Organizational Behaviour – Case Study

Consider the case: “Job satisfaction at Omega Technical Services Ltd” by D. Adam-Smith and L. Littlewood. In Adam-Smith, D. and Peacock, A. (Eds), Cases in organisational behaviour (pp. 151-162). London: Pitman and Prepare a report that addresses (i. e. , explains) the situation in the case (i. e. , high job turnover among professional staff) taking the perspective of work motivation and employee attitudes. Word count: 3000 Module: Organizational Behavior Introduction to Omega Technical Services Ltd. A labor intensive medium sized firm “Omega Technical Services Ltd” was established in mid 1950s.
The main focus of Omega was to provide technical services to the different clients mostly from engineering sector. Omega consists of 180 full time staff which is dispersed in eight different regional offices. Main services provided by Omega were to provide documentation service in the form of manuals for operations and maintenance. In 1984 as a result of increased competition and falling profit margins in the field the company planned a cost reduction plan and changes to its management style to improve the efficiency of the organisation and to remain competitive in the business sector.
But at the same time board of directors were concerned about the low morale of the employees and its impact over the performance of the company. There were increased incidences of low quality work followed by high turnover i. e. 33% over the last full year. After going through the provided case study and the relevant study materials, it is established that Directors of the Omega was trying to find out the main reason for low morale within the organisation and to find the recommendation which will improve the job satisfaction of employees which will ultimately improve the productivity of the staff and create new knowledge.

To full fill this objective a formal attitude survey was conducted by the personnel manager of the Omega ltd. with the help of anonymous questionnaire. The questionnaire was designed by using both open ended questions and closed questions. The final questionnaire was consists of 83 questions, out of which 68 were closed questions and 12 were open ended. Closed questionnaires were conducted to address five main areas including, general satisfaction, communication, fairness/supervision, and involvement/identification. Matters relating to other jobs and companies which included some pay issues.
KEY CURRENT AND FUTURE CHALLENGES The overall response rate of the survey was 42%. Based on that analysis of the result of the questionnaire and supportive reading from the available literature, now we will look at some of the most important current and future challenges which Omega is facing, and which can affect the overall performance of the group in the near future in the strong competitive and innovative market. The key challenges facing Omega can be summarized as follows: 1. Understanding Culture and Employees Management Relationship 2.
Lack of Communication within the Organisation 3. Creating Organizational Knowledge ( lack of investment in Research and Development) 4. Attracting, Motivating and Retaining workers in Omega 5. Rewards system Creating a Knowledge Sharing Culture Gordon (1996) defines an organisation’s culture as the part of its interior atmosphere that includes a set of postulations, values and principles that organisational associates share and use to direct their execution. Omega also has the need to create a strong culture to build relationship among organizational levels.
Hence one key challenge for Omega is the need to build a knowledge culture that facilitates and inspires people to generate, split, and exploit knowledge for the advantages and lasting accomplishment of the organization (Oliver and Kandadi, as cited in King, 2007). Organisational culture is argued as powerful input for effective and efficient management and organizational learning (Janz and Prasamphanich, as cited in King, 2007). In Omega the idea of knowledge sharing needs to be implemented into its organizational culture.
The following facts highlighted in Table 1 below by Gurteen, (1999) illustrate why sharing knowledge is important. Table 1: Why knowledge sharing is essential to the survival of almost all businesses Intangible products| Ideas, processes, information are taking a growing share of global trade from the traditional, tangible goods of the manufacturing economy. | Sustainable competitive advantage| Increasingly the only sustainable competitive advantage is continuous innovation is the application of new knowledge| Increasing turnover of staff| People don’t take a job for life any more.
When someone leaves an organization their knowledge walks out of the door with them. | Accelerating change| Technology, business and social. As things change so does our knowledge base erode – in some businesses, as much of 50% of what you knew 5 years ago is probably obsolete today| Source: adapted from Gurteen, G, (Feb 1999) Creating a Knowledge Sharing Culture, Knowledge Management Magazine, 2(5), www. gurteen. com/gurteen/gurteen. nsf/id/ksculture
Culture is important in shaping assumptions about what knowledge is worth exchanging; when we are creating an environment for the knowledge sharing in Omega, making it means that knowledge sharing the norm and it also motivates the people to work in the team, provides such sort of knowledge which will be fruitful for the organization and employees. Hansen and Oetinger (2001) explain a new T shaped management where a new kind of executives operates breaking away from the conventional chain of command to split knowledge without stinting across the organization.
