Saturday, February 27, 2010
Burrhus Frederic Skinner (March 20, 1904 – August 18, 1990) was an American psychologist, author, inventor, advocate for social reform, and poet. He was the Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology at Harvard University from 1958 until his retirement in 1974. He came up with the operant conditioning chamber, innovated his own philosophy of science called Radical Behaviorism, and founded his own school of experimental research psychology—the experimental analysis of behavior. His analysis of human behavior culminated in his work Verbal Behavior, which has recently seen enormous increase in interest experimentally and in applied settings. He discovered and advanced the rate of response as a dependent variable in psychological research. He invented the cumulative recorder to measure rate of responding as part of his highly influential work on schedules of reinforcement. In a recent survey, Skinner was listed as the most influential psychologist of the 20th century. He was a prolific author who published 21 books and 180 articles.
Skinner was born in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania to Grace and William Skinner. His father was a lawyer. His brother Edward, two and a half years his junior, died at age sixteen of a cerebral hemorrhage.
He attended Hamilton College in New York with the intention of becoming a writer. While attending, he joined Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. He wrote for the school paper, but as an atheist, he was critical of the religious school he attended. He received his B.A. in English literature in 1926. After graduation, he spent a year at his parents' home in Scranton attempting to become a writer of fiction. He soon became disillusioned with his literary skills and concluded that he had little world experience and no strong personal perspective from which to write.
Skinner received a PhD from Harvard in 1931, and remained there as a researcher until 1936. He then taught at the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis and later at Indiana University, where he was chair of the psychology department from 1946–1947, before returning to Harvard as a tenured professor in 1948. He remained at Harvard for the rest of his career.
In 1936 Skinner married Yvonne Blue. The couple had two daughters, Julie (m. Vargas) and Deborah (m. Buzan). He died of leukemia on August 18th 1990 and is buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Radical behaviorism seeks to understand behavior as a function of environmental histories of reinforcing consequences.
Reinforcement processes were emphasized by Skinner, and were seen as primary in the shaping of behavior. A common misconception is that negative reinforcement is some form of punishment. This misconception is rather pervasive, and is commonly found in even scholarly accounts of Skinner and his contributions. To be clear, while positive reinforcement is the strengthening of behavior by the application of some event (e.g., praise after some behavior is performed), negative reinforcement is the strengthening of behavior by the removal or avoidance of some aversive event (e.g., opening and raising an umbrella over your head on a rainy day is reinforced by the cessation of rain falling on you). Both types of reinforcement strengthen behavior, or increase the probability of a behavior reoccurring; the difference is in whether the reinforcing event is something applied (positive reinforcement) or something removed or avoided (negative reinforcement). Punishment and extinction have the effect of weakening behavior, or decreasing the probability of a behavior reoccurring, by the application of an aversive event (punishment) or the removal of a rewarding event (extinction).
Graduate School and Discovery
At the age of 24, Skinner enrolled in the Psychology Department of Harvard University. Still rebellious and impatient with what he considered unintelligent ideas, Skinner found a mentor equally caustic and hard-driving. William Crozier was the chair of a new department of Physiology. Crozier fervently adhered to a program of studying the behaviour of "the animal as a whole" without appealing, as the psychologists did, to processes going on inside. That exactly matched Skinner's goal of relating behaviour to experimental conditions. The student was encouraged to experiment. Each department, Psychology, and Physiology, assumed the other was supervising the young student, but the fact was he was "doing exactly as I pleased". With his enthusiasm and talent for building new equipment, Skinner constructed apparatus after apparatus as his rats' behavior suggested changes. After a dozen pieces of apparatus and some lucky accidents (described in his A Case History in Scientific Method), Skinner invented the cumulative recorder, a mechanical device that recorded every response as an upward movement of a horizontally moving line. The slope showed rate of responding. This recorder revealed the impact of the contingencies over responding. Skinner discovered that the rate with which the rat pressed the bar depended not on any preceding stimulus (as Watson and Pavlov had insisted), but on what followed the bar presses. This was new indeed. Unlike the reflexes that Pavlov had studied, this kind of behaviour operated on the environment and was controlled by its effects. Skinner named it operant behaviour. The process of arranging the contingencies of reinforcement responsible for producing this new kind of behaviour he called operant conditioning. A fellowship allowed Skinner to spend his next five years investigating not only the effect of following consequences and the schedules on which they were delivered, but also how prior stimuli gained control over behaviour-consequence relationships with which they were paired. These studies eventually appeared in his first book, The Behaviour of Organisms (1938).
Skinner's particular brand of behaviorism he called "Radical" behaviorism which, unlike less austere behaviorisms, does not accept private events such as thinking, personal perceptions, and unobservable emotions in a causal account of an organism's behavior, presumably a self-aware one reporting such states as an observer of itself:
The position can be stated as follows: what is felt or introspectively observed is not some nonphysical world of consciousness, mind, or mental life but the observer's own body. This does not mean, as I shall show later, that introspection is a kind of psychological research, nor does it mean (and this is the heart of the argument) that what are felt or introspectively observed are the causes of the behavior. An organism behaves as it does because of its current structure, but most of this is out of reach of introspection. At the moment we must content ourselves, as the methodological behaviorist insists, with a persons genetic and environment histories. What are introspectively observed are certain collateral products of those histories.
