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Unit 44 Business Psychology Assignment
Diploma in Business
Unit Number and Title
Unit 44 Business Psychology
The business psychology assignment has been divided into 4 Tasks. The case study of Swan Cooper as a company which changed due to being taken over by an American Company will be basis of answering all the sub tasks. Task 1 will be discussing on an understanding to the different perspectives in the Occupational Psychology. It will list down the theories linked and new management and scientific approach of handling the organization. Task 2 will give an insight on the role of psychology in the assessment of individual differences that exist at workplace. The types of differences and the recommendations in improving them will be discussed. Task 3 will discuss the change in the reactions of the workforce with the change that is introduced in the company. This would be explained with the help of Kubler-Ross Model and John Kotter’s 8 Step Process of change. Task 4 will give an understanding on the impact of culture and climate on the performance of workforce. This task would be explained with special reference to the case study as everything has been changing in the organization and the workforce has to adapt itself to the change for the sustainability process.
In this task, different perspectives to the Occupational Psychology will be discussed with special reference to the Swan Coopers and their way of operations. The theories and their applications in this scenario would be analysed.
Understand the different perspectives in Occupational Psychology
a) Give a short explanation of each of the three approaches and then, for each one separately, explain how it might be used as a means of starting to change the situation that currently exists at Swan-Cooper.
There are basically three major theoretical approaches to the Occupational Psychology and these have been explained as under:
- Behaviourist – This the theoretical approach that was based on the classical conditioning model. It states that tendencies of behaviour are determined by the associations that are immediately experienced due to the stimulus that is experienced from the business environment. The behaviour, its patterns and related expressions vary from individual to another individual. With respect to Swan Coopers, the people could easily be understood from the behavioural approach.
- Cognitive – This is the field of psychology that deals with the processes of the mind with respect to the solving of the problems, understanding of the situations and learning that is achieved from it. This approach can surely solve the various problems.
- Humanistic– This is said to be an approach or the psychological branch that measures the human approach towards the life and his needs. These may be different for different individuals and are majorly of types like: death, self-identity, self-actualization, freedom and meaning for the self-life as a perception (McKenna, 2000). This approach will ensure that humanistic approach is being followed and the employees working with Swan Coopers are satisfied.
These approaches will certainly be applied to the case of Swan Coopers. Swan Coopers had the culture with the paternalistic approach of its management towards the workforce. The workforce was only aligned and concentrated towards the work rather than aspiring for the management position. The culture was not very open and transparent. People had adjusted to those circumstances as per the humanistic and behaviouristic approaches. The people who were able to adjust to those conditions only joined the organization. Suddenly there has been a change in the culture as some American Company has taken it over and believes in the open and transparent culture. Cognitive or the problem solving approach will play a great role in this as now the people would be able to join in this culture and others would no longer be able to sustain. These approaches will help this company in getting to know the people who have been working to understand the approaches and strategies that the company adopts.
b) Make an assessment of the usefulness of a scientific approach in investigating the behaviour of the work force at Swan Cooper now that the new management has decided to make such big changes.
Scientific approach is a step by step approach to solve the problem in the organization related to the psychology at workplace. The new management has taken over at Swan Cooper and they would desire that all the employees remain competitive, open, supportive, coordinating and follow the transparent culture whereas the culture and psychology of people at Swan Coopers has been entirely different. The earlier management had always taken the workforce under paternalistic approach. The Scientific method is useful for the management as it believes in a step by step approach. This has following steps that new management can easily utilize to solve the problem:
- Identification of the problem and formulation of hypothesis – The new management has to assess the type of people and the amount of change that is required by the company (Katz & Kahn, 1978).
- Designing of the solution with a checking of the impact of various variable and parameters – The changes cannot be brought about immediately rather proper working has to be done so that as per the situation the changes are brought.
- Performing of the experiment with the help of control and experiential groups – The groups and their reaction to the change in the processes, practices and the principles has to be analysed and evaluated so that suitable action is taken in this regard.
- Hypothesis evaluation – Based on the study and evaluation, Hypothesis that was taken will be evaluated for its validity.
- Results Communication – Based on the analysis, discussion and evaluation, assessment and results have to be communicated on the process that has to be followed for the change process.
