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Theories of Practice: The Human Resources Frame

MPA 8002 The Structure and Theory of Human Organization Richard M. Jacobs, OSA, Ph.D.

A HUMAN RESOURCES SCENARIO

People are the heart of any organization. When people feel the organization is responsive to their needs and supportive of their goals, managers and leaders can count on their followers commitment and loyalty. Managers and leaders who are authoritarian or insensitive, who dont communicate effectively, or who simply dont care about their people can never be effective managers and leaders. The human resource manager and leader works on behalf of both the organization and its people, seeking to serve the best interests of both.

MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP IN A HUMAN RESOURCES SCENARIO

The job of the manager and leader is one of support and empowerment. Support takes a variety of forms: letting people know that they are important and that managers and leaders are concerned about them; listening to find out about their followers aspirations and goals; and, communicating personal warmth and openness. Human resource managers and leaders empower their followers through participation and openness as well as by making sure that they have the autonomy and the resources they need to do their jobs well. Human resource managers and leaders emphasize honest, two-way communication as a way to identify issues and resolve differences. They are willing to confront others when it is appropriate, but they try to do so in a spirit of openness and caring. Bolman & Deal (1991, p. 359)

the human resources frame

Primary Metaphor for Organization:


Family Tribe Clan

Central Concepts:

Managerial And Leadership Image:


Empowerment Liberation Fulfillment SelfActualization

Fundamental Challenge:

Relationships Self-Interest Needs Feelings Skills

Attune organizational and human needs

If the principles of scientific management were considered revolutionary, the assertions of the early human resources theorists were radical...

as their hypotheses challenged the antecedents and theories of practice governing how managers viewed workers for the new Industrial era.

One of the earliest precursors of human resources theory...


David Owen

18th century mercantilist owned spinning mills throughout Scotland believed that worker productivity could be improved by being attentive to their basic human needs

provided workers a high standard of living, including:


decent, clean housing life-long educational opportunities
preschool day care progressive elementary and secondary schooling continuing adult education

in contrast to prevailing practice, Owen trained his managers in humane disciplinary practices... ...endeavored to make workers origins rather than pawns of the organization (de Charms, 1968)

Contrasting pawns and origins...


how managers and leaders view pawns:

how managers and leaders view origins:


passive workers

active resources

basically incompetent and lazy require training

competent and basically self-motivated bring skills, attitudes, energy, enthusiasm, and commitment

need close supervision

are self-regulating

how pawns experience work:

how origins experience work:

replaceable cogs in a machine victims of incompetent bosses, bureaucratic inertia, and organizational doublespeak
alienating, dehumanizing, and frustrating

invigorating opportunities to make a personal contribution a place to experience a sense of belonging, to build self-esteem, and to become self-actualized a place for personal and professional growth and challenge by asserting oneself and advocating ones needs

The issue raised by the human resources theories of practice is that of better aligning people and organizations not people or organizations...

because...
people need organizations for the extrinsic rewards work provides for the intrinsic satisfaction work can provide

organizations need people for a reliable and stable labor pool for the energy, effort, and talent people bring

The assumptions of human resources theories...


1. organizations exist to serve human needs 2. organizations and people need each other
salaries opportunities careers ideas energy talent

3. the fit of people and organization is critical


an inappropriate fit can lead to exploitation or victimization by people and/or the organization

The rise of industrial/organizational psychology in the 20th century, especially human needs theories, provided a theoretical focus to consider the fit of people and organization...