While the systems are good at transferring explicit knowledge direct personal contact is needed for effective transfer of implicit knowledge which is needed for business solutions and is crucial for innovation. Hence implementing a open structure in Omega the company can apprehend the reimbursement of multi department learning and teamwork without having to establishment top down looms that could undermine the liberty and answerability needed to create exceptional entity unit performance. Trust
As the result of the questionnaire concluded that employees have very little trust on their leaders as they feel that favoritism play a significant role for the growth in the company. Lack of trust on the upper management also plays a vital role on the motivation and commitment of the employees towards organization, which can further results into more people leaving their jobs and increased number of absenteeism. For a sharing culture Omega need to build an environment of trust so that it will establish customs about cross-functional associations and communication. For example, Gold et al. as cited in King 2007) concluded that organizations with open and supportive value orientations are predisposed toward constructive knowledge behaviors. Interpersonal trust in the workplace has been shown to have a strong and robust influence on a variety of organizational phenomena including job satisfaction, stress, organizational commitment, productivity and mostly to knowledge sharing (Mooradian, et al, 2006). Hence Omega needs to create a culture that facilitates the willingness of people to participate meaningfully in its development and trust of the organisation.
Attracting, Motivating and Retaining knowledge workers in Omega In Omega the turnover for the company is 33% over the last full year which means roughly one out of every three employees. Omega faces the vital challenge of retaining and motivating their knowledge worker. From the results of questionnaire we can establish that inequality and favoritism at the work place is one of the main reasons for high turnover, as approximately 70% of the respondents mentioned that they have applied for other jobs with in the last year time period.
The main reason for this because employees at Omega feels that they were not treated fairly and their was lack of respect from their managers. Employees also mentioned that they feel that due to the current economic situation they felt underpaid as compared to the skills, knowledge and value they are generating for the company It is evident from the case that the traditional employment contracts may no longer be effective in bonding knowledge workers and retain their loyalty.
Furthermore, still practicing de-centralized management system, clearly there is lack of any formal communication policy with in the Omega Technical Services ltd. According to Thompson and Heron as cited in (Horwitz, at al 2003) the employment relationship between the worker has changed to a new psychological contract where individuals are seeking market sustainable employability and organization require high work commitment rather than job security and loyalty.
Research carried by Horwitz, et al( 2003) supports that that turnover is usually higher in knowledge workers than non knowledge workers as they try to seek new challenges from more progressive companies. Motivation is argued to be a very individual phenomenon where what motives one doesn’t necessarily motivate the other worker. Understanding individual needs at work helps management to better match rewards with motivation. Much of the motivation theories try to explain what (needs) and how (process) to motivate employees (Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, Hertzberg Two factor theory, Equity theory and Goal theory).
And most of these theories identify generally that extrinsic (satisfied externally, physical objects) and intrinsic reward (satisfied internally like status and recognition) as the basis of motivating employees. Hertzberg’s two factor theory of motivation in the year (1959) distinguishes between hygienic factors and motivators; the hygienic factors have only the potential to eliminate dissatisfaction, while only motivators have the potential to increase satisfaction. In the case of Omega they were lacking both the hygiene factors and motivators.
For example, employee of the Omega were not very satisfied with the working condition with in the company and also reported that they were not treated fairly on work place and showing their concerns about lack of respect from their managers at work. Horwitz et al (2003) proposes a diagram for attracting; inspiring and keeping of personnel which can be a useful framework that Omega (refer to diagram 2 in Appendix). Most favored retention strategies are those that are focused on portfolio of practices where top management support and leadership is important.
While to motivation includes providing more extrinsic rewards like challenging work, creative working culture with autonomy, celebration of success and developing intelligence of purpose, course and enthusiasm. To attract workers the cultural fit is seen as important in Horwitz et al’s schema. Selective employing put into practicing have constructive effects on learning and in relative to organizational learning is the staffing and preservation of esteemed employees (Davenport, as cited in Lopez, et al, 2006). Omega is a service industry business that runs on the ideas, knowledge and knows how of the people who are working in it.
