Theories of Practice:The Human Resources Frame MPA 8002 The Structure and Theory of Human Organization Richard M. Jacobs, OSA, Ph.D.
A HUMAN RESOURCES SCENARIO People are the heart of any organization. When people feel the organization is responsive to their needs and supportive of their goals, managers and leaders can count on their followers’ commitment and loyalty. Managers and leaders who are authoritarian or insensitive, who don’t communicate effectively, or who simply don’t care about their people can never be effective managers and leaders. The human resource manager and leader works on behalf of both the organization and its people, seeking to serve the best interests of both.
MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP IN A HUMAN RESOURCES SCENARIO The job of the manager and leader is one of support and empowerment. Support takes a variety of forms: letting people know that they are important and that managers and leaders are concerned about them; listening to find out about their followers’ aspirations and goals; and, communicating personal warmth and openness. Human resource managers and leaders empower their followers through participation and openness as well as by making sure that they have the autonomy and the resources they need to do their jobs well. Human resource managers and leaders emphasize honest, two-way communication as a way to identify issues and resolve differences. They are willing to confront others when it is appropriate, but they try to do so in a spirit of openness and caring. Bolman & Deal (1991, p. 359)
If the principles of scientific management were considered “revolutionary,” the assertions of the early human resources theorists were “radical”...
…as their hypotheses challenged the antecedents and theories of practice governing how managers viewed workers for the new Industrial era.
One of the earliest precursors of human resources theory... David Owen • 18th century mercantilist • owned spinning mills throughout Scotland • believed that worker productivity could be improved by being attentive to their basic human needs
provided workers a high standard of living, including: decent, clean housing life-long educational opportunities • preschool • progressive elementary and secondary schooling • day care • continuing adult education
in contrast to prevailing practice, Owen trained his managers in humane disciplinary practices... ...endeavored to make workers “origins” rather than “pawns” of the organization (de Charms, 1968)
Contrasting “pawns” and “origins”... how managers and leaders view “pawns”: how managers and leaders view “origins”: • active “resources” • passive “workers” • competent and basically self-motivated • basically incompetent and lazy • bring skills, attitudes, energy, enthusiasm, and commitment • require training • need close supervision • are self-regulating
how “origins” experience work: how “pawns” experience work: • invigorating opportunities to make a personal contribution • “replaceable cogs” in a machine • victims of incompetent bosses, bureaucratic inertia, and organizational doublespeak • a place to experience a sense of belonging, to build self-esteem, and to become self-actualized • a place for personal and professional growth and challenge by asserting oneself and advocating one’s needs • alienating, dehumanizing, and frustrating
The issue raised by the human resources theories of practice is that of better aligning people and organizations not people or organizations...
because... people need organizations …for the extrinsic rewards work provides …for the intrinsic satisfaction work can provide organizations need people …for a reliable and stable labor pool …for the energy, effort, and talent people bring
The assumptions of human resources theories... 1. organizations exist to serve human needs 2. organizations and people need each other ideas salaries energy opportunities careers talent 3. the fit of people and organization is critical an inappropriate fit can lead to exploitation or victimization by people and/or the organization
The rise of industrial/organizational psychology in the 20th century, especially human needs theories, provided a theoretical focus to consider the fit of people and organization...