Abraham Maslow (1954)...

defined the hierarchy of pre-potent needs


5. self-actualization

5
4 3 2 1

4. self-esteem
3. belongingness 2. safety, security 1. physiological

Chris Argyris (1957)...

asserted that the worker-structure conflict is built into the traditional principles of organizational design and management
task specialization defines jobs as narrowly as possible to improve efficiency ...but the outcome is that work is depersonalized and becomes monotonous

evidence of worker-structure conflict:


1. personal withdrawalevident in absenteeism and quitting 2. psychological withdrawalevident in indifference passivity, and apathy 3. resistanceevident in soldiering, deception, feather bedding, and sabotage 4. power grabsclimbing the bureaucracy 5. forming coalitions (e.g., unions) to redress power imbalances 6. socializing children with negative view of work (i.e., unrewarding, little hope for advancement)

Frederick Herzberg (1959)...


formulated a two factor theory of the motivation to work: M 2F A

motivation is a psychological complex of two factors manifesting themselves in attitudes evident in their effects

hygiene factors

2F

2 FACTORS

motivators

these factors are the objective elements and subjective feelings (i.e., needs or drives activated by the events themselves) antecedent to an attitude

hygiene factors

extrinsic

do not motivate but the absence of hygiene increases worker dissatisfaction when hygiene is not met, workers strike or give up motivation and become addicted to hygiene

Good organizational hygiene provides the foundation for higher motivation in the workplace...

hygiene factors

motivators

intrinsic

experiences enabling personal growth and self-actualization in the work itself


achievement responsibility the work itself advancement doing complete jobs, experiencing success engaging in work design and accountability doing the job engaging in new learnings, developing expertise

...motivators build on hygiene factors...

motivators hygiene factors

To inculcate higher motivation in workers, managers and leaders should focus on: using the organizing and planning functions to encourage high morale attending to the workers attitudes not the work process

While attending to worker morale and attitudes, managers and leaders recognize:
that workplace hygiene is primary providing the foundation for motivation that motivation to work is a psychological process not a matter of a workers interest in the job that salary is a hygiene factor not a motivator

According to Herzbergs two-factor theory of motivation, the worst of all motivators is


an across-the-board salary increase

Douglas McGregor (1960)...


posited a theory of management, Theory X and Theory Y
asserting that a managers assumptions about people become self-fulfilling prophecies evident in organizational behavior

Theory X...people are inherently: lazy passive possess little ambition prefer to be led resist change

Theory X...workers are characterized by: an external locus-of-control other-centered directedness

Theory X...management through:


coercion

tight controls
threats punishments

Theory X...self-fulfilling prophecies:


coercion low productivity antagonism

tight controls
threats punishments

militant unions
subtle sabotage

Theory Y...people are inherently: motivated active and interested ambitious prefer to lead interested in change

Theory Y...workers are characterized by: an internal locus-of-control self-direction

Theory Y...management through:


open systems

communication
self-managing teams peer-controlled pay systems

Theory Y...management through:


open systems needs and tasks aligned accurate feedback worker investment fairness and equity

communication
self-managing teams peer-controlled pay systems

the essential task of managers and leaders is to arrange organizational conditions so that people can achieve their own goals best by directing their efforts toward organizational rewards

While industrial/organizational psychology provided a theoretical focus to consider the fit of people and organization... the goal of making the workplace and productivity a forum for people to express their freedom and dignity, as noble as this goal may be, has never been empirically proven.

Argyris & Schn (1974, 1996)...


juxtaposed two theories of practice, Model I and Model II

Model Iwhat managers and leaders say


conflicts with what they do

Model IIthrough organizational learning, there


is congruence between what managers and leaders say and do

Model I assumptions...
organizations are competitive, dangerous places watch out for yourself or someone else will do you in

Model I theory-in-use...
core values
identify and achieve goals

action strategy
design and manage the environment unilaterally

outcomes: behavior
defensive, inconsistent, fearful, and selfish appearance

outcomes: learning
no learning: self-sealing, protection from negative feedback

core values
maximize winning, minimize losing

action strategy
own and control what is relevant to ones interests

outcomes: behavior
engenders defensive, inconsistent, fearful, and selfish behaviors in others

outcomes: learning
single-loop learning: core values and assumptions remain unquestioned

core values
minimize the expression of negative feelings

action strategy
insulate oneself from criticism, discomfort, and vulnerability

outcomes: behavioral
reinforces defensive norms: mistrust, risk avoidance, conformity, and rivalry

outcomes: learning
core values and assumptions are tested privately

core values
be rational

action strategy
insulate others from being hurt

outcomes: behavior
critical organizational issues are not discussed

outcomes: learning
collusion that impedes organizational learning

The Model I problem-solving process...


