Organizational Behavior the Basic Objective Research Paper

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Smith provided the appropriate managerial direction which struck the right balance between creativity, performance and productivity. His farsightedness which encompassed a wide vision was long-term, ambitious and the same time entirely practical and feasible. (Section 7: Leadership and Management, p. 243)

Having earlier steered a floundering company towards a successful path, Smith's work was uphill. He had to drastically change the organizational culture and structure while reducing conflict within the very talented set of employees and provide them with a collective direction. He was also expected to reduce the atmosphere of uncertainty prevailing in the organization and use the "countercultures" of the earlier two companies to foster innovation and creativity and thus get a competitive advantage for the new organization. (Section 2: Organizations & Culture, p. 64)

d. Organizational goals, vision, mission, objectives and values

Organizational mission defines the very reason for its existence. It basically refers to a general all-encompassing statement which normally is not meant for alteration every year or with an alteration in organizational structure -- i.e. organizational mission is a long-term commitment. The organizational mission at Foresight Technologies is to create innovative trend-setting software to fulfil the needs of the current and future businesses. An organizational mission gives rise to organizational goals which are more specific. (USD Casa. Setting Organizational Goals); (Rowitz, 2009, p. 102)

Organizational goals provide identity, prevent chaos and impart direction to an organization. These are fundamentally statements that explicitly express the things that an organization wants to accomplish. These are the end-results of all the activities that the organization undertakes in a particular period of time. Thus, goals may display alterations from time to time or at different periods and are therefore medium-term commitments. Such goals provide motivation to workers by conveying to them what the company wishes to achieve. (USD Casa. Setting Organizational Goals); (Rowitz, 2009, p. 102)

Appreciating and acknowledging successes and accomplishments of workers also depends on the achievement of these goals to large extent. For instance, Foresight has at different points of time simultaneously or separately identified its organizational goals as "Retaining the earlier pool of talented workers," "Utilizing new hardware technologies to produce more reliable and faster applications," "Recruiting talented, highly-motivated managers with a proven track record of turning around a company," "Creating a secure, fool-proof, highly-reliable and real-time software for the banking industry," "Providing 24x7 online customer support to all customers," "Immediate adoption of new technologies to provide expert advice for creation of new software," etc. (USD Casa. Setting Organizational Goals); (Rowitz, 2009, p. 102)

Organizational goals give rise to objectives which are more precise, clear-cut, unambiguous and detailed descriptions of the activities that must be undertaken to achieve the goals. These tasks are measurable entities. Objectives are usually deadline-oriented and are therefore, short-term. For instance, one of the current objectives at Foresight is to set up a small committee which will look into the sources of conflict which are obstructing the development of full human potential at Foresight and come up with an action plan to channel the creative talents of these employees so that employees' goals can be aligned with the organizational goals. (USD Casa. Setting Organizational Goals); (Rowitz, 2009, p. 102)

e. Organizational Culture at Foresight

It has been well established that organizational activities are vastly affected by organizational culture. However, there is an ongoing debate as to how much priority should be given to this concept in the organizational domain. It has also given rise to different ambiguous statements about what it exactly is. Some experts like Smircich in 1983 view culture as a product of the organization whereas others take the opposite end and view the organizational behaviour as a product of its culture. Some others like Peters and Waterman in 1982 feel that organizational culture is basically "rules of the game for getting along in the organization. One important thing that features in this aspect is the not just the issue of different organizational cultures within the same community but also cross-cultural issues involving different communities as well. (Section 2: Organizations & Culture, pp: 65-66)

Foresight Technologies like many other organizations in the U.S. has embraced employees from many communities including Europeans and Asians as well as handicapped people. Gender equality has also been one of the strong points at Foresight. However, adding to this complexity is the very formal and bureaucratic cultural legacy that the employees from the former Sight Technologies inherited. On the other hand, there is the too informal culture that the other employees were used to. Both the conditions needed a "reconciliation of cultural differences" as proposed by Fons Trompenaars and Peter Wooliams. (Trompenaars; Woolliams, 2003, p. 16)

This approach has recently influenced the approach towards organizational culture at Foresight. The "three R's" advocated by Trompenaars and Wooliams -- Recognize, Respect and Reconcile -- has also been recognized by the management as a better alternative to managing cultural differences and using it to the company's advantage. Therefore, instead of combating cultural differences, the management is planning to arrange a series of activities involving employees to help them recognize the fact that cultural differences do exist and one must learn to respect them and instead of changing the entire culture reconciliation may be the best way to deal with them. (Trompenaars; Woolliams, 2003, p. 16)

f. Organizational Contingencies

The organizational structure at Foresight Technologies adheres more to the "Organic structure" with slight variations as defined by Burns and Stalker in 1961 than a mechanistic structure. However, organizational structure is not homogeneous at Foresight and is dependent on the kind of activities being performed in the subsections. In this context, Foresight has applied the principles of "differentiation" and "integration" as described by the contingency theorists, Lawrence and Lorsch. (Organisation Behaviour: Structuring the Organization, p. 28)

Differentiation is the breaking up of an organization's process into a number of components. Each of these components focus on a specific section of the environment and each of these components tends to have their own structures, beliefs and values. For instance, the "software engineering" section is different from the R&D or marketing department not just in structure but also in attitude and values. The R&D section may spend weeks on a project which may seem to be of no market value to the marketing department until a demand arises in the market. On the other hand 'integration' is the process of accomplishing a collective effort amongst the various components of the organization. (Organisation Behaviour: Structuring the Organization, p. 28)

This usually involves direct control from the upper layers of management. For instance, the program manager usually controls projects which require collaborative efforts and thus works across departments and directly reports to the CEO. These two factors depend to a large extent on the environment in which the organization operates. The IT industry is unpredictable to a large extent and changes in technology and technological needs take place at a rapid rate. In such an environment, differentiation is bound to increase. Highly differentiated companies respond better to their relevant sub-environments than highly integrated companies. Therefore, what is required is an optimum balance between differentiation and integration to respond suitably to environmental uncertainties. (Organisation Behaviour: Structuring the Organization, p. 28)

The merger between Sight and ForeScan was by itself a reaction to the environmental factors allowing the merged company to adapt to the environment as well as get access to resources which were not possible for the small individual companies grappling with losses and market uncertainty. This was in keeping with the methods used by companies to get access to resources as proposed by Pfeffer and Salancik in 1978. (Organisation Behaviour: Structuring the Organization, p. 29) Even Burns and Stalker in 1967 had suggested that organizational structure following contingency theory approach has more potential for success in volatile environments. (Section 8: Organizations and the Management of Change, p. 295)

Some of the key contingency factors that affect many organizations including Foresight include organizational strategy, technology, size and age of the organization. (De Laurentis, 2004, p. 31)

g. Conformity between organizational structure, goals and various contingency factors

Organizational strategy at Foresight is a progressive one with the recognition that it is not capital or other resources but collaboration between the talented pools of workers that constitutes today's wealth. A "too vertical" hierarchy can result in unproductive complexities. Therefore, strategy that reduces such complexities and focuses on "maximizing profit per employee" instead of maximizing returns from capital results in more profits in today's competitive world. The management at Foresight has just begun to see reason behind investing in the "intangibles" than only on returns on capital and accounting earnings. It is time that more resources at Foresight are spent on mobilizing "mind power" and reducing unproductive complexities resulting from countercultural conflicts. (Bryan; Joyce, 2007, p. 24)

With regard to technology as a contingency factor, there is definitely conformity between the organization goals and technology as Foresight lays stress on the production of new software which utilizes the full potential of new technologies in the hardware…[continue]

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