Pearson BTEC HNC/D Diploma Business - Unit 3 : Organizational Behaviour

Unit Description

This is a solution of UK college organizational behaviour Assignment compares the organizational cultures of two different organizations – British Airways and ASDA.

Task – 1

P1.1- Compare and contrast the organization structure and culture of ASDA PLC to that of British airlines

            Organizational culture of an organization is a reflection of the core values, mission and vision of an organization. For example, ASDA aims to provides its customers with products at the lowest possible cost and therefore behaves accordingly, i.e., highlights the same in its advertisements, trains its staff to emphasize on low cost of the product to sell it, etc. In short, the organization plans all its strategies according to this objective. In case of British Airways, all the actions of the organization are directed towards acquiring more customers by providing top notch service to them. This is so because the vision of the organization is to become world’s leading airline by satisfying its customers to the maximum extent.

            Organizational culture is sum total of other features too such as dress code policy of the organization, the official language, its rituals, symbols, beliefs, habits, leadership style, communication systems, organizational structure or systems, the strategy of the organization, the various norms it has in place, etc.

            Organizational structure of an organization reflects the way the organization works or functions, i.e., who makes all the decisions, how id the chain of command, etc. Most of the organizations have one of the three organizational structures- Tall or vertical organizational structure, flat/ wide or vertical organizational structure and matrix style organizational structure.

            ASDA has a hierarchical organizational structure in place. This means that here the managers have a narrow span of control and therefore are able to keep a close watch on their subordinates or give them more time individually. Here most of the decisions are made by the top management and are percolated down to the bottom management to follow the same.

            British Airways has a matrix style organizational structure, i.e., all the tasks in the organization are divided into smaller tasks or projects and therefore the expertise of one employee is used in more than one of the project (as desired and required by the organization). This type of organisational structure is a mix of both tall or vertical and flat of horizontal organizational structures. In other words, this structure incorporates positive features of both types of organizational structures.

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P1.2- Explain how the relationship between ASDA’s structure and culture impacts on its performance.

            An organization’s culture forms the basis for the kind of performance its employees show. The employees try to adhere and follow the mission and vision statements of the organization. For example, ASDA’s mission is to provide its customers with products at least cost. The employees understand this and while promoting any product or convincing the customer to buy it, give emphasis to the low cost of the product.

            Moreover, the organizational structure of the organization too influences the behaviour or performance of the employees. For example, at ASDA a hierarchical or tall organizational structure is followed which means that all the decisions are made by the top management and the bottom management has to respect theses decision and put them into practise without any questions. This makes the employees employed at ASDA much more disciplined. They learn to be more responsiveness and patient.

            Furthermore, since the organization is led by making use of certain features of both transformational leadership style and transactional leadership style, the employees at ASDA try hard to avoid mistakes (else they might be subjected to some sort of punishment). Moreover, in order to earn more rewards and recognition, the employees put in their best efforts. In addition to this, any new suggestions (innovation and creativity) from the employees’ end is always welcomed by the organization.

            In addition to this, the flow of communication at ASDA is highly clear, open and transparent. This enables the employees to put forth their views and opinions regarding the various things/ processes. Such things make the employees feel valued by the organization and they try to deliver their 100 percent to the organization.

P1.3- Discuss the factors which influence the behaviour of ASDA’s employees at work giving relevant examples

            There are many intrinsic as well as many extrinsic factors that shape the behaviour of employees at workplace. However, the intensity of influence of these factors varies from individual to individual. These factors are –

  • Situational factors – Behaviour of employees at workplace is largely influenced by the kind of situations they face in the organization.
  • Organizational factors – Theses factors include the various policies or programs that are there in place in the organization. These policies or programs also impact the behaviour of the employees. For example, since ASDA has model of flexibility at workplace, the employees are able to manage both their personal as well as professional lives in a much better way. This makes them feel more closely associated with the organization and therefore they work harder to deliver to the best of their capabilities to the organization (Wailes, N., 2005, pp 270).
  • Skill sets – When an employee possesses the right skills (as desired by the organization), he or she feels motivated to work and therefore this results in better productivity. For example, the management at ASDA makes sure that it hires the right candidate (with right skill sets, attitude and personality), so that at latter stage the employee does not feel frustrated.
  • Demographic factors – They also influence the behaviour of employees at workplace to a large extent. This is so because the employees are exposed to these factors since childhood. These factors includes variables like religion, family background, maturity level or age of the employee, his or her socio- economic condition, his or her sex, nationality or origin, etc.
  • Perception – Each and every organization has a definite image which shapes the perception of the employees. The employees try to follow this image and therefore work according to their perception about the same. For example, salesmen at ASDA give more emphasis to low cost of the product while convincing customers to buy the same since the store is known to provide customers with low cost products.
  • Personality – Personality of the employees depend on factors such as heredity, family, society, culture and situation. It too has a profound impact on the behaviour of the employees at workplace.
  • Attitude – People develop different attitudes due to factors such as family, society, culture, peers and organizational factors. This attitude of people too influences the kind of behaviour they display in public or at workplace.
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Task – 2

P2.1- Compare the effectiveness of the leadership styles used by the CEO in ASDA to that used by British airways CEO.

