Personality and organization - Business psychology

Personality and organization

Any organization from a psychological point of view is a special education that is not reducible to the simple sum of people who make up it, and has its own psychological patterns of existence. The peculiarity of organization as a social group is set by the fact that it involves many psychological phenomena and processes. We are talking about such diverse and complex phenomena as the processes of group dynamics and leadership, the phenomena of interpersonal and intergroup interactions, individual conformity, group favoritism, as well as ways of social perception and assessment of situations, etc. One of the most successful definitions in this sense of the organization is: "Organization is a differentiated and mutually ordered association of individuals and groups that share certain goals and act on the basis of certain procedures and rules."

Recall that we proceed from the assumption that a person or a group of people creates an organization to achieve their own goals. Therefore, once created, the organization is an instrument for its creators, a means of achieving goals. At the same time, having arisen, the organization itself begins to make demands on people, its components, since it must meet not only the requirements of the external environment, but also the requirements of technology.

Any business, including entrepreneurial, is ultimately done by a person and relies on his energy, motivation, aspiration to the goal. But the way it is done and the result is achieved in many respects depends on the organizational context in which it occurs, including the form and structure of the organization.

Case Study

A classic example, which social psychologists like to bring in connection with this is the unloading of the firewood machine. If a group of people does this, then everyone can grab his armful of logs and run with it to where the firewood is stacked. You can build in a chain and transfer these logs along a conveyor. It is also possible, if the length of the chain is not enough, to load firewood from the machine onto a cart or stretcher and move them together. Depending on the chosen method of organization, the time of achievement of the final result, as well as the status of participants in this process, can vary greatly. Up to the point of feeling physical fatigue: it turns out that with the joint forms of organization, despite the fact that the level of physical exertion is almost the same, people easily tolerate fatigue, if only their work is organized well.

Along with the increase in the number and variety of organizations created by man, knowledge about them gradually accumulated into organizational theory, on the one hand, and management practice, on the other. However, if we trace the history of successive theories of organizational management, then it is easy to discover the completely definite ideas about a person, above all about a human worker, standing behind them. These peculiar "implicit managerial personality theories", replacing each other, set the main perspective for the attention of the organization's theorists and management practitioners to various aspects of the structure and functioning of organizations, which was then embodied in the notion of a successful or ideal organization. These same ideas about the human worker have determined the history of the formation of the psychology of labor and organizational psychology and can be reduced to five main ones: "man of economics", "social man", "self-actualizing person", "complex person" and the "postmodern man" (Figure 5.4).

Economic man. The creators of the idea of ​​an "economic man" can rightly be considered economists XVIII-XIX centuries. A. Smith, TR Malthus, J. St. Mill and D. Ricardo. In their understanding, a person from the point of view of economics is a purely rational creature; thinking according to the laws of logic. Since a person has limited resources for his survival, he has to make rational decisions about their use for various purposes. The main resources of an economic man - money, time and energy should be spent in accordance with the principle of maximizing benefits. Profit maximization means that at a given cost, a person seeks to increase his profit, and at a given profit value - to minimize costs. In the organization of an economic person, the following features are distinguished:

Basic ideas about a person in an organization

Fig. 5.4. Basic concepts of a person in an organization

• he avoids responsibility, since work causes only one costs (forces, time, etc.);

• You can only motivate him financially;

• he thinks and acts exceptionally rationally;

• seeks maximum profit for personal gain;

• takes into account all possible alternatives (for example, actions of traders in the market);

• He is trained in economics and therefore responds quickly to changing supply and demand data;

• his needs are stable and directed to the future, and also independent of other people.

The notion of the "man of economics" still plays an important role in many areas of economic science, modern organizational theories and management practices. It was on these representations that the so-called classical theory of organization was based - FW Taylor's theory of scientific management, A. Fayol's administrative theory of management and M. Weber's theory of rational bureaucracy. However, it would seem that the modern theory of quality management (TQM) and the underlying system of norms of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 9001- 9004) are based on the same ideas about the economic person, as employees of the enterprise must unconditionally follow the best way of performing their work and therefore are only "operators for the implementation of norms."

