2/23/2012

Organisational Behaviour

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Table of Contents


1. Summary of Key Facts……………………………………………


. Statement of the Problem…………………………………………


. Causes of the Problem…………………………………………….4


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4. Solutions, Implementations and Justifications…………………..6


a. Needs Theories……………………………………………..6


b. Individual Difference………………………………………7


c. Cognitive……………………………………………………8


d. Situational…………………………………………………..8


5. Conclusion…………………………………………………………..


6. References………………………………………………………….11


1. Summary of Key Facts


Company XYZ (XYZ) is a venture capital group established to invest in high risk - high reward ventures. These start-up companies develop technologies and products such as therapeutics, that are subsequently commercialised through partnerships within the US and European pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.


A “Greenfield” operation, XYZ was set up as a wholly owned subsidiary of a government corporation XXX. Funds of 100 million were made available from the State Government. As such, political pressure from the state government placed enormous expectation on the performance of those who initially joined XYZ.


As the CEO, I was the first person to start at XYZ and was responsible for recruiting a suitable team of six to manage the fund. A pre-conceived incentive plan had been proposed by XXX that outlined profit (carried interest) sharing arrangements between the State Government (80%), XXX (15%) and members of the XYZ team (5%). As members joined the group they were initially motivated by the new opportunity at hand, but the motivation flagged, along with performance, as they began to realise the details of the incentive scheme. They considered the split between XYZ and XXX inequitable and proposed it be changed in favour of the XYZ team who actively managed the fund.


. Statement of the Problem


The team identified a number of specific problems surrounding the incentive scheme


• The scheme was developed without input from the XYZ team


• XYZ’s annual performance bonus pool was to be drawn from capital from the long-term incentive scheme which may not be realised before seven years.


• The incentive scheme was not considered equitable with other incentive schemes within the venture capital sectors, where most of the carried interest goes to the staff managing the fund.


I also identified three major problems within the XYZ team that may, or may not, have been caused by the incentive scheme problems


• Firstly, there was a general lack of motivation, satisfaction and performance amongst group members. One individual threatened to leave the company if the incentive inequities between XXX and XYZ and indeed the rest of the industry sector were not addressed.


• Secondly, there were difficulties associated with leading the XYZ team. One employee retaliated against the CEO, as well as retaliating against the organisation by breaching confidentiality and complaining publicly about XYZ and XXX.


• Thirdly, there were diminished organisational citizenship behaviours, in that some of the employees refused to engage in any activities that helped others within the team.


. Causes of the problem


According to Hughes et al. 00 there is a close relationship between motivation, performance, satisfaction and leadership.


Kanfer (10) defines motivation as anything that provides direction, intensity, and persistence to behaviour. In these respects the incentive scheme is deficient. There are no specific KPA’s, that directs the employees towards achievement of the high-performance required to achieve significant carried interest. The relative amounts of carried interest apportioned to XXX versus XYZ may impact on the intensity of motivation. Finally, persistence of positive behaviours is unlikely given that the incentive is so far out into the future (7 years), that the maintenance of even short- to mid- term motivation is unlikely.


Performance is concerned with those behaviours directed towards the organisations mission and goals. An adequate level of motivation may be a necessary but insufficient condition of effective performance (Hughes et al. 00). Higher motivation will usually only effect performance if other factors are present. Intelligence, skill, and the availability of key resources can affect an employee’s behaviour in accomplishing organisational goals, yet they are independent of the person’s level of motivation.


The problem with performance was not only related to lack of motivation due to the inappropriateness of the individual performance bonus and team incentive programs, but may have also related back to the fact that the vision, values and mission had not yet been established. The vision, values and mission and associated key performance areas were to be developed once the XYZ team, in its entirety, had been recruited. Without this clear direction and availability of the relevant allocated resources the employee’s effectiveness in accomplishing organisational goals was likely to be diminished, regardless of motivational level.


A related problem may have involved the skill and experience base of individual team members. Individuals from the more mature mining industry had been recruited for their commercial acumen and legal qualifications to balance out the PhD/MBA members of the team from the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. This meant that the mining individuals, although extremely valuable in the commercial arena, would need careful coaching in order to develop the appropriate skills associated with the biotechnology and pharmaceutical arenas. Without these skills it was likely that diminished motivation may have had some impact on the poor level of performance.


Job satisfaction involves the attitudes or feelings about the job itself, pay, promotion, or educational opportunities, supervision, co-workers and workload (Saal & Knight, 188). The implicit link between satisfaction and motivation is that satisfaction increases when employees are able to accomplish a task, especially when the task is challenging. Again without the appropriate skill base some of the employees could not be delegated the more challenging activities which would have normally led to a high degree of satisfaction.