For example the scientific approach will help in gathering the data related to the surveys in the step by step format.
c) Make an assessment (evaluation) of the strengths and weaknesses of quantitative and qualitative approaches to understanding the situation in the company.
Quantitative and Qualitative Methods for the understanding of the situation of the company will help the new management in analysing the amount of change that has taken place and is required to be brought within the organization. The strengths and Weaknesses are mentioned as under:
Strengths: Quantitative Approach
- It will help in measuring the exact figures and the level of problem.
- It will give the numeric calculation that will even help in the calculation of the time period that would be taken by the company in bringing about the change (Krauss et al, 2005).
- This will tell us on the theories and the principles that could easily be applied in the given circumstances.
- It will help in designing the overall and practical approach to the change process.
Weaknesses: Quantitative Approach
- It will give the calculation of the level of problem but how and when it will be solved will not be received from it.
- There may be measuring or calculation errors that may persist in this approach.
- This will give the exact applicability of the theories and associated philosophies that may be applied in given situations of Swan Coopers.
This task will discuss on the role of psychology in assessment of the differences that exist in various individuals at Swan Coopers. It will even give an insight on the amount of changes that will be handled and associated with the changing culture in Swan Coopers.
Understand the role of psychology in the assessment of individual differences in the workplace.
a) Describe two kinds of assessable individual differences and explain how these might be used in choosing workers for the new teams at Swan-Cooper.
The two major kinds of the assessable individual differences that exist among the individuals will be in their culture and their demography. The workforce working with Swan Coopers till date had been living in the paternalistic leadership culture that was formed by its earlier management. The difference will now come as the American Organization would be looking for the individuals who are open, transparent and believe in the competitive approach. The people who do not want to adjust to this new culture will not be useful for new management and even the people who have come from the demography in terms of the competitive approach will be of use for sustaining in the Swan Coopers. Swan Coopers new management will only opt for the people who are adaptable and even can follow any kind of culture and can fight competition to rise ahead in their professional careers and lives (Davis et al, 1997).
b) Suggest two types of psychometric instruments that might be used in this situation and make an assessment of the likely usefulness of each of them with reference to their reliability and validity.
The new management in Swan Coopers has to determine the people of the personality types who can adjust and accommodate in the new structure and the culture of the company. The following two types of Psychometric Instruments could easily be used by them to assess the personality types of the workforce working for the company:
- MBTI – This refers to Myers Briggs Type Indicator. This is the test that identifies the personality of an individual on the basis of four major parameters and dimensions:
- Extroversion/Introversion – This is the variable that will test whether an individual likes to be surrounded with people or desires to be alone. This will help in finding out whether the person can work in a team or not.
- Sense/Intuition – This is the parameter that will test whether the individual can sense and take up the risks and handle them properly.
- Thinking/Feeling – This is the approach that will find out the perception, thinking and the feelings of an individual as it will determine how he will react and respond to the change in the culture of Swan Coopers.
- Judging/Perceiving – This will let the company know on the level of perception and the judgement that the individual is having and how well he can compete for the leadership and competition in the company.
- CTPI-100 – This is the psychometric test that will help in identifying the individuals for the executive and managerial positions. This test will find out the competencies with respect to the behaviour and traits of the personality of the workforce that has been working in the company. This test is most useful for Swan Coopers as it has to make the right decision as per the new culture on the appointment, recruitment and retention of the workforce within the company at various levels in the company (Crain, 1992).
c) Choose any two types of measures of individual difference and make justified recommendations for how these might be used in making decisions regarding the size and composition of the new teams at Swan Cooper.
The two types of measures with respect to the individual differences are:
- Motivational Measures – These are the measures that will determine the internal drive that the workforce possesses in order to handle the various situations and the circumstances.
- Risk Handling Ability and Attitude measures – This measure will help in determining the risks ability and capacity for the various individuals. This will help in determining the individuals who could easily take up the risks and face the adverse situations and handle them.
Both these measures could easily be used to determine and find out who are the people who will adjust to the new culture that the new management is going develop within Swan Coopers. The people who can take up risks and have the internal drive to change and its adjustment will surely be able to change themselves and adjust within the organization and help it to progress further.
