I have managed teams of system administrators for nearly 15 years. Over that time, the job has changed very little, although the technology we manage has changed greatly. (Many of my current employees have never heard of operating systems I started out on!) The biggest change I’ve experienced is the prevalence of remote working. For most of my career, senior managers have fought against the idea of system administrators working remotely during work hours. Over the past few years, attitudes on this have started changing. Now, I work completely remotely and manage a team that is also remote.
Tag Archive 'organizational_behavior'
Mary Kay’s pink car program is an example of a ceremony meant to formally embody the corporate culture of excellence in team building. Unlike a bonus plan that may not be visible to all team members, Mary Kay’s pink car is a tangible and understandable goal that each salesperson can strive for. Since the program is about team sales and is awarded to the team leader, it specifically encourages the creation of teams and rewards the leadership of those teams.
The term “bureaucracy” is often used in a negative context, although the term itself is neither positive nor negative. A bureaucracy is really just the system of administration necessary to keep an organization operating smoothly. In some organizations, the bureaucracy is overly complicated and the method of administration may seem heavy-handed or overly complicated. Often, as organizations grow larger, the bureaucracy expands to assist in the administration of the larger organization. As a remote student, my interaction with the university has mostly been impersonal. From my experience, UNT is not overly bureaucratic, and it seems likely that anyone that describes it as such is merely doing so in response to the university’s size.
When two parties are seeking justice, the conflict is often emotionally charged. This could best be described as a relationship conflict in which the participants are more likely to see the conflict as personal attacks rather than an attempt to address an issue (p. 314). Since a mediator guides the conflict resolution process, but has no control over the actual resolution, there is little chance the mediator is going to have any success in such a situation. An arbitrator, on the other hand, does make a final decision and does have a chance to resolve the conflict. As Professor Stephens suggests, this is a situation that mediator should avoid, but an arbitrator should not.
In my experience, different influence tactics are used depending on the setting. For example, managers are much more likely to use “hard” tactics with employees: silent authority, assertiveness, and even upward appeal. When dealing with managers or among peer groups, employees tend to focus on “soft” influence techniques. This includes persuasion, impression management, and exchange. The most interesting technique used by all groups is information control. It never ceases to amaze me how frequently being the gatekeeper of particular information can influence the power dynamic between two people.