            Different organizations make use of different leadership styles depending upon their different requirements (which in turn depends on the external environment in which they are operating, their internal capacity, nature of organization, its size, mission, etc.). Moreover, today one single organization makes use of multiple leadership styles so that it could incorporate good or favourable features of different leadership styles (Guthrie, J. P., et al., 2005, pp 212).

            ASDA makes use of both transformational as well as transactional leadership style. Transformational leadership style encourages innovation and creativity. This enables the employees to come up with suggestions on how to improve the various business processes or functions at ASDA. Moreover, in this case the top management works along with rest of the employees to achieve or fulfil the objectives/ goals of the organization. Transactional leadership style is based on the phenomena or principle of ‘carrot and stick’ approach. Due to this the employees at ASDA put in their best efforts to deliver to the best of their capabilities to the organization so that they could earn better rewards and gain more recognition.

            British airways’ CEO Mr. Keith Williams is a charismatic kind of leader and he makes use of transformational leadership style. Charismatic leadership style of Mr. Williams sets exceptional examples or exemplary character which impresses all his employees. They try to work harder like him. Moreover, transformational leadership style encourages innovation and creativity. This enables the employees to come up with suggestions on how to improve the various business processes or functions at ASDA. Moreover, in this case the top management works along with rest of the employees to achieve or fulfil the objectives/ goals of the organization.

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P2.2 – Identify any organizational theory practiced at ASDA and explain how organizational theory underpins the practice of management

            Most of the management actions at ASDA are guided and supported by the various organizational theories. For example, the organizational theories have always given emphasis on communicating and making the mission, vision and core values of the organization as the guiding start of the organization that would not only guide the behaviour of employees in the organization but also determine the kid of policies that the organization wants to adopt. ASDA as explained before too practises the same thing. The behaviour of its employees reflects the mission, vision and core values of the organization. Furthermore, the first and the foremost thing that is done during orientation is to communicate the mission, vision and core values of the organization to the newly hired employees and train them in a way that these three things get reflected in their behaviour and attitude.

            Another example would be of ‘Maslow Hierarchy of Needs Theory’ proposed by Abraham Maslow that ASDA follows. The American psychologist stated that all human being have five basic needs – physiological need (good compensation packages, appropriate incentives and bonuses so that the employee is able to fulfil his or her need for food, cloth and shelter), safety need (cordial, safe and friendly working environment for the employees), social need (giving the employees the opportunity to interact freely with other fellow employees), need for self-esteem (giving appropriate rewards and recognition for the good work done by the employees) and need for self-actualization (making the employees feel worthy and valuable to the organization); and fulfilment of the same motivates them to deliver their 100 percent to the organization. ASDA makes every possible attempt to motivate its employees by satisfying these five needs of its employees.

            In addition to this, the organization also takes support of ‘model of flexibility’ to improve employee involvement or employee engagement in the organization. Model of flexibility also helps the employees to maintain a better balance between their professional as well as their personal lives.

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P2.3– Evaluate the different approaches to management used by ASDA to that used by British Airways

            Different organizations follow different approached to management. The kind of approach depends on the external environment in which the organization is operating, its internal capacity, nature of organization, its size, mission, etc.

            ASDA functions according to a hierarchical organizational structure, i.e., here the managers have a narrow span of control and are therefore able to provide valuable feedback to each and every employee individually. The managers in this case make decisions or give orders and the subordinates are expected to functions according to the same.

            British Airways on the other hand has a matrix style structure in place. This enables all the employees to have a better control over their work and have more say in the decisions made by the upper management or their managers. This was required since due to emergence of low cost airlines, the airline industry is getting very competitive and British Airways faces stiff competition from theses rivals. It was necessary for the organization to make their employees feel valuable and more closely associated with ASDA and this could be done only by giving more degree of freedom or say to the employees in the functioning of the organization.

            In addition to this, both the organizations differ in the kind of leadership styles they possess. ASDA makes use of transformational as well as transactional leadership style whereas British Airways makes use of charismatic as well as transformational leadership style.

Read Here: Regent College Organizations and Behaviour Assignment

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Task – 3

P3.1- What types of changes could ASDA engage in? Discuss the impact that different leadership styles may have on motivation of ASDA’s staff in periods of changes.