1. assume that others are causing the problem 2. develop a private, unilateral diagnosis and solution to the problem

3. get other(s) to change by... calmly using facts, logic, and rational persuasion to assert the merits of your point of view using indirect coercive influences formulating and issuing direct critiques

4. defensiveness confirms the original diagnosis 5. intensify pressures by offering to protect or to reject the other person(s) 6. if unsuccessful, bear no responsibility because the outcome is the other person(s) fault

Model I outcomes...
Managers and leaders using a Model I theory of practice increase in workers...
feelings of vulnerability self-protecting behaviors games of camouflage deception

and increase the probability of...

organizational catastrophe

Model II problem-solving process...


1. emphasize common goals and mutual influence
LEADERS AND MANAGERS DO NOT FORGET: M A D

Mutually Assured Destruction produces no winners

2. communicate openly and publicly, testing ones assumptions and beliefs


Does what I espouse... what I do?

3. combine inquiry with advocacy


inquiry
what others think, know, want, and feel what I think, know, want, and feel

advocacy

Human resources theory requires that managers and leaders possess...


sufficiently good interpersonal skills:

a fundamental competence in relating with diverse individuals effectively the refined ability to inquire in a non-threatening way:

What is going on here? Why are people behaving as they are? What can I do about it?

sufficiently good intrapersonal skills:

is not afraid of conflict

is able to confront conflict


in arguments, is able to distance oneself from the passion of the moment and to construct how other individuals are making sense of things complicates (rather than simplifies) ones understanding of how the organization really works

sufficiently good group skills: negotiates the fit between the individual and the organization is comfortable with plurality, diversity, and ambiguity directs conflict towards productive ends while solving problems, resolves organizational issues

while groups can promote...


increased knowledge a diversity of perspectives time and energy improved communication
increased acceptance of decisions

groups can also generate


caving into social pressure inefficiency
personal agendas which dominate the decision making process unproductive constraints

to increase group productivity managers and leaders must be able to address:


others personal interests the requirements of various task roles the requirements of various personal roles informal group norms interpersonal conflict

Basic human resources strategies...


1. develop a long-term organizational commitment to the philosophy of human resources
build human resources in to the corporate and incentive structures develop quantitative and qualitative measures of human resources management

2. invest in people
hire the right people and reward them well provide job security promote from within

train and educate share the wealth of success

3. deal directly with people


engage in active listening

provide accurate feedback search for common interests experiment with ideas and proposals
doubt ones infallibility treat differences as a group responsibility

4. empower people through work redesign


provide greater autonomy and participative management
focus on job enrichment

emphasize teamwork ensure egalitarianism provide opportunities for upward hierarchical influence

Because change causes people to feel incompetent, needy, and powerless, providing for the development of new skills, creating opportunities for involvement, and providing psychological support are essential managerial/leadership tasks.

Using human resources theory...


effective managers and leaders are

catalysts servants support

whose primary concerns are

empowerment

Human resources tasks for managers and leaders...


1. help individuals and group develop a shared sense of direction and purpose 2. balance task and process goals

3. endeavor to make group work both satisfying and efficient

4. keep on top of a large, complex set of activities 5. get support from bosses 6. get support from corporate staff and other constituents 7. motivate, coordinate, and control large, diverse group of subordinates

Abusing human resources theory...


ineffective managers and leaders are

wimps pushovers making people happy managing by abdication

whose primary concerns are

Strengths of the human resources theory of practice...


personal

practical
addresses fundamental human needs and interests

Limitations of the human resources theory of practice...


nave

optimistic
not realistic in a fast-changing environment

Integrating reflective practice, conceptual pluralism, and organizational analysis...