In this way we repair the major damage wrought by mentalism. When what a person does [is] attributed to what is going on inside him, investigation is brought to an end. Why explain the explanation? For twenty five hundred years people have been preoccupied with feelings and mental life, but only recently has any interest been shown in a more precise analysis of the role of the environment. Ignorance of that role lead in the first place to mental fictions, and it has been perpetuated by the explanatory practices to which they gave rise.
It can be seen by the above that this methodological stance is a reaction and predates the current level of advancement, in which mental structures can be observed in operation via technologies such as functional MRI.
Challenged by Alfred North Whitehead during a casual discussion while at Harvard to provide an account of a randomly provided piece of verbal behavior Skinner set about attempting to extend his then-new functional, inductive, approach to the complexity of human verbal behavior. Developed over two decades, his work appeared as the culmination of the William James lectures in the book, Verbal Behavior. Although Noam Chomsky was highly critical of Verbal Behavior, he conceded that it was the "most careful and thoroughgoing presentation of such speculations", confusing Skinner's stance with "S-R psychology"  as a reason for giving it "a review." Verbal Behavior had an uncharacteristically slow reception, partly as a result of Chomsky's review, paired with Skinner's neglect to address or rebut any of Chomsky's condemnations. Skinner's peers may have been slow to adopt and consider the conventions within Verbal Behavior due to its lack of experimental evidence—unlike the empirical density that marked Skinner's previous work. However, Skinner's functional analysis of verbal behavior has seen a resurgence of interest in applied settings.
Influence on education This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. Please improve this section if you can. (December 2007)
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Skinner influenced education as well as psychology. He was quoted as saying "Teachers must learn how to teach ... they need only to be taught more effective ways of teaching." Skinner asserted that positive reinforcement is more effective at changing and establishing behavior than punishment, with obvious implications for the then widespread practice of rote learning and punitive discipline in education. Skinner also suggests that the main thing people learn from being punished is how to avoid punishment.
Skinner says that there are five main obstacles to learning:
People have a fear of failure.
The task is not broken down into small enough steps.
There is a lack of directions.
There is also a lack of clarity in the directions.
Positive reinforcement is lacking.
Skinner suggests that any age-appropriate skill can be taught using five principles to remedy the above problems:
Give the learner immediate feedback.
Break down the task into small steps.
Repeat the directions as many times as possible.
Work from the most simple to the most complex tasks.
Give positive reinforcement.
Skinner's views on education are extensively presented in his book The Technology of Teaching. It is also reflected in Fred S. Keller's Personalized System of Instruction and Ogden R. Lindsley's Precision Teaching.
Walden Two and Beyond Freedom and Dignity
Skinner is popularly known mainly for his books Walden Two and Beyond Freedom and Dignity. The former describes a visit to an imaginary utopian commune in 1940s United States, where the productivity and happiness of the citizens is far in advance of that in the outside world because of their practice of scientific social planning and use of operant conditioning in the raising of children.
Walden Two, like Thoreau's Walden, champions a lifestyle that does not support war or foster competition and social strife. It encourages a lifestyle of minimal consumption, rich social relationships, personal happiness, satisfying work and leisure.
In Beyond Freedom and Dignity, Skinner suggests that a technology of behavior could help to make a better society. We would, however, have to accept that an autonomous agent is not the driving force of our actions. Skinner offers alternatives to punishment and challenges his readers to use science and modern technology to construct a better society.
Schedules of reinforcement
Part of Skinner's analysis of behavior involved not only the power of a single instance of reinforcement, but the effects of particular schedules of reinforcement over time.
Skinner's types of schedules of reinforcement involved: interval (fixed or variable) and ratio (fixed or variable).
Continuous reinforcement — constant delivery of reinforcement for an action; every time a specific action was performed the subject instantly and always received a reinforcement. This method is very hard to carry out, and the reinforced behavior is prone to extinction.
Interval (fixed/variable) reinforcement (Fixed) — reinforcement is set for a certain time duration. (Variable) — times between reinforcements are not set, and often differ.
Ratio (fixed or variable) reinforcement (Fixed) — deals with a set amount of work needed to be completed before there is reinforcement. (Variable) — amount of work needed for the reinforcement differs from the last.
