Running head: MANAGEMENT 1
Paul Tagliabue became the head of the National Football League in 1989 and left in 2006. Pauls time as the head of the league was marked with mild improvements, such as surge of league profits from $5 to $970 billion. Improvements were also seen in ratings, labor contracts, discipline, NFL official channel and creation of four new teams. Critics referred to him as bland or cerebral and argued that he was not the best choice to manage the professional football team. Over the time, Paul received wide support from football professionals and media owners as National Football League standings improved drastically. Pauls success can also be attributed to several factors, including experience gained during twenty years when being a legal advisor at the NFL. Other qualities include the ability to nurture talents in the National Football League and willingness to listen and change his decisions flexibly.
The human brain is said to operate as a jigsaw puzzle. A persons ability to solve the completely different puzzles determines his or her achievements. In an organization setting, people are different, and managers must recognize and understand these characters and skill differences. The chapter discusses characteristics that differentiate employees in an organization. Key components of the discussion include psychological characteristics of employees, their personalities and individual attitudes. Other components include perceptions of an organization and employee behaviors and their effect on organization performance.
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People in an organization develop psychological contracts (or expectations) of their contributions to an organization and reward they want to get for their contributions. The contributions the employees make to the organizations include loyalty, skills, effort, time and experience. An organization, on the other hand, shows appreciation in the form of tangible or intangible rewards. Organizational rewards include pay rise, promotions, vacations, training and career growth opportunities. Psychological contracts resemble legal contracts, but the terms are not explicitly discussed or written on paper. Psychological contracts between an employer and an employee create a form of performance relationship and expectations. If either party feels that the other party does not fully perform its responsibilities, for example, in case of poor inducements or poor performance of an employee, then quitting or contract termination becomes possible. Employees from different cultures understand the psychological contract differently. American workers prefer personal recognition and reward, while Japanese value group work and team appreciation. Mexican and German workers prefer luxury vacations as a form of appreciation for impressive performance. The person-job fit in an organization is the balance between the employee contribution and appreciation on the part of the organization. The inducements must reflect the individuals contribution to ensure that the psychological contract remains healthy.
In an organization, each employee has individual traits that identify him or her from another one. The unique attribute of each employee may be emotional, physical or psychological. Primary traits that differentiate an individual from another include creativity, perception, attitudes and personality. The personality refers to the unique psychological attributes that identify individuals. Five main personality traits are agreeableness, conscientiousness, negative emotionality, extraversion and openness. Agreeableness is the skill of getting along with others and forming good relations. This personality trait means that a person is understanding, forgiving and gentle handling people one likes. It also may result in being short-tempered, irritable, antagonistic and uncooperative with people one does not like. However, researches show that agreeable people form good relationships with employees, customers, suppliers, coworkers and employers, continuing to positively contribute to organization performance. Conscientiousness explains the ability to focus on a goal. People who can focus on one goal have higher success rates and tend to be organized, responsible and self-disciplined. People who focus on a big number of goals have opposite traits and high failure rate. Negative emotionality refers to a negative way of thinking. People with a little negative emotionality, or positive thinkers, tend to be happy, composed, successful and likable. Negative emotionality creates tension, pressure and job stress for a manager and the employees. Extraversion is the skill of individuals to form and maintain relationships. Extroverts are social, assertive and open to ideas and new relationships. Openness refers to a persons belief and capacity to absorb new ideas. Employees in an organization, and particularly managers, must be open to fostering better relationships. The five personality assessment traits have limitations, such as cultural diversity, since the researches were only conducted in the United States.
Another personality trait is the Myer-Briggs framework, the framework that identifies four main analysis categories. These categories are sensing, intuiting, judging and perceiving. Emotional intelligence is also used to judge people's abilities and qualities. Emotional intelligence refers to self-awareness, social awareness and empathy. Emotional intelligence has five major concepts that are self-awareness, social skills, empathy, motivating oneself and managing emotions. Emotional intelligence is a vital skill for successful managers. Other vital organizational personality skills include locus of control, self-efficacy, authoritarianism, self-esteem, risk propensity and Machiavellianism. Locus of control refers to the belief that ones hard work equals achievements or belief in existence of special powers beyond one's control, such as fate and luck. People who believe in external forces have an external locus control, while those who believe in personal effort have an internal locus control. Self-efficacy is the faith in one's abilities; a person with high self-efficacy has a high success probability. Authoritarianism is the acceptance of social hierarchy structures in organization form and taking of orders. Less commanding managers have high-performing teams due to involvement of the latter in decision-making. Machiavellianism is a negative organizational trait that explains the obsession with power and control. Self-esteem is a personal valuation or sense of worth; people with high self-esteem demonstrate higher performance than individuals with low self-esteem. Risk prosperity is the capacity to take chances. Managers with high risk propensity act as the growth catalyst, but, at the same time, they jeopardize the organization in case of failure.
A persons attitude refers to feelings and beliefs about people, situations and ideas. A persons attitude reflects his personality, values, beliefs and experiences. A persons attitude has three main components: affect (or feelings), cognition (or personal evaluation of skills) and intention. Attitudes are not permanent but change according to the situation and time. For example, a manager may not like a new employee at first, but become impressed with their performance with time. Employees can have different attitudes towards their bosses, salaries and promotions. In an organization, two main attitudes matter; they are job satisfaction and organizational commitment. A negative attitude towards the two factors results in poor performance.
Perceptions refer to the process of becoming aware of factors in the specific environment and interpreting them. People perceive or look at things differentially, and this is a factor that creates innovations, creativity and conflicts. There are two main perceptual processes that a manager must understand: selective perception and stereotyping. Selective perception refers to differentiating beliefs and values that people support from those that contradict peoples stand. Perception is not stable, for example, a manager may have a high perception of an individual, but change the attitude after reviewing the employees performance over time. Stereotyping is the identification of people based on a single attribute. People and the media build stereotypes based on religion, communication skills, race and sex. It is a federal offense to discriminate and mistreat a person on the basis of selective perception and false information. The behavior also affects organization performance as employees feel unfairly targeted. For example, the stereotype categorizing specific tasks for men and women blocks unique talents in both sexes.
The attribution theory is also used to explain organization behavior. The theory explains that a human being observes a behavior and attributes a cause to it. The attribute, for this reason, builds the perception, and the causes can be external or internal. Internal causes include management and coworkers, while a family may act as an external cause affecting employees performance and behavior.
Workplace behavior refers to the pattern of traits by organization members that influence its performance. Workplace behavior can also be categorized as dysfunctional if it negatively affects the organizational performance. Dysfunctional behaviors are comprised of such traits as theft, sabotage, sexual harassments, stereotypes, absenteeism and low turnover. One way for managers to stop dysfunctional behaviors is to promote organizational citizenship. Organizational citizenship explains a persons commitment and positive contribution towards the organization.