In this task a detailed discussion would be carried out on the impact of change that is experience on the business. This will give an insight of the reaction of the workforce to the change that would be explained with Kubler-Ross Model. The 8 step Kotter’s change model will also be discussed under this head.
Be able to apply knowledge of impact of change in Business.
a) Explain the workforce’s reaction to the changes taking place at Swan Cooper
As per Kubler-Ross Model of Change, there are basically 5 stages of the changes that the individuals so express: Denial to change, anger or frustration, bargaining for change, depression of the people and finally acceptance to it. Swan Coopers has a paternalistic kind of structure or the leadership environment that used to exist within the organization. They were given instructions and guidance on how the work has to be carried out. On the other hand now the culture would taking own initiatives, empowerment and acting on the decisions made and be responsible for them. Initially when the new management will meet up the people, they will dictate on the new policies, procedures and the action plan for taking the organization forward. The people who are adaptable will surely resist and show anger but slowly and gradually adjust within the new culture (Scherer & Wertheimer, 1964). On the other hand the people who are non-adaptable will not be able to adjust to the changed circumstances. It is usually said that in the five stages of the Ross Model, people do adjust but there are few who cross these five stages easily whereas others may take longer to cross them. Rest are few who cannot adjust and company has to take up some measures to retrench them as they will make the culture spoiled by their useless discussions.
The specific reasons for the resistance of the people are:
- They have to now come out of their comfort zones and work for showing the performance
- They have to prove their potential and perform well in order to be sustained and survive within the company.
The changes in the reaction of the people with respect to the changes in the company would be slow and gradual by step by step arrangement as shown in the diagram.
b) Using John Kotter’s 8-Step process of change explain exactly how you will implement the changes that are planned for Swan Cooper.
Kotter’s has given 8 major steps that could be followed in order to bring about changes within the Swan Coopers. These 8 steps have been shown in the above diagram:
- Increasing the Urgency – This is the step in which Swan Coopers has to assess the environment, resources, manpower and other aspects so that suitable planning could be made or done in this regard.
- Building of the teams – It has to develop teams for various activities so that they could be assigned roles and responsibilities for implementing the changes.
- Developing the Vision – They have to develop and plan the Vision that has to be achieved in the time to come so that they may concentrate on work accordingly.
- Effective Communication – This vision and planning has to be effectively communicated to the people working for the company so that they align their personal goals with their professional ones (Miller, 2010).
- Enabling the change – This is the stage in which implementation and enforcement of the change process will be done.
- Creating the wins for shorter targets and term – The vision and objectives will divide the entire process into short term goals and thereby achieving the short term wins.
- Making it up – It will determine the processes that are not working up to mark and have to be improved and changed.
- Enforcing and Sticking to it – This is the last stage in which the sticking and enforcing of the correct process to the change implementation has to be done for the change process.
This 8 step process is being followed for almost all kinds of changes that are brought about at a bigger level. This model when would be adopted by Swan Coopers will result in solving the problem and thereby resulting in the changed culture within the company.
c) Explain and justify exactly what you will do to achieve attitude change in each of those three groups.
These three groups will be counselled and explained in the ways described below:
- The women workers who will lose their supportive benefits – They will be counselled by stating that in case they would work hard within the organization then they surely would be given much better benefits and facilities than they had been getting till date. They may be encouraged and given opportunities to develop and grow them well. They will be given secured and safe environment to work in (Gigerenzer, 1991).
- The managers who have worked at Swan Coopers for many years – They will be judged and analysed on their personality types in order to find out how their will behave and what is their potential. They will be asked to perform and on the basis of their performance they will be able to compete the increasing competition in the company. They would be given respectable positions on the basis of their testing and personality types. There may be introduction of new processes, practices and the procedures that will help in motivating these managers as well.
- The new management team who are already growing impatient with the lack of enthusiasm for change – They would be asked to follow the Kotter’s 8 step model to the change management. They will be given motivation on regular intervals and asked to counsel and motivate the existing team to perform.
All these groups are essential for the organization and they have to be supportive so that organization is successful for a longer run and able to realize its potential easily. These have been the people who are aware of the clients, associates and the market potential and in case they will be retained then company can develop its systems.