A person is social. The idea that a person working in an organization, above all a social being, arose as a reaction to the excessive rationality of the idea of ​​an economic man. It is believed that the motivation for changing the views was the results of the Hottor studies conducted by a group of American scientists led by E. Mayo. People have social needs that they want and can realize in their workplace, and this is often more important than money and career. A social person can be described as follows:

• his actions are motivated mainly by social motives, not by material reward;

• By establishing social relationships with other employees, he acquires a sense of belonging, identifies himself with the organization and seeks to integrate into it;

• he behaves more in accordance with the informal rules and norms of his group than following the official schedule adopted by the organization;

• his reaction to the demands of his superiors depends on the extent to which his personal needs are satisfied in the workplace.

Correlate specific organizational and managerial theories with the notions of a social person is somewhat more complicated, nevertheless, among them belong the theory of cooperative systems of C. Barnard, the theory of participatory control R. Likert, the theory of open social systems R. Kahn and D. Katz and the theory of socio-technical systems of a group of scientists from the Tevistok Institute of Human Relations under the leadership of E.Trust and F. Emery.

A person who is self-actualizing. During the period 1950-1970, the main attention of researchers, starting with the works of A. Maslow, again moved from the group to a person who, striving for self-realization, would like to apply all his abilities in the workplace. Self-actualization and autonomy were recognized and became the most important sources of labor motivation. The most important signs of a person self-actualizing in an organization are the following:

• The main labor motive for him is the meaning of the work performed, which, however, can be carried out only after satisfying simpler needs;

• he strives for self-improvement, which is possible only if it is possible to make independent decisions and the availability of sufficient time for development;

• External incentives - material reward - play a significantly smaller role than the internal motivation associated with the content of the work performed in the workplace;

• for him, the pursuit of self-improvement does not necessarily mean a contradiction with the goals of the organization, often he himself tries to align his goals with organizational requirements.

From the point of view of this idea of ​​an employee, the main task of the manager becomes humanization of the work, ie. through the management style, the organization of work and the corresponding structure, the manager should promote the development of internal motivation among the employees, delegating them authority in solving complex complex tasks. The embodiment of the idea of ​​a self-actualizing person was found in the theory of the collegial organization, based on the so-called project groups, K. Ardzhiris and in the theory of organization as a complex decision-making system at various levels of J. March, R. Sayert and G. Simon.

The person is complex. In all the above ideas about the working man, there was somehow simplification of human psychology, the variety of personal characteristics was reduced to some, even important, but only one of them. An attempt to overcome these limitations was the idea of ​​a complex person proposed by E. Shane, which should take into account not only interindividual differences, but also the internal non-uniformity and ambiguity of the employee worker:

• The relevance and importance of specific needs depends on the situation and can change over time;

• motives affect the organizational behavior of a person not separately from each other, but only in a complex, and with experience in the organization, workers can acquire new motives;

• One and the same person can satisfy different motives in different organizations and even in the same, but in different spheres of activity;

• job satisfaction and overall performance are determined by different motivations; an important role in this is played also by the type of task performed, the worker's abilities and professional skills, and also the socio-psychological climate in the work collective;

• The management style in an organization should take into account employee expectations, but since these expectations can vary very much, there is no one perfect leadership style.

The notions of a complex person in an organization, unlike all previous ones, do not give clear instructions on how to motivate a person and build an organizational structure. Therefore, there are high demands on the manager, who should be a good diagnostician, in order to determine in which situation which employee has what need is actualized and which most influences his behavior. The theory of organization as an information processing system of J. Galbraith, the theory of organizational design and organizational strategies of G. Mintzberg, the theory of sense production in the organizations of K. Weik and the theory of organizational culture of E. Shane are among modern organizational theories based on the concept of a complex person.

Despite the change of ideas about a person that occurred during the 20th century and the emergence of new organizational theories on this basis, the daily management practice turns out to be quite conservative. It still dominates the idea of ​​an economic man, and the main motivating factor in labor activity continues to be material rewards. At the same time, the ideas of postmodernism, in which the realities of the postindustrial society are reflected, carry in themselves new ideas about the human worker. Creativity, freedom and responsibility for oneself as leading postmodern values ​​are embodied in the notion of a person as a knowledge worker. This view is only being formed, but already today many researchers note that in organizations of a new economy, called the knowledge economy, work for a person must satisfy the following conditions:

1) work should be fun and create the conditions for creativity;

2) communication with other people is important in the work, so it must be performed predominantly in the team;

3) it is the personal manifestations of the employee that become the basis for productivity growth, primarily such as social competence and emotional intelligence (Figure 5.5).

