frontline employees all the way to all management positions. It is important for all to understand the big picture of the company or what the ultimate goal of the organization must be. Knowing what drives employees can help with the big picture for management, and having open communication helps with knowing what employees what and need. Setting individual goals is a start to shaping and determines how the culture of a company may be, but employees are what make an organization, so finding a balance between both is what helps make a successful company. The rational model is still pervasive among managers and corresponds to the pyramidal organizational structure, in which top managers are at the apex and employees are at the bottom. Managers possess the authority in this model, defining and assigning tasks to the employees, who are charged with completing the tasks. They must begin by giving employees clear and detailed instructions. After that, managers must evaluate employee performance and distribute rewards and punishments based on the way employees performed their tasks. Managers assume that worker motivation is directly correlated with economic rewards and punishments meted out by the managers. Motivation, from a rational perspective, simply involves increasing pay or threatening workers with various punishments. Hence, according to this model, managers rely on pay and related forms of compensation to motivate workers to complete their tasks efficiently in order to achieve company goals. The problem with this assumption is that there are many motivators other than money, there can be many ways to perform a given task, and there are many organizational goals that are not rational. The rational model is thus a starting point for thinking about organizational analysis, but certainly not encompassing enough to provide a complete picture (

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