Skinner's political writings emphasized his hopes that an effective and humane science of behavioral control – a technology of human behavior – could help problems unsolved by earlier approaches or aggravated by advances in technology such as the atomic bomb. One of Skinner's stated goals was to prevent humanity from destroying itself. He comprehended political control as aversive or non-aversive, with the purpose to control a population. Skinner opposed the use of positive reinforcement as a means of coercion, citing Jean-Jacques Rousseau's novel Emile: or, On Education as an example of freedom literature that "did not fear the power of positive reinforcement". Skinner's book, Walden Two, presents a vision of a decentralized, localized society, which applies a practical, scientific approach and futuristically advanced behavioral expertise to peacefully deal with social problems. Skinner's utopia, like every other utopia or dystopia, is both a thought experiment and a rhetorical piece. In his book, Skinner answers the problem that exists in many utopian novels – "What is the Good Life?" In Walden Two, the answer is a life of friendship, health, art, a healthy balance between work and leisure, a minimum of unpleasantness, and a feeling that one has made worthwhile contributions to one's society. This was to be achieved through behavioral technology, which could offer alternatives to coercion, as good science applied correctly would help society, and allow all people to cooperate with each other peacefully. Skinner described his novel as "my New Atlantis", in reference to Bacon's utopia. He opposed corporal punishment in the school, and wrote a letter to the California Senate that helped lead it to a ban on spanking.
When Milton's Satan falls from heaven, he ends in hell. And what does he say to reassure himself? 'Here, at least, we shall be free.' And that, I think, is the fate of the old-fashioned liberal. He's going to be free, but he's going to find himself in hell.
—B. F. Skinner , from William F. Buckley Jr, On the Firing Line, p. 87.
Superstition in the pigeon
One of Skinner's experiments and oh sah examined the formation of superstition in one of his favorite experimental animals, the pigeon. Skinner placed a series of hungry pigeons in a cage attached to an automatic mechanism that delivered food to the pigeon "at regular intervals with no reference whatsoever to the bird's behavior." He discovered that the pigeons associated the delivery of the food with whatever chance actions they had been performing as it was delivered, and that they subsequently continued to perform these same actions.
One bird was conditioned to turn counter-clockwise about the cage, making two or three turns between reinforcements. Another repeatedly thrust its head into one of the upper corners of the cage. A third developed a 'tossing' response, as if placing its head beneath an invisible bar and lifting it repeatedly. Two birds developed a pendulum motion of the head and body, in which the head was extended forward and swung from right to left with a sharp movement followed by a somewhat slower return.
Skinner suggested that the pigeons behaved as if they were influencing the automatic mechanism with their "rituals" and that this experiment shed light on human behavior:
The experiment might be said to demonstrate a sort of superstition. The bird behaves as if there were a causal relation between its behavior and the presentation of food, although such a relation is lacking. There are many analogies in human behavior. Rituals for changing one's fortune at cards are good examples. A few accidental connections between a ritual and favorable consequences suffice to set up and maintain the behavior in spite of many unreinforced instances. The bowler who has released a ball down the alley but continues to behave as if she were controlling it by twisting and turning her arm and shoulder is another case in point. These behaviors have, of course, no real effect upon one's luck or upon a ball half way down an alley, just as in the present case the food would appear as often if the pigeon did nothing—or, more strictly speaking, did something else.
Modern behavioral psychologists have disputed Skinner's "superstition" explanation for the behaviors he recorded. Subsequent research (e.g. Staddon and Simmelhag, 1971), while finding similar behavior, failed to find support for Skinner's "adventitious reinforcement" explanation for it. By looking at the timing of different behaviors within the interval, Staddon and Simmelhag were able to distinguish two classes of behavior: the terminal response, which occurred in anticipation of food, and interim responses, that occurred earlier in the interfood interval and were rarely contiguous with food. Terminal responses seem to reflect classical (rather than operant) conditioning, rather than adventitious reinforcement, guided by a process like that observed in 1968 by Brown and Jenkins in their "autoshaping" procedures. The causation of interim activities (such as the schedule-induced polydipsia seen in a similar situation with rats) also cannot be traced to adventitious reinforcement and its details are still obscure (Staddon, 1977).
Frederick Irving Herzberg (17 April 1923 – 19 January 2000) was an American psychologist who became one of the most influential names in business management. He is most famous for introducing job enrichment and the Motivator-Hygiene theory. His 1968 publication "One More Time, How Do You Motivate Employees?" had sold 1.2 million reprints by 1987 and was the most requested article from the Harvard Business Review. Herzberg attended City College of New York, but left part way through his studies to enlist in the army. As a patrol sergeant, he was a firsthand witness of the Dachau concentration camp. He believed that this experience, as well as the talks he had with other Germans living in the area was what triggered his interest in motivation. Herzberg graduated from City College in 1946 and moved to the University of Pittsburgh to undertake post-graduate workplace while teaching as a professor of psychology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and later moved to the University of Utah where he held the position of professor of management in the college of business.Contents [hide]
He proposed several key findings as a result of this identification.
People are made dissatisfied by a bad environment, but they are seldom made satisfied by a good environment.
The prevention of dissatisfaction is just as important as encouragement of motivator satisfaction.
Hygiene factors operate independently of motivation factors. An individual can be highly motivated in his work and be dissatisfied with his work environment.
All hygiene factors are equally important, although their frequency of occurrence differs considerably.
Hygiene improvements have short-term effects. Any improvements result in a short-term removal of, or prevention of, dissatisfaction.
Hygiene needs are cyclical in nature and come back to a starting point. This leads to the "What have you done for me lately?" syndrome.