Thus, knowledge workers are no longer subordinates in the direct meaning of the word, but rather enter a certain community of free people who voluntarily joined together for a certain period of time on conditions of informal and harmonious interdependence.

Therefore, the attitude to such an employee on the part of the head must also change radically. The importance for the organization of the manager, capable to stimulate and support processes of introduction of innovations increases. But the main function of the manager now is that he must give work a meaning and meaning. Otherwise, the personnel policy of the organization should be built. She enters the labor market with a proposal of such work that could meet the actual needs of the employee, who produces knowledge. Such employees are mobile and therefore not very attached to the organization. To keep them, you need to create attractive working conditions for them. These conditions include minimal external control, the provision of opportunities for each employee for lifelong learning and development, so as to transform the strengths and knowledge of everyone into the productivity and quality of the services offered on the market. These ideas are developed in the theory of the learning organization of K. Ardzhiris and D. Shen, and P. Senge, which is built on the principles of personal mastery, mental models, a common vision, learning in the team and systemic thinking.

Personality of an employee as a portfolio (according to M.Khorks)

Fig. 5.5. Personality of the employee as a portfolio (according to M.Khorks)

A characteristic feature of the new economy is the spread of new organizational structures that have been named network, horizontal, shell or virtual. In comparison with the classical type of organization vertically oriented along the hierarchy of management levels, these network structures have two key distinctive features: blurring of organizational boundaries and the strengthening of informal trust relations. Thus, the boundaries of organizations become not physical, but relational ones - they pass where confidence, gradually decreasing with distance from the conditional network center, is completely replaced by calculation and control. Thus, competition based on intellectual capital in the conditions of economic modernization requires the creation in organizations of a new type of such relations between employees that would stimulate them to share knowledge and experience with each other, which will contribute to the success of the whole organization. The competitive advantage is not the ability to conceal new knowledge (new technology) in the company, but the ability to mobilize internal and external expert resources quickly and cost-effectively to solve a specific problem. Consequently, the condition of the company's economic security is its information openness and communication activity.

However, many questions remain unanswered. For example, there is a contradiction between the continuing competitive nature of economic relations in the market and the need to develop trust, and therefore cooperative relations both between employees within the organization and in its interaction with the external environment. In addition, it is necessary to create an organizational culture focused on knowledge and continuity of development, which inevitably encounters the inertia of the individual value system (both the owner, the top manager and the rank-and-file employee), formed in other social and cultural conditions. Finally, the relationship between a person and a business organization, for example, a network type, acquires a completely different content, the analysis of which quite differently poses problems power and authority, the socio-psychological integrity of the organization, organizational identity and organizational commitment of staff. The development of social psychology of organizations in the near future may prove promising in this direction.

First, completely new dimensions of power and authority are built in organizations of a new type - with flat administrative structures of the hierarchy, network, decentralized, etc. For the time being, one can only expect that both authority and authority obviously lose their socio-psychological significance for the organization in the conditions of a radical restriction of direct control over the employee at his workplace and the strengthening of the trust factor in both vertical and horizontal ties between employees./p>

Secondly, the problem of the socio-psychological integrity of the organization arises in connection with the erosion of its boundaries, which, firstly, calls into question the possibility of its analysis as an integrated system, and secondly, the absence of a boundary separating the internal environment from the external , makes impossible one of the most important processes of full-fledged functioning - contact.

Organizational identity, underlying the organizational commitment, also requires the renewal of scientific-psychological ideas about its nature. For the time being, it is only possible to assume that a mobile employee who produces knowledge that is not tied to a specific workplace in one organization, entering exclusively in trust, mainly partner relations, simultaneously with several different organizations, is in the situation of the formation of multiple (mostly - broken) identity. This situation is aggravated by the social process of creating and cultivating the so-called clip consciousness, for which the number of changes is more important than their quality, the fact of change becomes self-worth, the movement is more important than the result, and the speed of movement is more important than its direction.

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