Unit 44 Business Psychology Sample Assignment
Diploma in Business
Unit Number and Title
Unit 44 Business Psychology
The process of change management in an organisation undergoes dealing with various stages of psychological phenomenon in the workforce. This makes it an interesting topic to study the occupational psychology perspectives. In unit 44 business psychology sample assignment we have considered the Swan Cooper as an organisation to study the various occupational physiological perspectives. Swan Cooper is being taken over by a US firm and the new management is implementing many new techniques to change the old management style.
Task 2: Understand the role of psychology in the assessment of individual differences in the workplace
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.
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
Individuals have many traits that enable assessing of individual differences. In reference to Swan Cooper the differences in attitude and the differences in interests can be the individual differences of the people.
Differences in interests: The differences in interests are basically the motivation factor to the employees achieving the targets, earlier the motivation factor or push in achieving the tasks were strict rules and dominating supervision. The people already working in the Swan Cooper organization were addicted to the directive management style and they were not habitual of the self reliant system or no control over them. In this respect they will miss the targets as and when they will be dealing the transactions alone and hence the management should gradually develop the process to make the organization efficient in their working style with the effective leadership style to motivate the employees and make them more responsible. The company now requires people that have the right mindset to enables them to adapt to the changing needs of the new scenario of the company. So the company requires people of the liberal culture, people adaptive and supportive of democratic and liberal culture and who believes in the importance employee participation.
Differences in attitudes: The differences in attitudes are the psyche in the form of positive and negative turns towards and approach, hence in this context the organization employees will resist to change with the take over and will complaint the missed deliveries as a result of the taking over organization. This will not solve the purpose of the management and they need to comprehensively develop the effective approach in making the proper parameters to make the availability of the resources in limit to make them feel the importance of the operations and hence reacting accordingly. They should be focusing the aims, objectives and should learn to be flexible in the versatile situations to approach the dimensions. Mentality and attitude might be used to analyse whether a worker is capable, compatible, committed, have the character and the culture and is satisfied with the compensation offered .,All these being very important parameter for Swan Coopers to implement organisational change.
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 type of instruments that might be used in the situation can be;
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator - In this tool the assessment takes place with the help of a psychometric questionnaire. This questionnaire measures individual preferences of the perception and decision making of individuals. This principle advocates that the world can be experienced by four types of sensation that may be intuition, feeling, thinking and sensation. The experiences are dominant every time by one of these key sensations.
Concepts: this indicator is based on the fundamental concepts of the rational used by an individual for judging. And the feelings that does not use any rationale such as the intuition and the sensations.
- MBTI is a highly reliable personality instrument across most age and ethnic groups
- Retest leads to 3-4 types of preferences that 75-90% of the time remains same
- Needs caution when used for groups of reported low liability
- Four preference scale show validity
- Four preference pairs show dichotomies validity
- There is validity for whole types and personal preferences combinations
CTPI-100 – This psychometric test enables identification of individuals on the basis of managerial and executive positions. It highlights how competent an individual is on the basis of the traits of his personality, reliability and validity. In this test also the questionnaire format is used where the questionnaire is composed of many statements the subject requires to analyse and answer how he relates to the statements in the question and explain the occurrence of a particular situation or behaviour in the context of its intensity. Swan Cooper can use this test to decide which individual will be right candidate to be appointed in the company and which employees have the right trait and skills to be levied managerial functions and responsibilities. Reliability and Validity High probability of faking on the part of respondent gives this tool low reliability and validity
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.
Measure of the ability to handle risks: This is a key indicator of how equipped is an individual to handle various risks and what are his internal capacities.
Measure of motivation – The intrinsic and extrinsic factors responsible to motivate an individual heavily differentiates from person to person. Measure of motivation will enable Swan Cooper to understand whether there is a need to motivate the employees and find out what are the factors responsible for motivation.
Swan Cooper being in a stage of organisational changes needs to have a composition good team strength of workforce that have high risk handling ability and are highly motivated as the implementation of organisational changes is a process of many unforeseen risks such as resistance and failure of a strategy so people with risk handling ability and motivation to bring change will be ready manage and handle these problem situation at Swan Coopers. (Revelle, Wilt, & Condon, 2010)
Task 3: Be able to apply knowledge of impact of change in Business
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.