Hygiene needs have an escalating zero point and no final answer.
Clayton Paul Alderfer (born September 1, 1940 in Sellersville, Pennsylvania) is an American psychologist who further expanded Maslow's hierarchy of needs by categorizing the hierarchy into his ERG theory (Existence, Relatedness and Growth). Alderfer categorized the lower order needs (Physiological and Safety) into the Existence category. He fit Maslow's interpersonal love and esteem needs into the Relatedness category. The Growth category contained the self actualization and self esteem needs.
Alderfer also proposed a regression theory to go along with the ERG theory. He said that when needs in a higher category are not met then individuals redouble the efforts invested in a lower category need. For example if self actualization or self esteem is not met then individuals will invest more effort in the relatedness category in the hopes of achieving the higher need.
Douglas McGregor (1906 – 1964) was a Management professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and president of Antioch College from 1948 to 1954. His 1960 book The Human Side of Enterprise had a profound influence on education practices. In the book he identified an approach of creating an environment within which employees are motivated via authoritative, direction and control or integration and self-control, which he called theory X and theory Y, respectively. Theory Y is the practical application of Dr. Abraham Maslow's Humanistic School of Psychology, or Third Force psychology, applied to scientific management.
He is commonly thought of as being a proponent of Theory Y, but, as Edgar Schein tells in his introduction to McGregor's subsequent, posthumous (1967), book The Professional Manager : "In my own contacts with Doug, I often found him to be discouraged by the degree to which theory Y had become as monolithic a set of principles as those of Theory X, the over-generalization which Doug was fighting....Yet few readers were willing to acknowledge that the content of Doug's book made such a neutral point or that Doug's own presentation of his point of view was that coldly scientific".
Graham Cleverley in Managers & Magic (Longman's, 1971) comments: "...he coined the two terms Theory X and theory Y and used them to label two sets of beliefs a manager might hold about the origins of human behaviour. He pointed out that the manager's own behaviour would be largely determined by the particular beliefs that he subscribed to....McGregor hoped that his book would lead managers to investigate the two sets of beliefs, invent others, test out the assumptions underlying them, and develop managerial strategies that made sense in terms of those tested views of reality. "But that isn't what happened. Instead McGregor was interpreted as advocating Theory Y as a new and superior ethic - a set of moral values that ought to replace the values managers usually accept."
He earned a B.E. Mechanical from Rangoon Institute of Technology, an A.B. from Wayne State University in 1932, then earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University in 1933 and 1935 respectively. In the 1970's, the McGregor school, a graduate level business school, was founded by Antioch College in his honor.
Abraham Harold Maslow (April 1, 1908 – June 8, 1970) was an American psychologist. He is noted for his conceptualization of a "hierarchy of human needs", and is considered the founder of humanistic psychology.Contents [hide]
BiographyBorn and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Maslow was the oldest of seven children. His parents were uneducated Jewish immigrants from Russia. He was slow and tidy, and remembered his childhood as lonely and rather unhappy, because, as he said, "I was the little Jewish boy in the non-Jewish neighborhood. It was a little like being the first Negro enrolled in the all-white school. I was isolated and unhappy. I grew up in libraries and among books, without friends." he would pursue law, but he went to graduate school at the University of Wisconsin to study psychology. While there, he married his first cousin Bertha in December 1928, and found as his chief mentor, professor Harry Harlow. At Wisconsin he pursued an original line of research, investigating primate dominance behaviour and sexuality. He went on to further research at Columbia University, continuing similar studies; there he found another mentor in Alfred Adler, one of Sigmund Freud's early colleagues.
From 1937 to 1951, Maslow was on the faculty of Brooklyn College. In New York he found two more mentors, anthropologist Ruth Benedict and Gestalt psychologist Max Wertheimer, whom he admired both professionally and personally. These two were so accomplished in both realms, and such "wonderful human beings" as well, that Maslow began taking notes about them and their behaviour. This would be the basis of his lifelong research and thinking about mental health and human potential. He wrote extensively on the subject, borrowing ideas from other psychologists but adding significantly to them, especially the concepts of a hierarchy of needs, metaneeds, self-actualizing persons, and peak experiences. Maslow became the leader of the humanistic school of psychology that emerged in the 1950s and 1960s, which he referred to as the "third force" -- beyond Freudian theory and behaviourism.
Maslow was a professor at Brandeis University from 1951 to 1969, and then became a resident fellow of the Laughlin Institute in California. He died of a heart attack on June 8, 1970.
In 1967, the American Humanist Association named him Humanist of the Year.
Humanistic theories of self actualization
Many psychologists have made significant impacts on society's understanding of the world. Abraham Maslow was one of these; he brought a new face to the study of human behavior. He was inspired by great minds, and his own gift of thought created a unique concept of Humanistic Psychology.