Because of the people focused business this is the demand for the Omega that every individual working in the company should be educated, well motivated and inspire to deliver high performance. But due to the limiting budget for research and development and freeze on the benefits package at Omega, there was very limited opportunities for managers to invest in the research and development and to creat new knowledge for the organisation. Davenport et al. have acknowledged eight data management success features such as (1) technology infrastructure; (2) organizational infrastructure; (3) balance of lexibility, evolution and ease-of-accessibility to knowledge; (4) shared knowledge; (5) knowledge-friendly culture; (6) motivated workers who develop, share and use knowledge; (7) means of knowledge transfer using various information technology infrastructure; and (8) senior management support and commitment (Davenport et al. (1998) sited by Chong (2005) Overall knowledge management has become a people-centric because it is the network of the competent peoples which makes an organization successful.
So, now the question is, what are the sources of motivation for these individuals within the company and also outside of the organization, and is individual motivation is aligned with the overall organizational goals and objectives? Omega needs to develop a reward system which is based on the performance and quality contribution of the employees. First, company has to identify that what are the motivation factors which effect different levels of their employees with in the company.
The motivation factor that attracts and engages the young employees, For example, moving to the top of the hierarchy level was very important for the previous years but this is not the case today, and definitely there will be some resistance to these motivational factors from the different levels of the company. But it does not mean that it shows the absence of motivation in that particular level, but rather the presence of inappropriate will or motivation (Smith and McLaughlin, 2003). Every organization has some sources from where employee motivation sprouts (Amar and Hall, 2004).
So, now it depends upon the management of the Omega that how they loads these sources with the factors that motivate, energize and direct the employees towards the achievement of the organizational goals. These factors may be intrinsic and extrinsic and in contrast to aiming at fulfillment of employees cognitive needs, these factors connect with their psyches (Amar and Hall, 2004). Reward and Recognition System Omega must design a reward and recognition system in such a way that it encourages and motivate the workers to the sharing of vision and task.
The purpose of this system should be made very clear and visible to employees. In addition it is important for Omega to involve and encourage employee participation into the reward system and must measure the level of employee satisfaction with the system in order to design the correct program. Hence one of the key challenges for managers in Omega is to understand what actually motivates individuals to excel in their work and more importantly how to influence what others are motivated to do.
According to Kerr (1995) it is of utmost importance that managers or the senior management recognize the type of activity they are rewarding because the reward and recognition scheme may be ineffective if they are rewarding an activity that they are trying to discourage. Also Cameron and Pierce (1997 cited by Milne, P. , 2007) suggested that verbal and tangible rewards do help in increasing efficiency among the employees, higher level of job satisfaction and overall enhancing motivation. Praising people personally and sincerely for their hard work can actually help create a sense of belongingness.
Employees would feel that their work is being recognized, valued and appreciated. This way employee’s maybe intrinsically motivated to perform and be admired by other colleagues for their contribution. I believe that the partners or the senior management in Omega should not only praise perfection but also praise employees who are showing signs of improvement in their work. Moss Kanter (1987) pointed out that these reward systems can actually motivate individuals to perform effectively only for themselves and not for the organisation.
According to Moss Kanter the amount of reward one gets depends on the position or status in the organisation. Higher the status, higher the rewards. Hence individuals will try their level best to get promoted quickly in order to get higher rewards. Omega must try to develop a reward programme were the reward itself is not the main driver for contributing and sharing knowledge but could be used as a tool for giving directions and purpose to what employees do. Money is normally considered to be the major motivation factor in the organizations, but this is not the only case in the Omega.
In management industry money can be a good source of motivation if it is designed properly and establish a clear linkage what management wants and what its employees can do in their jobs that is with in their control (CEO Sounds-off, 1997) As Omega is facing problems in motivation of employees from different level of employees, it should announce certain goals and targets for the improvement of performance and then relate it with the different rewards for completing these goals and target. This kind of rewards will give the employees a sense of achievement.
