Monday, November 22, 2004

11 19

Roloff 11 19

Why do employees resist change?

Individual Differences

Cynicism – looking every gift horse in the mouth – cynics were once considered astute critics who held everyone to a higher standard, now has negative connotations. Surveys of CEOs asked what was the biggest barrier to change, the #1 answer was cynical employees. Why is the American workforce so cynical, and becoming more so? (cynics don’t take things at face value, think people act lower than they’re capable) Cynicism is considered a personality variable. Personality cynicism does not correlate with resistance to change. More specifically, cynicism as related to organizations or business in general; one might think people are good but organizations are basically bad. Not a strong correlation either. Even more specifically, company cynics, who think their company is basically bad, but the rest of the world is OK. There is a strong correlation between this specific cynicism and resistance to change. If these people change companies, they are less resistant to change. Over time, one can become cynical regardless the company. Things that feed this cynicism are executive compensation and layoffs.
Dimensions of Resistance – People who like engaging in routines – “I like to do the same old things rather than new and different ones”, “I’d rather be bored than surprised”. Emotional Reaction – When change occurs, these people become stressed out. “When things don’t go according to plans, I get stressed out”. Short Term Thinking – “When someone pressures me to change something, I resist, even if it will benefit me in the long term”. Cognitive Rigidity – Unlikely to change their minds once they have made a decision. Resist changes to office environment; have hard time maintaining quality of work, social habits when change occurs.
Age and Tenure on the Job – The longer one has been on the job/the older, the more resistant to change. Promises of retraining, an assurance that salary and job is safe doesn’t reverse resistance to change. A possible explanation is that change is not as exciting to people who have been through a lot of change…this group can wait-out change.
Accept Change – “Resilient Personalities” – high self-esteem, score high in self-efficacy. These people don’t promote change, but don’t fear it, have been through changes and survived.

Situational Effects –

Stress – Job insecurity – if you know others even outside your company who has been laid off, it can cause stress. Students interning at companies that are laying off employees can experience stress. Role overload – Everyone has to do more work when some are laid off. Work Challenges – If I don’t have enough resources to do my work, I’ll experience stress (this is distinct from mentally stimulating work) Leads to emotional Exhaustion.
Burnout – Three Stages – 1) Emotional Exhaustion – Numbness at the end of the day “job overload” can lead to this. 2) Depersonalization – peers and clients become objects rather than people – correlated to non-contigent punishment…”regardless how well I do my job, everything goes wrong” 3) Feelings of Lack of Accomplishment – “Why am I doing this job?” correlated to non-contingent reward (Rewards do not seem related to work).
Violate the Psychological Contract – Transactional and Relational Components – breech of trust when change leads to violations of psychological contract is difficult to mend.
Fairness – Distributive Justice – Rewards and punishment distributed in a fair fashion. Procedural Justice – “Voice” - do people have input into what affects them. People are more willing to take a hit (accept change) if they felt their voice was heard. How do you make people feel their voice was heard? They can 1) talk to the decision maker, or 2) a representative of a group talk to decision makers. Why is voice valued so much? Three reasons, two of which are valid. 1) Notion of fairness, it’s a societal norm (not a lot of support for this) 2) Validation of respect – face saving process, asking for input indicates respect 3) Feeling of control – voice gives feeling of control. Three groups, 1) not consulted on a change 2) Those with voice with whom many agree 3) Those with voice with whom no one agreed. The angriest after change were those with voice in majority who were defied, even more so than those who weren’t consulted. Interactional Justice – couch decisions in a way that respects those who are impacted.

Workplace Aggression – Homicide is the #1 cause of death among women at work. Within the U.S. Post Office, 500 recorded cases of employees trying to take out supervisors, 200 cases of supervisors trying to take out subordinates. What types of workplace aggression occur? 3 Dimensions of aggression – 1) The degree to which it is verbal vs. physical assaultsm – most aggression on the job is verbal, but there is a lot of it “Incivility on the Job” is a current topic of study, highly correlated with stress and physiological health problems. Research indicates it’s getting worse 2) Active vs. Passive – Active = do something to someone, Passive = withholding support. Most workplace aggression is passive 3) Direct vs. Indirect – confrontation vs. hurting them by damaging their possessions, computer, et al. Most aggression is indirect. What kind of person becomes aggressive? Type A personalities - those who are driven and hostile show the most stress reactions on the job, they are prone to attacks of all varieties. Attributional style – people prone to aggression attribute their problems to others. Revenge Motivation – Those who are prone to revenge will be aggressive on the job Maleness – on the job aggression is a male thing, women studied haven’t gotten angry enough to be aggressive; recent studies show female aggression is verbal and indirect

Workplace situations that lead to aggression – downsizing, budget and pay cuts, reengineering, pay freezes, the greater the use of part-timers and temps, the greater the amount of job-sharing, employee monitoring (computer or otherwise), the greater diversity on the job.

Organizational Deviancy

Four types of deviancy can be arranged in coordinates, organizational vs. individual in direction, and minor to serious in severity.

Production Deviancy – directed at organization – 1) leaving early; minor 2) taking excessive breaks 3) working slow

Property Deviancy - 1) Sabotage equipment 2) Accepting kickbacks (to accept sub-standard equipment purchases 3) Lying about number of hours worked 4) Stealing from the company

Personal Aggression – Verbal abuse, endangering and stealing from coworkers, sexually harassing coworkers

Political Deviancy – showing favoritism, gossiping, blaming coworkers, competing non-beneficially (e.g. sabotaging another’s career rather than competing with job performance for promotions).

Why do people engage in organizational deviancy? Fairness motivates it. If resources are unfairly allocated, or if announcements are made in an unfair fashion. “Psychology of the Leger” – if I am unfairly compensated for my effort, I will cyberloaf. Employee theft correlate to salary cuts and downsizing; those who survive steal like mad! “Getting even”. New people are likelier to engage in organizational deviance when this activity is “normative”, existing employees do it.

What can companies do to discourage organizational deviancy?

1) Establish codes of ethics – makes no difference, they are not read, they are written with a high level of abstraction and they are technical, no time to consider ethics. Most were written for PR or litigation purposes, or to include a snitch clause and to cover whistleblower laws.Fire offenders – 1995 study, none since – interviewed managers, asked them about firing organizational deviants. Most managers hate to fire people; when asked why, they answered (in order of frequency): 1) General dislike for firing; 2) Want to give employee a second chance; 3) Would rather rehabilitate the employee; 4) Too much invested in the employee; 5) Trying to accommodate the employee’s unique needs; 6) I hired them. What finally led to firing? 1) They’ve been given too many chances; 2) I finally have enough documentation to fire; 3) Employee violated the final warning. What happens at the meeting at which the firing happens? 1) The manager asks about the employees performance or conduct (resignation often comes at that time); 2) Manager provides documentation; 3) Employee responds by agreeing, disagreeing, or making excuses; 4) Immediately followed by firing; 5) Employee asks follow-up procedural questions (what do I do next?); 6) The boss offers advice or assistance. Have you ever tried to convince someone to quit instead of firing them? 80% had. What had these supervisors done to convince people to quit? 1) Create an unpleasant work environment; 2) Talk them into it; 3) Give them routine verbal or written warnings; 4) Subtle encouragement to quit (show them alternatives to current job); 5) Encourage their peer group/coworkers to convince them to leave, or ostracize them. “Bullying” at work happens to members of the out-group in public rather than in private by a low self-moniror; others do nothing or encourage it…peers don’t stand up for the bullied out of fear that they will be in the out-group if they do. Bullying happens because of a lack of fit with in-group rather than poor performance.


Post a Comment

<< Home