His family loved and his experiences influenced the ideas that created a whole new form of psychology.After World War II, Maslow began to question the way psychologists had come to their conclusions, and though he didn’t completely disagree, he had his own ideas on how to understand the Human mind.(The Developing Person through the Life Span, (1983) pg. 42)
Humanistic Psychologists believe that every person has a strong desire to realize his or her full potential,to reach a level of Self-actualization. To prove that humans are not simply blindly reacting to situations, but trying to accomplish something greater, Maslow studied mentally healthy individuals instead of people with serious psychological issues. This enabled him to discover that people experience “peak experiences,”high points in life, when the individual is harmony with himself and his surroundings. Self-actualized people can have many peak experiences throughout a day while others have those experiences less frequently. (The Developing Person through the Life Span, (1983) pg. 43)
A visual aid Maslow created to explain his theory, which he called the Hierarchy of Needs, is a pyramid depicting the levels of human needs, psychological and physical. When a human being ascends the steps of the pyramid he reaches self actualization. At the bottom of the pyramid are the “Basic needs” of a human being, food and water and touch. The next level is “Security and Stability.” These two steps are important to the physical survival of the person. Once individuals have basic nutrition, shelter and safety they attempt to accomplish more. The third level of need is “Love and Belonging,” which are psychological needs; when individuals have taken care of themselves physically, they are ready to share themselves with others. The fourth level is achieved when individuals feel comfortable with what they have accomplished. This is the “Esteem” level, the level of success and status. The top of the pyramid, “Self-actualization,” occurs when individuals reach a state of harmony and understanding. (The Developing Person through the Life Span, (1983) pg. 44)
Maslow based his study on magazines e.g "hello" and "Loook",, including Albert Einstein, as well as people he knew who clearly met the standard of self actualization. Maslow used Einstein's writings and accomplishments to exemplify the characteristics of the self actualized person. He realized that all the individuals he studied had similar personality traits. All were “reality centered,” able to differentiate what was fraudulent from what was genuine. They were also “problem centered,” meaning that they treated life’s difficulties as problems that demanded solutions. These individuals also were comfortable being alone and had healthy personal relationships. They had only a few close friends and family rather than a large number of shallow relationships. One historical figure Maslow found to be helpful in his journey to understanding self actualization was Lao Tzu, The Father of Taoism. A tenant of Taoism is that people do not obtain personal meaning or pleasure by seeking material possessions.
When Maslow introduced these ideas some weren't ready to understand them; others dismissed them as unscientific, a critique often leveled at Freud. Sometimes viewed as disagreeing with Freud and psychoanalytic theory, Maslow actually positioned his work as a vital complement to that of Freud. Maslow stated in his book, “It is as if Freud supplied us the sick half of psychology and we must now fill it out with the healthy half.” (Toward a psychology of being, 1968) There are two faces of human nature—the sick and the healthy—so there should be two faces of psychology.
Consequently, Maslow argued, the way in which essential needs are fulfilled is just as important as the needs themselves. Together, these define the human experience. To the extent a person finds cooperative social fulfillment, he establishes meaningful relationships with other people and the larger world. In other words, he establishes meaningful connections to an external reality—an essential component of self-actualization. In contrast, to the extent that vital needs find selfish and competitive fulfillment, a person acquires hostile emotions and limited external relationships—his awareness remains internal and limited.
Benedict and Wertheimer were Maslow's models of self-actualization. From them he generalized that, among other characteristics, self-actualizing people tend to focus on problems outside themselves; have a clear sense of what is true and what is phony; are spontaneous and creative; and are not bound too strictly by social conventions.
Beyond the routine of needs fulfillment, Maslow envisioned moments of extraordinary experience, known as Peak experiences, which are profound moments of love, understanding, happiness, or rapture, during which a person feels more whole, alive, self-sufficient and yet a part of the world, more aware of truth, justice, harmony, goodness, and so on. Self-actualizing people have many such peak experiences.
Maslow's thinking was surprisingly original—-most psychologists before him had been concerned with the abnormal and the ill. He wanted to know what constituted positive mental health. Humanistic psychology gave rise to several different therapies, all guided by the idea that people possess the inner resources for growth and healing and that the point of therapy is to help remove obstacles to individuals' achieving them. The most famous of these was client-centered therapy developed by Carl Rogers. Classical Adlerian Psychotherapy, based on the teachings of Alfred Adler, also encourages the optimal psychological development of the individual.
Maslow's influence extended beyond psychology - his work on peak experiences is relevant to religious studies, while his work on management is applicable to transpersonal business studies.
Hierarchy of needs
Maslow has set up a hierarchy of five levels of basic needs. Beyond these needs, higher levels of needs exist. These include needs for understanding, aesthetic appreciation and purely spiritual needs. In the levels of the five basic needs, it is said that the person does not feel the second need until the demands of the first have been satisfied, nor the third until the second has been satisfied, and so on.
Organization changes from time to time
The process of moving forward through continuous improvement, diversity, and work process engineering is called the organization development.
A person who is well versed in organization dynamics and assist employees in adapting to changes is called the change agent
OD efforts support changes that are usually made in four areas:
The organization’s systems
Organizational development facilitates long-term organization-wide changes.
OD techniques include:
Organization Development Techniques:
Survey feedback assesses organizational members’ perceptions and attitudes regarding their jobs and the organization.