A. Explain the workforce’s reaction to the changes taking place at Swan Cooper
Kubler Ross identified 5 stages that an individual undergoes in case of grief. These stages are commonly applied in the case of change management as Swan Cooper is undergoing a stage of change this step can enable the firm to manage it well.
The five stages are mentioned as below:
- Denial or shock is the first stage: Earlier structure and culture of Swan Coopers was methodologist, valued upon making employees work hard and workers were not empowered at all but the new American takeover is a radical change. The employees do not desire to believe that a change is taking place and are not submissive to it as a part of Behavioural psychology.
- Anger is the second stage: Workforce of Swan Coopers will believe that the phenomenon of the change is a real process and then the denial is transformed to anger. They will start blaming the new American management to bring about the changes in the business organisation. The changes in the paternalistic approach of Swan Coopers will let them vent their anger on the management.
- Bargaining is the third stage: After the stage of anger is over employees of Swan Coopers will resent to the process of bargaining to postpone the process of change or adjust the requirements according to their easy zones such as the extra benefits of female employees would be a major aspect they would bargain upon.
- Then is the stage of depression: This is a stage when individuals feel the reality that the process of change is inevitable and they have no rescue they become depressed and realise that the process of change will result in the loss of their independence and comfort. It will require them to leave behind the old terms of practices and ways of doing things and bring them out of their comfort zone. All these feelings make them depressed and sad. At Swan Cooper this feeling may result in the demotivation of the employees and they might have a feeling of uncertainty.
- Acceptance: At this stage when the employees of Swan Cooper will realise that the change is unstoppable and they have to accept it. Their reaction is not happy in this stage but they resort to the feeling that as they cannot change anything it is better to go with the flow. (Kübler-Ross, 1969)
Reason for individual resistance to change
- Workforce of Swan Cooper may not clearly understand the need for change
- Might fear foe the unknown
- Lack of competence in the workforce to Adapt and adjust to change
- Their might feel connected to the old way
- Lack of trust in themselves and the company to manage the change
- Not involving individual employees in the process of organisational change
B. Using John Kotter’s 8-Step process of change explain exactly how you will implement the changes that are planned for Swan Cooper
These changes planned for Swan cooper will be implemented by following the steps below:
- Step 1: Establishing a sense of urgency for change: The LEADERS of Swan Coopers should understand the importance of sense of urgency and determine which state Swan Coopers currently is at. This will convince people about the importance and the need for the change. And people will understand that it is important for them to take immediate action to initiate the process of change.
- Step 2: Creation of a guiding coalition: In this step Swan Cooper needs to develop a group that has requisite authority and power to induce the process of change. This group needs to have the trait to act as leaders in the process of change and make everybody involved in the organisation to actively participate in the change. This can be done by the management of Swan Coopers by developing a vision and communicating it to all in the organisation.
- Step 3: Having a vision for change: Leaders and top management at Swan Lake requires developing a vision to understand where they want to take the process of change and develop strategies that would enable them to achieve the targets and the initiation of the process of changeThe leaders at Swan Coopers needs to develop an effective vision for the company which should be Imaginable, Desirable, Feasible, Focused and Flexible and Communicable.
- Step 4: Communication of the vision: The development of the vision is generally the function of the top management. Current Management of Swan Cooper needs to ensure the vision for change that is developed is communicated to all the levels in the management group and everybody has a clear understanding of the vision for change that would bring involvement of all levels.
- Step 5; Empowerment of a broad base: The internal structure of the company has been Methodist, traditional values of hard work and dominance of managers over the workforce makes it with odds fir the vision of change.SO Swan Cooper requires to remove all these cultural barriers and empower the workforce to work for the change vision.Swan Cooper requires empowering all employees so that all the hindrance to the process of change is eliminated from the workplace. All the old systems and structures that undermine the affectivity of the change process should be eliminated. This can be done by realigning incentives and performance appraisal in accordance with the vision of change
- Step 6: Generation of wins for short term: After the American takeover, Leaders at Swan Coopers are aiming at a long term effort for change for this it is essential to have short termed wins. By Guiding Coalition improvements that should happen in 6- 18 months should be identified. Short term wins are essential for Swan Cooper and achieving these wins by the fourteenth and twenty sixth months are proven to complete effective changes .Short term wins can be managed by managing performance pressure.