Although performance and job satisfaction are related, it is not logically true that performance must be higher among more satisfied workers (Podsakoff & Williams, 186). There is considerable debate as to whether satisfaction causes performance, performance causes satisfaction and/or rewards cause both performance and satisfaction (Greene, 185; Iaffaldano & Muchinsky 185; Lorenzi, 178). The most compelling argument is that the correct allocation of rewards do positively influence both performance and satisfaction. Performance contingent reward or incentive is most likely to influence performance in a positive way. Satisfaction and performance should be considered as two separate but interrelated work results that are affected by the allocation of rewards (Wood et al., 001).


Research has shown that people that are more satisfied with their jobs will also willingly engage in organisational citizenship behaviours. These are behaviours not directly related to one’s job that are helpful to others at work and therefore supportive of the workplace (Bettercourt, Gwinner & Meuter, 001). The growing level of dissatisfaction meant that team members began to work more autonomously, taking total control of specific areas, not interested in other team members input and failed to leverage their own skills and experiences across the projects within the team.


Various leadership behaviours can often result in more satisfied employees. Leaders must be in a position where they can effectively solve problems and implement the necessary motivational techniques. The ability to motivate is vitally important to morale and performance. Additionally team members need to be appropriately selected, power and influence tactics need to be used correctly, the leader must be seen as being ethical and credible, provide the necessary resources, develop employee skills and remove barriers to allow the group to accomplish it’s goals. If employees do not have the appropriate skills or resources to accomplish a group task then trying to continually increase their motivation may diminish their performance and frustrate them (Campbell, 188).


4. Solutions, Implementations and Justifications


This section uncovers possible solutions and implementations through a discussion of the key aspects of 10 different approaches to motivation in the context of performance, satisfaction and leadership. The approaches are organised into four categories comprising need theories, individual-difference approaches, cognitive theories, and situational approaches.


a. Need Theories


In order to get the XYZ employees to engage and persist with the behaviours needed to accomplish group goals, an appeal to their needs may be made. The three major needs theories include Maslow’s (154) hierarchy of needs, Alderfer’s (16) existence-relatedness-growth (ERG) theory, and Herzberg’s (164, 166) two-factor theory. All three theories are similar in that they assume that people are motivated to satisfy a universal set of needs, but differ primarily in the types of needs that supposedly underlie or drive people’s behaviour.


From Maslow’s perspective the best solution may involve taking account of the employees position on the needs hierarchy and ensure all lower-order needs are satisfied before appealing to employees self-esteem or self-actualisation needs. Physiological and security needs are very well catered for at XYZ, but one way the teams belongingness needs may be improved could be to allow them to present their specific projects to the board each month as part of the regular board meetings.


Alderfer’s perspective that multiple needs can be satisfied simultaneously, may indicate that if we are simultaneously able to supply tools for development of skill gaps within the group (for example the biotechnology skills) we may also be able to help satisfy growth needs that motivate individuals to achieve greater personal and organisational challenges.


Hertzberg suggests absence of hygiene factors such as supervision, working conditions, co-workers, pay, policies/procedures and job security result in dissatisfaction, while motivators related to achievement, recognition, the work itself responsibility, advancement and growth result in satisfaction. Focusing on Hertzberg’s motivators it may be possible to establish second and third funds that allow current employees to achieve and be recognised within the primary fund, and take on the responsibility of a second or third fund in the future.





b. Individual Difference


Unlike the needs theories that assume people share some fundamental needs the individual difference approach assumes individual differences and emphasises a person’s intrinsic motivation to perform and achieve a particular task. To improve group performance it will be important to select only those employees who possess both the right skills and have a higher level of achievement orientation or find work to be intrinsically motivating (Atkinson, 157; McClelland 185). One solution may be to set up the group as a functional-project matrix allowing individuals to leverage their specialist skills across all of the projects while the most achievement oriented individuals act as leaders to drive projects across the various functional specialties.


c. Cognitive


The next set of theories, goals setting, ProMES and expectancy theory, examine motivation from a cognitive perspective. These theories assume that individuals make rational conscious choices about the direction, intensity and persistence of their behaviours and generally engage in behaviours that maximize payoffs and minimize costs.


For example in alignment with goal setting theory firstly the employees need to be shown that the goals are both specific and difficult, to result in consistently high effort and performance (Locke and Latham, 10). Secondly, in order to get critical goal commitment the goals need to be set through participation with employees. Thirdly, goals would be accompanied by feedback. This could be accomplished by holding an off-site meeting where XYZ team members could co-develop the vision, values, mission and associated goals.


Complementary to goal setting, the expectancy theory would involve motivation of employees by clarifying links between behaviours, performance and rewards (Vroom, 164). Further to this ProMES theory involves motivating others by clarifying links between behaviours, performance, evaluations, rewards, and personal needs. The mission and associated goals could be used as a guide to develop key performance areas, where each individual is clear about the short-term and long-term, individual and team rewards associated with achieving specific responsibilities, while feedback is measured via known measurement criteria.


d. Situational


The job characteristic and operant approach, examine motivation from a situational perspective. Leaders will likely be more effective if they learn to recognise situations where various approaches, or the insights particular to them, may be differentially useful. For example particular members of the team may find great motivation in taking positions on the board of directors of the companies for post-deal governance activities, contingent on successfully completing investment decision making recommendations, following through due diligence and adopting appropriate behaviours with the investee companies during deal negotiation and closing.