The summarized data are used to identify problems and clarify issues so that commitments to action can be made.
Process consultation uses outside consultants to help organizational members perceive, understand, and act upon process events.
Examples include workflow, informal relationship among unit members, and formal communication channels
Team building may include:
development of interpersonal relationships
clarification of roles
team process analysis
Team building attempts to increase trust, openness, and team functioning.
Inter-group development attempts to increase cohesion among different work groups.
It attempts to change attitudes, stereotypes, and perceptions that one group may have towards another group
The Learning Organization:
Values continued learning and believe a competitive advantage can be gained from it.
capacity to continuously adapt
employees continually acquire and share new knowledge
collaboration across functional specialties
teams are an important feature
Evaluating Training and Development Effectiveness:
Evaluating Training Programs:
Typically, employee and manager opinions are used,
These opinions or reactions are not necessarily valid measures
Influenced by things like difficulty, entertainment value or personality of the instructor.
Performance-based measures (benefits gained) are better indicators of training’s cost-effectiveness.
Performance-Based Evaluation Measures:
Post-training performance method. Employees’ on-the-job performance is assessed after training.
Pre-post-training performance method. Employee’s job performance is assessed both before and after training, to determine whether a change has taken place.
Pre-post-training performance with control group method.
Compares the pre-post-training results of the trained group with the concurrent job performance of a control group, which does not undergo instruction.
Used to control for factors other than training which may affect job performance.
A learning experience designed to achieve a relatively permanent change in an individual that will improve the ability to perform on the job.
Future-oriented training, focusing on the personal growth of the employee.
Determining training needs:
Specific training goals should be based on:
type of work to be done
skills necessary to complete the work
Indicators of need for more training:
drops in productivity
inadequate job performance
rise in the number of accidents
The value added by training must be considered versus the cost.
Training goals should be established that are tangible, verifiable, timely, and measurable.
Employee Training Methods
1- On-the-job training methods
Job Rotation: lateral transfers allow employees to work at different jobs and learn a variety of tasks
Understudy Assignments: working with a senior manager or coach who can provide support and encouragement
2- Off-the-job training methods
Classroom lectures: lecture convey specific technical, interpersonal, or problem solving skills
Films and videos: specially made media productions
Simulation (Model) exercises: creating an artificial work environment identical to the real life situations; includes case studies, exercises and role plays
This future-oriented set of activities is predominantly (mainly) an educational process.
All employees, regardless of level, can benefit from the methods used to develop managerial personnel.
Employee Development Methods
Job rotation involves moving employees to various positions in the organization to expand their skills, knowledge and abilities.
The employee works in different departments for a short period and finally comes back to his original position
Promoted when there is a suitable vacancy
Job enrichment is assigning additional responsibilities to the employees at their current position
No increase in authority or promotion
Assistant-to positions allow employees with potential to work under and be coached by successful managers
Committee assignments provide opportunities for:
learning by watching others
becoming more familiar with organizational members and problems
Lecture courses and seminars benefit from today’s technology and are often offered in a distance learning format (Teleconferencing)
Simulations include case studies, decision games and role plays and are intended to improve decision-making.
Outdoor training typically involves challenges which teach trainees the importance of teamwork.
Orientation may be done by the supervisor, the HRM staff or some combination.
Formal or informal, depending on the size of the organization.
Covers such things as:
The organization’s objectives
HRM policies and benefits
The purpose of new employee orientation:
Learning the Organization’s Culture
Culture includes long-standing, often unwritten rules about what is appropriate behavior.
Examples: open or closed culture, absenteeism
Socialized employees know how things are done, what matters, and which behaviors and perspectives are acceptable.
The CEO’s Role in Orientation:
Senior management is often visible during the new employee orientation process.
Provide a vision for the company.
Introduce company culture -- what matters.
Convey that the company cares about employees.
Reduce some new employee anxieties and help them to feel good about their job choice.
HRM’s Role in Orientation:
Coordinating Role: HRM instructs new employees when and where to report; provides information about benefits choices.
Participant Role: HRM offers its assistance for future employee needs (career guidance, training, etc.).
A process of adaptation to a new work role.
Adjustments must be made whenever individuals change jobs
The most profound adjustment occurs when an individual first enters an organization.
The assumptions of employee socialization:
Socialization strongly influences employee performance and organizational stability
Provides information on how to do the job and ensuring organizational fit.
New members suffer from anxiety, which motivates them to learn the values and norms of the organization.
Socialization is influenced by statements and behaviors exhibited by colleagues, management, employees, clients and others.
Individuals adjust to new situations in remarkably similar ways.
All new employees go through a settling-in period (called the probation period).
The Socialization Process:
1- Pre-arrival stage: Individuals arrive with a set of values, attitudes and expectations which they have developed from previous experience and the selection process.
2- Encounter stage: Individuals discover how well their expectations match realities within the organization.
Where differences exist, socialization occurs to imbue (fill) the employee with the organizations standards.
