SOC 402: Contemporary Social Problems and the Workplace Control and Motivation The dictionary defines control as a verb which means “to exercise restraint or direction over, to dominate or command. ” Control in an organization is very important. An organization that doesn’t have control over its workers or its products will soon find that their profit margin is not growing into what they planned. Like wise an organization that demonstrates too much control over its employees will soon find that their dominating presence stifles the creative nature of its workers and results in an unhappy workforce.
Finding a medium in the amount of control instated is a major concern for many organizations. Before an organization can become available to the market it has many different decisions and stages of planning to develop and determine, one of these stages is to decide what type of control system to adopt. The control system that is chosen must help to motivate everyone involved. In this paper I will discuss the different types of control systems and how the fundamentals of each determine affects managers and the motivational factor of its employees.
The first form of control that will be discussed it the idea of an authoritarian organization. “In authoritarian organizations it is orders which are passed down from above and the manager’s role is to pass orders down the ‘chain of command’. He is usually not expected to make decisions and so carries little responsibility. He does order and may compel the worker to carry out the tasks demanded from him, to produce. ” (Davidmann, 2006) Authoritarian organizations are very strict. There is little freedom involved when receiving orders.
In this type of organization a decision is made at the top of an organization and then sent down through the ranks until it is received by a manager who then tells the employees or workers the new decision or policy. There are a few problems with this form of control, the first being distortion of the original order. This distortion can occur due to an individual’s interpretation. If an order is made and has to pass through so many different people, then when it finally does arrive to the managers who are to enforce the new order, the original intent of the order could be confused or misinterpreted.
The second problem that an authoritarian organization is that there is little freedom for creativity on the part of its employees. A person is accountable to following the rules or programs to the guidelines that it was intended for. With such little freedom motivation could be lacking within the organization. With such little freedom sometimes timeframes become a factor as well. In an authoritarian organization there are rules and regulations that need to be followed, there is ‘red tape’ that must be obeyed.
Due to this, it is sometimes difficult to complete even the smallest task in a timely fashion. Other than authoritarian organizations there are also participative organizations. “Employees participate when they agree to allow themselves to be organized by an employer, and organization which is based on consent of those being organized is participative. In a participative organization people accept responsibility for work to be done, accept that it is their job to carry out a part of the company’s activities and that they will be held accountable for the quality of their work.
The manager’s job is to back his subordinate by removing obstacles from the subordinate’s path, the subordinate asking for such assistance as the need arises. The manager co-ordinates the work of the group which he manages with that of the higher group in which he is a subordinate. As work may be a source of satisfaction or of frustration, dependent on controllable conditions, the extent to which subordinates derive satisfaction from their work also depends on their own manager’s and on the organization’s general style of management.
People who derive satisfaction from their work will like doing it and do it to the best of their ability; if work is a source of frustration, they will restrict effort and the work is likely to be done badly. ” (Davidmann, 2006) In a participative organization decisions making takes place throughout all levels of the organization. This type of organization allows for a great amount of creativity and freedom. Problems can be solved due to the input and suggestions of many different employees.
In this type of organization many different thoughts and ideas come together, the best thought or idea is chosen or decided on (with input from many different sources); it is then put into action and becomes a part of group thought. Cheryl Noll describes the process of participative organizations with the most clarity in her article, Change Process, “Virtually continual interaction takes place between top and bottom levels. The shared responsibility or participative approach can be addressed in several ways: (1) Top management defines the problem and uses staff groups or consultants to gather information and develop solutions.
These identified solutions are then communicated to lower-level groups in order to obtain reactions. The feedback from the lower levels is then used to modify the solution, and the communication process starts again. The assumption underlying this approach is that although involving others in the definition of the problem or its solution may be impractical, the solution can be improved and commitment obtained by involving lower levels. (2) Top management defines the problem but seeks involvement from lower levels by appointing task forces to develop solutions.
The task forces provide recommendations to top management, where the final decision is made. These task forces are composed of people who will be affected by the change and have some level of expertise in the areas that will be affected by the proposed change. The assumption here is that those who have the expertise to solve the problems are those groups that are closer to the situation. Also, the group’s commitment to the change may be made deeper by this involvement. (3) Task forces composed of people from all levels are formed to collect information about problems in the organization and to develop solutions.
The underlying assumptions in this approach are that people at the top, middle, and lower levels are needed to develop quality solutions and that commitment must build at about the same rate at all levels. These approaches emphasizing shared responsibility usually take longer to implement but result in more commitment from all levels of the organization and more successful integration of the change into the work processes. ” Participative organizations are what all companies are searching to achieve. In a participative organization employees feel like they contribute to the success of the company.
Employees also enjoy the work they are assigned more due to the fact that they are allowed to have creative freedom in the completion process. Managers in this organization help employees complete their tasks by encouraging and assisting in the creative thinking process. Within these organizations there are different systems that are used to control different aspects or outcomes. “Effective control systems alert managers when something is going wrong and gives them the time to respond to opportunities and threats. An effective control system has three characteristics: It is flexible enough to allow managers to respond as ecessary to unexpected events; it provides accurate information and gives managers a true picture of organizational performance; and it provides managers with the information in a timely manner because making on the basis of outdated information is a recipe for failure. ” (George & Jones, 2007 p. 287) One of the first control systems that are used when making a product is feedforward control. Freeforward control is control that is used to by managers to foresee problems before the happen. By foreseeing the problems before they happen a manager is enabled to make sure that the problem does not occur later in the production process.
Concurrent control is the next step, or conversion stage, in the production process. Concurrent control is used by manager to obtain immediate information on how well inputs are being made into outputs. If a manager does see a problem with the efficiency of change, he is then able to quickly determine what the source of the problem is. Concurrent control is used to increase quality, whether it be in the quality of a product or the quality of services provided by employees. By using Concurrent control a manager is able to find which aspects of the organization are not running up to par.
By knowing what the problems are a manager can discover ways to fix these problems and return the organization to productivity. The final control occurs during the output stage, this control is known as the feedback control. Managers use feedback control to gain information about how their product is liked or disliked by the customers. If customer reaction is bad management can take corrective action and fix what is wrong. Many different kinds of control are use when running an organization. Some control motivates workers and makes the workplace enjoyable and other kinds of control limits the freedom of creativity that some employees enjoy.
What is most important to realize is that organizations would not survive if they didn’t enforce some type of control over their workforce. Reference Davidman, M. (2006). Style of Management and Leadership. Retrieved April 7, 2008, from http://www. solhaam. org/articles/clm2. html George, J. M. & Jones, G. R. (2007) Essentials of Contemporary Management. Boston: McGraw Hill. Lauer, R. H. & Lauer, J. (2006) Social Problems and the Quality of Life. New York: McGraw Hill. Noll, C. (2001). Change Process. Retrieved April 7, 2008, from http://www. answers. com/topic/change-process? cat=biz-fin
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