- Step 7: Never letting up: In the process of changes for Swan Coopers it is evident that resistance from the employees owing to the change will re-assert in the early stages. The changes in the paternalistic approaches, elimination of the benefits for female employees will drive resistance so in this scenario Swan Cooper should not let up as it may lead to critical consequences losing the change implementation and regression.
- Never letting up can be achieved by:
- Adding up more projects
- Bringing more employees to the organization aligned with and helpful for the organizational changes
- Focus of senior management to share clear vision and purpose
- Step 8: Make it stick: New practices must be implemented and imbibed in Swan Coopers so that it becomes an integral part of the culture. Culture should be formed by sharing values. All employees must be doctrine of the culture and values of swan Cooper so that they understand that with the new management the company has the changed the culture from being methodologist and paternalistic to democratic and one where employees are empowered. This can be done by;
- Educating the employees that culture is most important
- Prove the workforce that the new culture is superior and better than the old
- Having well communicated and visible success
C. Explain and justify exactly what you will do to achieve attitude change in each of those three groups.
Attitude changes needs to be brought about in the entire organisation for this process specific methods will be implemented in Swan Cooper.
- The women workers who will lose their supportive benefits: The women employees of Swan Cooper have been given many benefits by the paternalistic approach. They were provided supportive benefits such as maternity care, nurseries and a company doctor as well as educational support for their children. Now with the takeover by the American company they will lose these benefits and this might lead to a state of resentment and unrest and even non-cooperation between amongst the women employees. The PROCESS for this should be regular counselling of the woman employees and implementing a change management team.
- The managers who have worked at Swan Coopers for many years: There will be the inculcation and appreciation of new personality traits and management style that would be democratic dynamic and self-actualised in contrary to the existing old style of management in Swan Cooper, for the healthy introduction of this style it is needed that the old management is trained on regular basis, motivated to lead people by examples and introduce better and new processes. The old management teams needs to be trained on the importance of having a participative culture.
- The new management team who are already growing impatient with the lack of enthusiasm for change: The new management team would be in a state of struggle and ciaos as they feel and suffer with the problem of the lack of enthusiasm for change. This situation needs to be carefully tackled as the management of Swan Coopers are the people who will be the forerunners of change. The new management need to be educated that the phenomenon of change is a very long process that requires enough of patience and testing. The new management teams need to be motivated and appreciated of their initiatives regularly so they do not lose patience and enthusiasm. They would be asked to follow the Kotter’s 8 step model to the change management.
Task 4: Understand the impact of culture and climate on performance.
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.
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.
Organizational culture is a system of shared values & attitudes within the organization & is the guiding force for the behaviour of its members. Culture will have major impact in the performance of Swan Cooper. Organisational culture can be defined as the set of rules, values and beliefs guiding the conduct of the employees and the style of management. The culture existing in Swan Cooper is quite contrary to the culture the new owner wants to establish. The existing policies and forces of motivation and rewards indicated how easily the workers adapt to the process of change in the organisation. Swan Cooper is undergoing intense changes. The paternalistic approach of the company included no free participation of the employees in the process of decision making of the company and employees being in a protective cocoon.
Trompenaar’s model can explain the cultural communication at Swan Coopers. These seven dimensions can be used for Swan Coopers.
- Universalism vs. particularism In Swan coopers so far rules has been important than relationships
- Individualism vs. collectivism Group functioning lacked earlier and needs to be implemented now
- Neutral vs. emotional
- Specific vs. diffuse
- Achievement vs. ascription
- Sequential vs. synchronic
- Internal vs. external control
Studying the culture at Swan Cooper by Handy’s model will be helpful:
- Power: In Swan Cooper earlier power has been very centralised and vested in the hands of few people which needs to be decentralised with the new management
- Task Culture :The old management adopts no proper team structuration to solve the critical problems which needs to be adopted now
- Person Culture: Swan Cooper needs to eliminate person culture with the new dynamic management. The employees felt very important earlier also with the special privilege given to woman employees this culture was prevalent but it needs to be properly balanced and make their employees attached to the company.
- Role culture: There is a need to delegate roles and responsibilities to all employees of Swan Coopers and investing the decision making ability in the hands of the employees.