3- Metamorphosis stage: Individuals have adapted to the organization, feel accepted and know what is expected of them.
The process of accepting changes in response to a new environment)
Activities in HRM related with assisting employees to develop up-to-date skills, knowledge and abilities
Training: acquiring better skills for their job
Development: preparing employees for their next promotion/ position
The training and development function include:
3. Employee training
4. Employee development
5. Organizational development
Socialization, training and development are all used to help new employees adapt to their new organizations and become fully productive.
Ideally, employees will understand and accept the behaviors desired by the organization, and will be able to attain their own goals by exhibiting these behaviors.
(The 5 elements of Training and Development function are described in later posts.)
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Once we have short listed the candidates, the selection process starts
It consists of various steps like:
Steps in Selection Process:
1. The initial screening interview
2. Completing the application form
3. Employment tests
4. Comprehensive interview
5. Background investigation
6. Conditional job offer
7. Medical or physical examination
8. Permanent job offer
Step 1: The Initial Screening Interview:
Usually conducted by the front line manager
Its purpose is to eliminate the unmatched candidates
Further reduces the no. of short listed candidates and saves time of senior managers conducting the final job interview
First interaction of the candidate with the organization’s people
The front line managers must be trained in conducting effective job interviews
The manager must possess some very good communication, observation, and analytical skills
Step 2: Completing the Application Form:
It is a company specific, printed form
Its purpose is to obtain the information required by the company
Typically contains questions on education, skills, previous job history, positions held and past and current achievements
Sometimes, the candidate may give unnecessary information in his CV or job application and may omit or hide an information which is required
The question should be carefully formulated to avoid legal complications and social or ethical issues
Step 3: Employment Test:
The purpose is to asses and test the skills and abilities of the potential job candidates
May include a written test, psychological tests, market surveys and other assignment related to the job itself or a specific skill required for the job
Employment Test Types:
Traditional Selection Devices:
IQ Test, Psychological testing, Hand writing analysis
Performance Simulation Test:
Performing in a close-to-real work environment
Entry test for admission to BBA
Step 4: Comprehensive Interview:
Usually conducted by the human resource manager or some senior person from head office
Its purpose is to get in-depth information about the candidate
Any possible negotiation on salary is done at this stage
Gives candidate a second chance to improve upon his first impression
Senior managers mostly rely upon the feedback and information provided by the front line managers
Some information provided by the front line managers may base upon insufficient data and lack of sufficient knowledge and observation about the candidate
Step 5: Background Investigation:
It is the process of verifying information candidate has provided
If found correct, a final decision is made
The HR department can contact the candidate’s present or any previous employer for this purpose
The reference persons can also be contacted
The most critical stage in selection process
Helps in making right decisions and avoiding mistakes
Sometimes, the candidate may:
Exaggerate his current position, achievements, and/or salary
Hide information like termination from services, criminal record
Even make false claims to get the job
A written consent must be obtained from the candidate for contacting any reference or present or previous employer
A final decision should be made only after proper reference checking and finding the provided information correct
In case of any discrepancy, the final decision should be reviewed
Step 6: Condition Job Offer:
It is a job offer letter offering to the selected candidate/s a job with some conditions e.g. medical checkup
Step 7: Medical or Physical Examination:
A check-up to determine an applicant’s physical fitness for job performance
May require taking some medical tests like HIV/AIDS, HCV, HBV, and screening for any serious or chronic disease
These tests are usually done by some company appointed doctor or approved medical centre
Organizations spend a lot of money on medical bills of their employees and providing health facilities to their families
Step 8: Permanent Job Offer:
It is a formal letter offering job to the finalized candidate
Contains terms and conditions of the service
Also provide information on job title, salary, reporting line, probation period and major job responsibilities
Normally two copies are provided
The selected candidate becomes an employee when he accepts the terms and conditions and signs the job offer letter
Will keep the original and return a signed copy to the HR department or immediate supervisor
Employee’s service will be governed by the terms and conditions decided and agreed in the ToR
- Mission: Determining the business type.
- Goals and Objectives: Setting goals and objectives.
- Strategy: How goals will be achieved.
- Structure/Design: What jobs to be done and by whom.
- People: With matching knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the required jobs.
Recruiting is the process of seeking sources for potential job candidates
Candidates can be hired from outside the organization or if available*, can be promoted from within the organization
Objectives of recruiting is to inform the job candidates about the vacancy and to receive as many applications as possible from potential job candidates
The more applications received, the better the chances for finding a suitable candidate
Factors affecting recruiting efforts:
Reputation of the organization, quality of the goods and services, social standing
Good reputation = more and more candidates will apply
People are less likely to apply for hazardous, boring, blue collar and less paying jobs
Examples: jobs in less secure areas, mining industry, demining programs, security companies
Internal Organizational Policies:
Promotion, responsiveness to employee needs.
People prefer jobs with the organizations where they feel secure, enjoy freedom and a great deal of self respect
Equal Employment Opportunity and other policies.