In this task a discussion would be carried out on the impacts that change in the culture and climate will have on the performance of the workforce. This will be explained with the help of the theories that have been developed on culture and change management.
Understand the impact of culture and climate on performance.
a) Contrast the type of culture evident in the original Swan Cooper with the type the new owners clearly want to develop. Explain how each is likely to influence the company’s performance in ways both positive and negative.
There have been many theories that have been developed on the culture and change management. It is usually said by the theorists that whenever there is change in the culture of the organization, the workforce tend to change but how easily they adapt to change is dependent on the policies, motivational techniques and training that the management of the company provides to these people. Originally the people were kept in the protective shelves. They had to follow the instructions of their heads and thereby implement them accordingly. They were never asked to compete and show their potential. The new management in the company is entirely of the changed belief. They would have to hire, recruit and retain only those people who have potential and can perform with the increasing competition with the open culture. There is a complete transformation in the way Swan Coopers used to operate earlier and would be operating now. The company’s performance would be affected in both the positive and negative way as:
- It will help increasing competition within the company – The competent and skilled manpower would be nurtured and encouraged to work and prove their potential within the organization. Each will develop, grow and become competent.
- It will retain and attract skilled and competent manpower for the company – The people who are able to prove and apply their potential would be retained and sustained within the company.
- The company targets would be fulfilled and completed within the timelines and as per the specific objectives set by it (Locke & Latham, 2002).
- It will have to entire change existing people through motivational techniques and it may take longer time for them to adjust within the organization.
- The company may lose its potential manpower who may not be able to adjust with the older people working for the company.
b) Evaluate the climate for the rope makers on the shop floor before and after the change in ownership.
The rope markers will experience a change in the climate from the olden times to that of the newer one. They will now get the decision making, motivation and changed policies with respect to the processes, procedures and the benefits that they may get. With the change in the ownership, more work with efficiency would be demanded from them. There would be organization of more training and developmental classes and sessions that the company will adopt for them. In order to improve on the performance and efficiency of the company’s production and business processes, the company may have to install new machines, equipment and tools which existing manpower may not be equipped with. They have to get trained and adapt themselves to the new processes in order to adapt and sustain with the changes that are being brought within the organization. There would be few rope makers who will get adapted to the new culture and environment and start performing whereas some others may be involved in the criticisms. The rope makers who have the potential and ability to perform will be motivated and trained to work further and develop with the growth of the organization (Butler & Cantrell, 1984).
c) Make recommendations for improving the performance of the rope makers on the shop floor through consciously making use of the new culture and company structure.
Swan Cooper will no longer be the same organization as it had been earlier. Originally it was having the paternalistic kind of an organization where the leaders did not develop the workforce to fight for the competition. Now when American company has taken it over then surely, they will have clear, transparent and open culture that will enhance the skilled and competent manpower to compete and grow in the organization. The recommendations that could be given in order to improve on the performance of the rope makers are:
- Communicating the policies, practices and the procedures effectively to these rope markers so that they have clarity on the roles and responsibilities that they have to fulfil.
- Keeping a trained and competent leadership for them who may supervise them on the new practices and guide them well.
- They must be provided with training and developmental processes so that they get clarity on the action plan they have to adopt within the various processes that have to be followed within the organization. This will help in mapping their existing skills and enhancing the newer skills in the various individuals.
- There should be development of better facilities, benefits and the performance oriented bonuses that will be given to the great performers.
- There should be development of a grievance oriented redress system that will help in the enhancement of the resolution of the issues and different problems easily (Ones et al, 1993).
Whenever change is brought into the system, there surely are changes that are experienced on the positive and negative front. Swan Coopers had been a paternalistic kind of an organization where the workforce was given instructions, guidance and ways to perform the various tasks. Now when the American company has taken over then surely the psychology of the entire organization in terms of its manpower has changed. The company will have open, transparent and completely transformed culture that would desire its people to effectively utilize their potential and perform well. This requires that Swan Coopers new management has to apply the effective and proven business psychology that would help in adopting the change well and completely recognized and enforced within the company. Swan Coopers can apply these theories like Kotter’s 8 Step Change Model, Ross Model and Scientific Approach to the management and control for the change management (Riemenschneider et al, 2003).
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