The women employees enjoyed lots of facilities and liberties than compared to the male employees. Earlier the structures of the departments in the company were very tight. Managers did not behaved as colleagues but were just involved in issuing orders to their subordinates. But on contrary to this the present ownership indicated the emergence of new technologically upgraded production of Nylon ropes and democracy and employee empowerment and open information.
Positive Impact to the company will be: There will be the emergence of self-reliance amongst the work groups with the role culture with the elimination of barriers between the management and the employees there will be a better exchange of ideas and employee participation will increase motivation and self-dependence with the integration of new technology of production the company will be at a better competitive position
Negative Impacts would be: There might be dissatisfaction amongst the women employees with the elimination of all the special treatments and privileges to them by the elimination of person culture. There might be resentment and non-cooperation amongst the employees as accepting the process of change is a very tough process.
B. Evaluating the impact for the rope makers on the shop floor before and after the changed ownership
The impact of the rope makers on the shop before the changes ownership are as follows:
- There were several benefits related with the process before the changes ownershop as the employees were engaged to do their specific jobs and their deliveries were perfectly on time.
- With the effective and dominant leadership the organiation does not record any incidence of strikes and internal conflicts.
- The organziation were prividing the facilities related to health and social care to the employees generally based on paternality and maternality factors.
- The employees were working for the organziation without much information and knowledge of the orhganziation objhectives and aims and hence they were not connected and involved in the porcesses socially.
- The organziation does not record any incidence of the employees to take an eye on the senior leadership as the employees are connected with their floor level operational teams and with their immediate supervisors.
The impact of the rope makers on the shop after the changes ownership are as follows:
- The rope makers will experience lots of changes in the shop floor after the implementation of the process of change;
- There would be new technology integration in the production process as they will now be making Nylon ropes and not the traditional ropes they used to make earlier
- The dependency on the human resources will decrease with the integration of technology and machinery in the production process
- They will be more independent and can communicate freely with the management which was missing earlier
- There would be more demand of efficient working and quality control from them
- The workforce at the shop floor will be trained frequently and routinely to adapt to the changing processes (Butler Jr & Cantrell, 1984)
C. Making recommendations for improving the performance of the rope makers on the shop floor consciously making use of the new culture and company structure
The new culture and the company structure of the Swan Cooper require constant performance check so that the process of performance improvement is a continuous process. Performance improvement is a major part of the organisational change process. At Swan Lake the managers and the governing bodies need to develop a program that measures the current level of the organisational performances and then devise an efficient program to modify the behaviour and the infrastructure according to the requirement. The performance improvement program should be aimed to attain efficiency and improvement so that the organisation accepts and integrate the process of change Swan Lake should set goals and objectives at the shop floor and implements techniques of statistical control of quality. The targets and results achieved in the shop floor should be fixed and standardized high performers should be rewarded with incentives The requirements for the input, throughput should be fixed in the shop floor (Horney, 1950)
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A change in any organization has both positive and negative impacts making the change management process a subject matter of psychological study. Swan Cooper has to strategically plan the change management process and ensure they get the cooperation and involvement of all the staff and the management alike. Any organizational change is brings lots of resentment and dissatisfaction among the employees which has to be properly dealt with. Swan Cooper following the paternalistic management will experience a radical organizational change with the new American management so the above analysis is very much needed to study the occupational psychology.
Butler Jr, J., & Cantrell, R. S. (1984). A Behavioural Decision Theory approach tro modelling dyadic trust in superiors and subordinates. Psychologoical Reports 55(1) , 19-28.
Cherry, K. ((n.d)). Steps of the Scientific Method. Retrieved September 12, 2014, from about education website: http://psychology.about.com/od/researchmethods/a/steps-of-scientific-method.htm
CPP. (2014). Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®). Retrieved September 12, 2014, from CPP Website: https://www.cpp.com/products/mbti/index.aspx
Horney, K. (1950). Neorosis and Human Growth:The Struggle Towards Self- Realization. New York: W.W Norton Company, Inc.
Kotter International. (2014). The 8-Step Process for Leading Change. Retrieved September 12, 2014, from Kotter International Website: http://www.kotterinternational.com/our-principles/changesteps
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