            ASDA has certain scope for improvement. The organization could bring about the following changes –

  • Change its organizational structure from a hierarchical or tall one to a more flat/ wide or horizontal one. This would enable the employees to more closely understand the working of the organization which in turn would increase employee retention as well as productivity of the organization.
  • ASDA could also make use of certain features of participative or democratic leadership style. This would increase the participation of the employees in the decision making process which in turn would make them feel more responsible towards the organization.

            Change management is a complex process which requires effective communication between the management and the employees so that the latter are able to understand the reasons for this change and therefore participate in or support the same. Owing to this basic requirement of change process, different leadership styles have different impact on employee motivation during the period of change.

            Laissez Faire, autocratic and transactional leadership styles lack effective communication between the management and the employees and therefore these styles are unable to motivate the employees to go ahead with the change or support the same.

            Democratic and transformational leadership styles support effective communication between the management and the employees and therefore these styles are successful in motivating the employees to go ahead with the planned change and accept the same easily(since now the employee understands the importance or relevance of the same).

P3.2- Compare the application of different motivational theories with special reference to ASDA’s employees as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Vroom expectancy theories and McGregor’s theory X and Y . Which theory is most applicable and why?

            ASDA could make use of different motivational theories to motivate its employees to work harder for the organizations as well as stay associated with it for a longer time –

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – This ‘hierarchy of needs theory’ given by Abraham Maslow to motivate its employees to work harder for the organization and stay associated with it for a longer duration. The theory states that all human being have five basic human needs – physiological need, safety need, social need, self-esteem need and self-actualization need gets satisfied. In order to motivate the employees it is necessary for organization to address all these needs. ASDA responds to these needs in the following way –

  • Physiological need – This need is fulfilled by ASDA by providing its employees with good compensation packages, appropriate incentives and bonuses. This enables all the employees to satisfy their basic need for food, shelter and cloth.
  • Safety need – ASDA considers safety of employees as of great importance. The organization has provision for a first aid room with one qualified doctor and a qualified nurse. Moreover, the organization has provision for fire extinguishers at every corner of the organization. This enables the organization to provide its employees with a cordial, safe, and secure; and tension free working environment.
  • Social need – ASDA encourages teamwork which enables employees to interact more freely on a regular basis with fellow employees.
  • Self-esteem–ASDA rewards and gives recognition to the employees for their exceptionally good work.
  • Self-actualization – ASDA invites suggestions from the employees’ end to improve upon its various processes and functions. This makes the employees worthy or valuable to the organization (Smallwood, N., 2005, pp 140).

Vroom expectancy theory –Vroom gave the expectancy theory of motivation that states that employee motivation depends on or can be done by considering three factors – expectancy of the employee in return of the good work they perform for the organization, instrumentality and valence

McGregor’s theory X and Y – ‘Theory X’ and ‘Theory Y’ were given by McGregor. He assumed all the mangers to hold one of the two perceptions about their employees –

  • Theory X – It considers all the employees to be very lazy. These employees try to avoid work whenever they find an opportunity to do so. In this case the managers must keep a control over its workforce or continuously keep an eye on them so that the employees do not avoid work and complete it on time.
  • Theory Y- It considers all the employees to be very hard working or highly self-motivated. These employees try to deliver their 100 percent to the organization. In this case the managers are not required to keep a control over its workforce or continuously keep an eye on them.

            ‘Maslow’s hierarchy of needs’ is most applicable to ASDA.  This theory adopts a holistic approach for motivating employees or in other words take cares of all the aspects related to employee motivation.

P3.3- Evaluate the usefulness of a motivational theory for managers. How could a theory like Hertzberg’s motivation theory be useful and relevant to the managers of ASDA?

            Motivational theories have always proved to be very beneficial for the managers due to the following reasons –

  • It reduces the additional work load of keeping a check on the subordinates, motivating them to work harder, etc. on the managers
  • It helps to increase output of productivity of each individual employee as well as the overall productivity of the organization as a whole (since through employee motivation, employees become more aware of their own selves and therefore make full use of their potential)
  • It reduces wastage of resources
  • It increases employee retention (reduces employee absenteeism rate and employee turnover rate)

            Psychologist Fredrick Herzberg proposed the ‘Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory’ for motivating employees in an organization. The theory has been helpful for organizations since it helps to identify both the hygiene factors as well as motivators in the organization very clearly.