Analyzing organizations through four frames inculcates the conceptual pluralism needed to diagnose the issues underlying the problems manifesting themselves in human organizations.
the structural frame the political frame

the human resources frame

the symbolic frame

This module has focused on...


the human resources theories that managers and leaders can utilize in practice episodes

as these theories of practice provide managers a frame of reference to inform decision making, the

the human resources frame


offers managers and leaders guidance about the strengths and limits of human resources theory

A HUMAN RESOURCES SCENARIO

People are the heart of any organization. When people feel the organization is responsive to their needs and supportive of their goals, managers and leaders can count on their followers commitment and loyalty. Managers and leaders who are authoritarian or insensitive, who dont communicate effectively, or who simply dont care about their people can never be effective managers and leaders. The human resource manager and leader works on behalf of both the organization and its people, seeking to serve the best interests of both.

MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP IN A HUMAN RESOURCES SCENARIO

The job of the manager and leader is one of support and empowerment. Support takes a variety of forms: letting people know that they are important and that managers and leaders are concerned about them; listening to find out about their followers aspirations and goals; and, communicating personal warmth and openness. Human resource managers and leaders empower their followers through participation and openness as well as by making sure that they have the autonomy and the resources they need to do their jobs well. Human resource managers and leaders emphasize honest, two-way communication as a way to identify issues and resolve differences. They are willing to confront others when it is appropriate, but they try to do so in a spirit of openness and caring. Bolman & Deal (1991, p. 359)

the human resources frame

Primary Metaphor for Organization:


Family Tribe Clan

Central Concepts:

Managerial And Leadership Image:


Empowerment Liberation Fulfillment SelfActualization

Fundamental Challenge:

Relationships Self-Interest Needs Feelings Skills

Attune organizational and human needs

The next module will focus on...


the political frame
and the political science theories that managers and leaders can utilize in practice episodes

A POLITICAL SCENARIO

Managers and leaders have to recognize political reality and know how to deal with it. Inside and outside any organization, there are always a variety of different interest groups, each with its own agenda. There are not enough resources to give everyone what he or she wants, and there is always going to be conflict.

MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP IN A POLITICAL SCENARIO

The job of managers and leaders is to recognize the major constituencies, to develop ties to their leadership, and to manage conflict as productively as possible. Above all, they need to build power bases and use power carefully. They cannot give every group everything it wants, although they can try to create arenas for negotiating differences and coming up with reasonable compromises. Managers and leaders also have to work hard at articulating what everyone in their organizations possesses in common. Managers and leaders must tell the people that it is a waste of time to fight each other when there are plenty of enemies outside that they can all fight together. Groups that fail to work well together internally tend to get trounced by outsiders who have their own agendas. Bolman & Deal (1991, p. 361)

the political frame

Primary Metaphor for Organization:


Jungle

Central Concepts:

Managerial And Leadership Image:


Advocate Referee Mediator

Fundamental Challenge:

Self-Interest Power Conflicts Competition Politics Intrigue

Develop agenda Form coalitions and build power base Acquire good intelligence Dispense information wisely

References

Argyris, C. (1960). Individual actualization in complex organizations. Mental Hygiene, 44(2), 226-37. Argyris, C. (1986, Sept.-Oct.). Double loop learning in organizations, Harvard Business Review, 64(5), 74-79. Argyris, C. (1977, Sept-Oct). Skilled incompetence. Harvard Business Review, 55(5), 115-25. Argyris, C. (1991). Teaching smart people how to learn. Harvard Business Review, 69(3), 99-109. Argyris, C., & Schn, D. A. (1974). Theory in Practice: Increasing Professional Effectiveness. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Barnard, C. I. (1938/1968). The functions of the executive. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (1997). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice and leadership (2nd edition). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. DeCharms, P. (1968). Personal causation. New York: Academic Press. Festinger, L. (1957). A theory of cognitive dissonance. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Herzberg, F., Mausner, B., & Snyderman, B. B. (1959/1993). The motivation to work. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.

Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50, 370-396. McGregor, D. (1960). The human side of organization. New York: McGraw Hill. Sergiovanni, T. J. (1989). Informing professional practice in educational administration. Journal of Educational Administration, 27(2), p. 186. Weick, K. E. (1995). Sensemaking in organizations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.