Posted: November 30th, 2013
The setting my organization has implemented is a pattern of basic assumptions used to solve external problems of adaptation and internal integration and is taught to members and staff of the organisation. This involves cultural norms and issues that affect proceedings within the organisation. Among the norms implemented in my organization, is the perfectionism norm (Chong, 2000). Concerning this norm, the organisation pays little appreciation to employees with poor, working records. The most common way of doing this is pointing out either how the work or that person is inadequate. This norm has negatively affected the working environment among the employees and has hindered the both the performance and morale of the employees. This is because making a mistake is often confused with doing wrong, being wrong, or being a mistake.
The other norm in my organisation is that of defensiveness. This culture involves spending more energy on protecting power and preventing abuse rather than facilitating the best from each employee. In this regard, most employees feel that defensiveness leads to the creation of an oppressive culture. Junior members and staff in the organization criticize this norm and view it as inappropriate or threatening. The defensiveness norm in the organization leads to the creation of an oppressive culture. Consequently, the performance and working morale of the employees is usually hindered. The third norm or issue in my organization is that of paternalism. This issue involves making clear decision to those with authority and unclear decisions to those without authority (Lefkowitz, 2003). Those with power regard themselves more fit to make decisions in and for the interests of those without it. The junior members and staff do not understand the decisions making process and often find themselves at the receiving end of those decisions. This norm has mainly hindered employee morale since they would like to be involved in some of the decisions the management makes.
In the recent part, I became part of a social group that had an objective of empowering young entrepreneurs in the local community. With regard to Schein’s ideology, I can relate my experience with the group with the four stages of group evolution. The first stage of group evolution as identified by Schein is the formation stage. In this regard, I can relate this stage to the first formation experience in my group. Lack of experience ultimately caused difficulties by generating different expectation states, tension, and anxiety (Macionis, 2007). However, it was seemingly easy to overcome these difficulties due to the general excitement feeling as well as the strong desire of getting along with the other members in order to make the group a success.
The second phase of group evolution according to Schein is the building phase. I can attest that my group also underwent a similar stage. In this case, every member of the group looks for and conforms to harmony (Schein, 2004). Group members did not have a concern over their differences and did not openly disagree on ideas, but rather showed respect. The third stage from Schein’s ideology on group evolution is referred to as work. In my group, I can identify this stage with the period when group members became more comfortable with working with each other, different opinions were considered relevant, and everyone focused on the successful completion of the set objectives.
The final phase of group evolution by Schein is described as ‘group maturity’. My group is also able to relate to this phase as the focus shifted to establishing a culture and preserving the group. At this stage, the group regarded differences among members as threats to the intended culture (Schein, 2004). However, contrary to Schein’s idea, my group has not or is yet to reach the point of being stagnant and un-innovative. Being able to identify one’s group with Schein’s principles leads to positive outcomes, as the group can be able to identify its current stage and prepare itself for the subsequent phase.
Chong, D. (2000). Rational lives: Norms and values in an organization. Chicago, Ill: University of Chicago Press.
Lefkowitz, J. (2003). Ethics and values in industrial-organizational psychology. Mahwah, N.J: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Macionis, J. J. (2007). Sociology. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson/Prentice Hall.
Schein, E. H. (2004). Organizational Culture and Leadership (3rd ed.). Whiley, John & Sons, Incorporated.
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