In summary the following activities are to be implemented as a result of the chosen solutions described above


• 60 degree interview to ensure other leadership or team issues are identified


• Team advance (off-site meeting) to co-establish vision, values, mission, goals, key performance areas, specific responsibilities and measurement criteria that would constitute our annual performance review process.


• Implement the functional-project matrix and delegate specific responsibilities and accountabilities.


• Rectification of the extrinsic reward system (performance bonus scheme and team profit-share incentive) to provide both short-term and long-term incentives on both an individual and team basis.


• GAPS analysis of skills and resources and appropriate coaching and development plans for identified team members.


• Opportunities to present to the XYZ board and participate as directors on the boards of investee companies.


5. Conclusion


Management continuity and commitment is critical for optimal fund performance. The need to encourage retention and alignment by providing the team with both short-term and long-term incentives, with consideration of both individual and team performance and comprising both financial and personal development incentives has been shown to be essential.


The optimal solutions chosen addressed the underlying causes of these issues including motivation, performance, satisfaction and leadership. Motivation was shown to impact directly or indirectly on performance, satisfaction and leadership and the solutions subsequently chosen and implemented addressed these rather than simply correcting the monetary rewards associated with the performance bonus and incentive scheme.


6. References (as they appear in the text)


Roach, C.F., and Behling, O. (184) Functionalism Basis for an Alternate Approach to the Study of Leadership. In Leader and managers International Perspectives on Managerial Behaviour and Leadership. Ed. J.G., Hunt, D.M., Hosking, C.A, Schriesheim, and R., Stewar. Elmsford, NY Pergamon, 184.


Hughes, Ginnet & Curry (1) Leadership (rd edition) Irwin McGraw Hill


Kanfer, R. “Motivation Theory in Industrial and Organisational Psychology.” In Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Vol. 1. Ed. M.D. Dunnette and L.M. Hough. Palo Alto, CA Consulting Psychologists Press, 10, pp. 75-170.


Saal, F.E., and P.A. Knight. Industrial Organisational Psychology Science and Practice. Belmont, CA Brooks/Cole, 188.


Bettencourt, L. A., K. P. Gwinner and M. L. Meuter “A Comparison of Attitude, Personality, and Knowledge Predictors of Service-Oriented Organisational Citizenship Behaviours.” Journal of Applied Psychology, 86, no. 1 (001), pp. -41.


Campbell, J.P. “Training Design for Performance Improvement.” In Productivity in Organisations New Perspectives from Industrial and Organisational Psychology. Ed. Campbell, J. P., Campbell R. J. and associates. San Francisco Jossey-Bass, 188, pp. 177-16.


Podsakoff, P.M. and Williams L.J. “The Relationship Between Job Performance and Job Satisfaction.” In Generalising from Laboratory to Field Setting. Ed. E.A. Locke. Lexington, MA Lexington, 186.


Greene, C.N. ‘The Satisfaction-Performance Controversy’, Business Horizons, Vol. 15 (17), p.1.


Iaffaldano, M.T. and Muchinsky, P.M. ‘Job Satisfaction and Job Performance A Meta-Analysis’, Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 7 (185), pp. 51-7.


Lorenzi, P. ‘A comment on Organ’s Reappraisal of the Satisfaction-Causes-Performance Hypothesis’, Academy of Management Review, Vol. (178), pp. 80-.


Wood, J., Wallace, J., Zeffane, R.M., Schermerhorn, J.R., Hunt, J.G., & Osborn, R.N. (001) Organisational Behaviour Global Perspective, nd edn., Brisbane John Wiley & Sons.


Atkinson, J.W. “Motivational Determinants of Risk Taking Behaviour.” Psychological Review 64 (157), pp. 5-7.


McClelland, D.C. Human motivation. Glenview, IL Scott Foresman, 185.


Maslow, A.H. Motivation and Personality. New York Harper &Row, 154.


Alderfer, C.P. “An empirical Test of a New Theory of Human Needs.” Organisational Behaviour and Human Performance 4 (16), pp. 14-75.


Hertzberg, F. The Motivation-Hygiene Concept and Problems of Manpower.” Personnel Administrator 7 (164), pp.-7.


Hertzberg, F. Work and the Nature of Man. Cleveland, OH World publishing 166.


Locke, E.A., and Latham, G.P. “Work Motivation and Satisfaction Light at the End of the Tunnel.” Psychological Science 1(10), pp.40-46.


Vroom, V.H. Work and Motivation. New York John Wiley, 164.


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