Incentives As we discussed above that money is not the only motivating factor in the firms, so the rewards should be expanded to the non-financial incentives, like introduction of some work benefits, promotion and further training opportunities for the personal development. In Omega, these kinds of incentive will be helpful for the future growth of the company, because in case of further training and personal development, it will leads towards the better and improved performance from that employee in the future and will keep him /her motivated to play his/her part.
This behavior is supported by the Maslows theory of “hierarchy of Needs” in which Maslow talks about the need of the self actualization. According to Maslow, if all of these needs are satisfied, we can still expect that there will be development of another need, “unless the individual is doing, what he, individually fitted for” (Mahesh 1993 sited by Amar and Hall 2004). Training
Strategic training is a fundamental tool that facilitates communication among employees, by providing a common language and shared vision and is argued to be one of the most significant HR practices for the organizational learning process (Nonaka and Takeuchi 1995, Ulrich et al 1993 as cited in Lopez et al, 2006). In the case of Omega, questionnaire results shows a clear amount of respondents shows their interest in learning new knowledge and shows their willingness for further training by which they can improve their effiecincy.
A clear understanding of Omega’s missions and values will help to ensure the right direction for the learning processes. Training should be orientation towards developing culture of commitment to learning and should demonstrate to employees and management framework link to the company strategy. Training should be practical support for organizational goals and work related technologies (Bassi and McMurrer, 2007).
The training programs should also favour the sharing of ideas and best practices improving the level of openness to new ideas thus promoting flexibility in acquiring critical skills needed for effectively responding to competitive challenges ( Lopez, et al 2006). There is empirical evidence to indicate (DiBella et al, 1996; McGill and Slocum, 1993 Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995; Ulrich et al 1993 as cited in Lopez) the idea that training plays a critical role in maintaining and developing the capabilities both individual and rganizational and also substantially contributes toward the process of organizational change. Job Description In Omega, it is recommended that job should be the first motivating factor for the employees. Company need to redesign the job descriptions of the employees, so that they can attract and retain the best people. While designing a job responsibility, company can include the factors that attract and motivate the employee’s interest and mind and glue them to put effort in their respective jobs towards the achievement of the organizational objectives.
This will leads towards the improved loyalty with the firm and motivate people to do their best and it will also reduce the loss of knowledge by people leaving the Omega. In case of young employees this approach frees their minds, which allows them to engage them in the activities which brings innovations to the company, which is very important for the Omega. According to Amar and Hall, companies should allow the people to think innovative ideas while managers patrolling the boundaries (Amar and Hall, 2004).
Another important point which also needs to be considered is family-friendly working schedule. Employees prefer those jobs and job schedules, where they can adjust their family and social life with out any significant impact on their job responsibilities. CONCLUSION In this assignment we discuss about the different challenges to Omega and what are the possible recommendations to address those challenges both for the current and future time. Clearly there is struggle by Omega management to keep staff motivated and there is no actual implementation of motivational theories.
Due to the shortage of funds as 80% of the company’s funds are already allocated to employee’s wages, management needs to consider non-monetary incentives and rewards as we discussed in the main body of the assignment. It is concluded that in a knowledge intensive service firm, individuals are the most valuable asset and technology can only provide the relevant support for the creation and management of the business. So it is the peoples who need to be motivated to give maximum output for the company. We have looked at the different motivation factors and how to create the work environment that’s helps to achieve the rganizational goal. Based on the observations and the supported study material it is recognized that there are different sources for the motivation for the Omega employee, like how to define the job description, rewards, incentives and use of the technology to support individuals. So the combination of these factors will result in the working environment where every individual is performing his duties up to the best of his potential with the sense of responsibility and putting his/her share in the progress of the company. REFERANCES:
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Tsai, W, (2002),” Social structure of “co-operation” within a multi-unit organization: Coordination, competition, and intra-organizational knowledge sharing”, Organization Science, 13(2): 179–190 Four ways of conversion or interaction of tacit and explicit knowledge which is: socialization, externalization, internalization, and combination Source adapted from Sarabia, M. ( 2007) Knowledge leadership cycles: an approach from Nonaka’s viewpoint, Journal of Knowledge Management , 11(3) pp 6-15 Proposed Schema for Attracting, Motivating and Retaining worker Questionnaire Survey Results

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