Abraham Maslow (1954)... • defined the hierarchy of pre-potent needs 5. self-actualization 5 4. self-esteem 4 3. belongingness 3 2. safety, security 2 1. physiological 1
Chris Argyris (1957)... • asserted that the worker-structure conflict is built into the traditional principles of organizational design and management task specialization defines jobs as narrowly as possible to improve efficiency… ...but the outcome is that work is depersonalized and becomes monotonous
evidence of worker-structure conflict: 1. personal withdrawal—evident in absenteeism and quitting 2. psychological withdrawal—evident in indifference passivity, and apathy 3. resistance—evident in soldiering, deception, feather bedding, and sabotage 4. power grabs—climbing the bureaucracy 5. forming coalitions (e.g., unions) to redress power imbalances 6. socializing children with negative view of work (i.e., unrewarding, little hope for advancement)
Frederick Herzberg (1959)... formulated a two factor theory of the motivation to work: E A 2F M motivation is a psychological complex of two factors manifesting themselves in attitudes evident in their effects
2 FACTORS hygiene factors 2F motivators these factors are the objective elements and subjective feelings (i.e., needs or drives activated by the events themselves) antecedent to an attitude
extrinsic hygiene factors • do not motivate but the absence of hygiene increases worker dissatisfaction • when hygiene is not met, workers strike or give up motivation and become addicted to hygiene
Good organizational hygiene provides the foundation for higher motivation in the workplace... hygiene factors
motivators intrinsic • experiences enabling personal growth and self-actualization in the work itself doing complete jobs, experiencing success achievement engaging in work design and accountability responsibility doing the job the work itself engaging in new learnings, developing expertise advancement
...motivators build on hygiene factors... motivators hygiene factors
To inculcate higher motivation in workers, managers and leaders should focus on: • using the organizing and planning functions to encourage high morale • attending to the workers’ attitudes not the work process
While attending to worker morale and attitudes, managers and leaders recognize: • that workplace hygiene is primary providing the foundation for motivation • that motivation to work is a psychological process not a matter of a worker’s interest in the job • that salary is a hygiene factor not a motivator
According to Herzberg’s two-factor theory of motivation, the worst of all motivators is… …an across-the-board salary increase
Douglas McGregor (1960)... posited a theory of management, Theory X and Theory Y …asserting that a manager’s assumptions about people become self-fulfilling prophecies evident in organizational behavior
Theory X... people are inherently: lazy passive possess little ambition prefer to be led resist change
Theory X... workers are characterized by: …an external locus-of-control …“other-centered” directedness
Theory X... management through: coercion tight controls threats punishments
Theory X... self-fulfilling prophecies: coercion low productivity antagonism tight controls threats militant unions punishments subtle sabotage
Theory Y... people are inherently: motivated active and interested ambitious prefer to lead interested in change
Theory Y... workers are characterized by: …an internal locus-of-control …self-direction
Theory Y... management through: open systems communication self-managing teams peer-controlled pay systems
Theory Y... management through: open systems needs and tasks aligned communication accurate feedback self-managing teams worker investment peer-controlled pay systems fairness and equity
the essential task of managers and leaders is to arrange organizational conditions… …so that people can achieve their own goals best by directing their efforts toward organizational rewards
While industrial/organizational psychology provided a theoretical focus to consider the fit of people and organization... …the goal of making the workplace and productivity a forum for people to express their freedom and dignity, as noble as this goal may be, has never been empirically proven.
Argyris & Schön (1974, 1996)... juxtaposed two theories of practice, Model I and Model II Model I…what managers and leaders say conflicts with what they do Model II…through organizational learning, there is congruence between what managers and leaders say and do
Model I assumptions... • organizations are competitive, dangerous places • watch out for yourself or someone else will do you in
Model I theory-in-use... core values actionstrategy outcomes: behavior outcomes: learning no learning: self-sealing, protection from negative feedback defensive, inconsistent, fearful, and selfish appearance design and manage the environment unilaterally identify and achieve goals
core values actionstrategy outcomes: behavior outcomes: learning “single-loop” learning: core values and assumptions remain unquestioned engenders defensive, inconsistent, fearful, and selfish behaviors in others own and control what is relevant to one’s interests maximize winning, minimize losing
core values actionstrategy outcomes: behavioral outcomes: learning core values and assumptions are tested privately reinforces defensive norms: mistrust, risk avoidance, conformity, and rivalry insulate oneself from criticism, discomfort, and vulnerability minimize the expression of negative feelings
core values actionstrategy outcomes: behavior outcomes: learning collusion that impedes organizational learning critical organizational issues are not discussed insulate others from being hurt be rational
The Model I problem-solving process... 1. assume that others are causing the problem 2. develop a private, unilateral diagnosis and solution to the problem
3. get other(s) to change by... …calmly using facts, logic, and rational persuasion to assert the merits of your point of view …using indirect coercive influences …formulating and issuing direct critiques
4. defensiveness confirms the original diagnosis 5. intensify pressures by offering to protect or to reject the other person(s) 6. if unsuccessful, bear no responsibility because the outcome is the other person(s) fault
Model I outcomes... Managers and leaders using a Model I theory of practice increase in workers... feelings of vulnerability self-protecting behaviors games of camouflage deception
…and increase the probability of... organizational catastrophe
Model II problem-solving process... 1. emphasize common goals and mutual influence LEADERS AND MANAGERS DO NOT FORGET: M Mutually Assured Destruction produces no winners A D