  • Hygiene factors – Hygiene factors help to remove dissatisfaction among the employees. These factors are not responsible for satisfying the employees in any way but remover any sort of dissatisfaction that might arise due to some organizational practises, policies or programs. In other words these factors remove any kind of negative perception about the organization that the employee might have. These factors are extrinsic to the organization. Examples of hygiene factors are favourable organizational policies, paying appropriate wages/ salary to the employees, etc.
  • Motivators – Motivators help to satisfy the employees. Motivators are responsible for satisfying the employees in any way possible (by changing certain organizational practises, policies or programs). In other words motivators help to create a positive perception about the organization in the mind of the employees. Motivators are intrinsic to the organization. Examples of motivators are giving recognition to the employees, looking into the personal as well as professional growth of the employees, etc.
Another UKCBC Organization and Behaviour Assignment

Task – 4

P4.1 Explain the nature of the various groups that may exist among ASDA’s staff and how they may influence the group behaviour.

            Different types of groups exist in organizations and similar is the case with ASDA. Based on nature of group and the kind of people it has groups can be broadly classified into four categories –

  • Formal Groups – These groups are formed by the organization or management depending upon the skills sets the employees possess. Employees with similar skill sets form a part of one single group in case of a command group and employees with different skill sets form a task group (task groups are meant to complete a definite project only and therefore require different expertise).
  • Informal Groups – These groups are formed by the employees themselves depending upon their common interests (interest groups) or depending upon certain common features (friendship group).
  • Associative Groups – These groups are the ones which attract employees or of which employees want to be a part off.
  • Dissociative Groups – Employees stay away or try to stay away from such groups (don’t want to be a part of such groups).

            Group behaviour of employees at ASDA depends on certain external factors (mission, vision or core values of the organization) or certain internal factors (group resources, group structure, group process and group tasks).

P4.2 Discuss the factors that may promote or inhibit the development of effective teamwork among the employees of ASDA PLC.

Factors that promote effective teamwork in ASDA are –

  • Diversity – Diversity brings in a lot of new ideas to the team which when implemented might prove to be very beneficial.
  • Communication – Communication is one of the key elements that determine the effective functioning of a team. It creates transparency and therefore trust among the team members.
  • Leadership – An effective leader is the key to effective teamwork. This is so because where there are many people, there exist a number of contrasting thoughts and perceptions which might lead to feuds among the employees. An effective leader transforms these conflict into functional conflicts and therefore prevent them from acting as a barrier in the path of effective teamwork.

Factors that inhibit effective teamwork in ASDA are –

  • Lack of communication – Lack of communication creates trust issues among the team members. This hampers effective teamwork.
  • Fear of conflict If one or more team members are very aggressive and the leader is not able to control him/ her/ them; then there always exist a fear of conflict in the mind of employees and they avoid working in team (rather work alone).

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P4.3 Evaluate the impact of technology on team functioning within ASDA PLC.

            Technology has contributed immensely in smooth and effective team functioning at ASDA. As explained above, proper communication is one of the key factors that results in effective team functioning and by making use of the latest technology it has become possible for ASDA to establish a  better communication channel among all the embers of  team.

            E- Mails and mobile phones (smartphones) are now used by all the team managers to convey important messages or updates to their team members. Moreover, options like web conferencing are also used by team members to hold meetings even when all the members are not physically present at one place. In addition to this, other software or technological tools like group ware, etc. are also used by team members for better communication.

Conclusion

            British Airways is a British government owned airline that has a matrix style of organizational structure in place. Its CEO, Mr. Keith Williams is a charismatic leader and makes use of transformational leadership style to lead his people. The organization gives utmost importance to human resource issues like employee motivation, teamwork, employee involvement or engagement, an effective communication system, etc.

            ASDA is a British chain of supermarket that has a hierarchical organizational structure in place. The organization follows a transformational as well as a transactional leadership style. The organization just like British Airways gives utmost importance to human resource issues like employee motivation, teamwork, employee involvement or engagement, an effective communication system, etc. In addition to this, it also works hard to adopt the latest technology to improve upon its business practises or processes.

References

Cascio, W. F., 2000. Costing human resources: The financial impact of behaviour in          organizations (4th Ed.). Cincinnati, OH: South-Western College.

Davis, W. S., 1983. Systems analysis and design: A structured approach. Reading, MA:    Addison-Wesley.

Dery, K., & Wailes, N., 2005. Necessary but not sufficient: ERPs and strategic HRM.         Strategic Change, 265–272.

Fitz-Enz, J., 2002.  How to measure human resource management (3rd Ed.).  New            York: McGraw-Hill.

Greer, C., 1995. Strategy and human resources: A general managerial perspective. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Huselid, M. A., Becker, B. E., & Beatty, R. W., 2005. The workforce scorecard:   Managing human capital to execute strategy. Boston: Harvard Business School   Press.

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