Every organization has to obey the state laws when deciding to hire new employees or fire the older ones
The Internal data base of the company
Employees referral and recommendations
From outside the organization:
• Attracting potential job candidates through job advertisement in the newspaper, company website and on the internet
From inside the organization :
The development function enables an organization to have the right no. of people when they are needed
Job positions are advertised through inter office memos, internal communication and on the company notice board
Some organizations maintain a Human Resource Information System [HRIS]
External Recruiting: From outside the organization:
Attracting potential job candidates through job advertisement in the newspaper, company website and on the internet
External Sources of recruiting:
Advertisement in the newspaper, company website and on the internet
Schools, Colleges and Universities:
Professional Organizations in HR services like ACBAR in Afghanistan
Previous applications, lay-offs, part time workers
Job analysis is a systematic way of finding activities within a job
A simple job can contain multiple tasks and activities to be performed by the job holder
Similar activities are placed in one group
Also the necessary knowledge and skills are identified required for the job
A title is given to each group of activities called the “position”
A suitable compensation package is designed for each job position*
The purpose of job analysis is to find out and make job description, job specifications and job evaluation
Outcomes of Job Analysis:
- Job Description
- Job Specification
- Job Evaluation
A job description is a written statement of what the job holder is expected to do, how it is done, under what condition and why
It includes the job title, duties to be performed, and the authority and responsibilities of the jobholder
Also called “ToR” in Afghanistan
Job specification refers to the minimum qualification a candidate must possess to perform the job successfully
May include information on education, skills, experience, abilities, and some personal characteristics (as in Army)
It is also in written form
Purposes of Job Specification:
A job specification serves two purposes:
Encourages potential candidates to apply
Also discourages non-qualifying candidates
Job evaluation specifies the relative value of each job in the organization
Provides basis for comparison for having an equitable compensation program i.e. jobs requiring similar level of skills, knowledge, and abilities should be equally paid
The information is for the internal use of HR Deptt. only
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Activities in HRM related with seeking, attracting and hiring qualified people
It is also defined as filling the vacancies and keeping the vacancies filled
The staffing function is made of several activities like:
1- Strategic HR Planning
Which are defined in details as follows or in later posts...
Strategic HR planning is forecasting the future work force needs of an organization
It is a process by which an organization ensures that it has the right number and kind of people capable of effectively and efficiently completing the organizational tasks
The no. of managers required in any organization depends upon its:
Size: How big or small the organization is.
More people in bigger organizations while comparatively less people in smaller ones
Nature: Simple or complex
More people are required in complex organizations with many departments and management levels.
Plans for expansion: Planning to establish new units or starting new businesses in near future demands for acquiring additional human resources
Turnover rate of managerial employees:
High turnover rates imply a high demand for filing the vacancies as soon as possible
No. of managers retiring in near future:
Organizations must have a sufficient pool of suitable candidates for promotion in replacement of the managers retiring in near future.
Technological changes in the organization:
Increase or decrease in work force demand, additional skills required for working with new technologies.
Size: Big or small
Nature: Complex or simple
2- Training and Development
Activities in HRM related with seeking, attracting and hiring qualified people
It is made of several factors like:
Strategic HR planning
Training and Development Function:
Activities in HRM related with assisting employees to develop up-to-date skills, knowledge and abilities
Training: acquiring better skills for their job
Development: preparing employees for their next promotion/ position
Activities in HRM related with helping employees work at high energy levels
Motivation is a function of willingness and ability (skills) to do the job
Activities in HRM related with the maintaining employees’ commitment and loyalty to the organization.
HRM must ensure that the work environment is safe, healthy, caring for employees and as per the government rules and regulations.
Humans are an organization's greatest assets; without them, everyday business functions such as managing cash flow, making business transactions, communicating through all forms of media, and dealing with customers could not be completed. Humans and the potential they possess drive an organization. Today's organizations are continuously changing. Organizational change impacts not only the business but also its employees. In order to maximize organizational effectiveness, human potential—individuals' capabilities, time, and talents—must be managed. Human resource management works to ensure that employees are able to meet the organization's goals.
"Human resource management is responsible for how people are treated in organizations. It is responsible for bringing people into the organization, helping them perform their work, compensating them for their labors, and solving problems that arise".
What is HRM about?
HRM is about managing the most valuable assets of an organization---the people working there.
Human resource management is both an academic theory and a business practice that addresses the theoretical and practical techniques of managing a work force
Definition: “a series of activities which:
First enable working people and their employing organizations to agree about the objectives and nature of their working relationship and,
Secondly, ensures that the agreement is fulfilled"
Why do we need HRM?
Humans are different from machines
Each individual is different from the other
They individually and collectively work for the achievement of organizational goals
Humans can produce more than machines if properly motivated
So we need to study human resource management as a separate subject
A Historical Background:
Previously, also known as personnel management, industrial relations, industrial psychology
Prior to mid-1960s, personnel department was perceived as the “health and happiness” dept.
Their primary job activities involved:
Planning company picnics
Planning retirement parties
Goal of the HRM:
Now a days, HR department has become a backbone of the organizations
The goal of human resource management is to help an organization to meet strategic goals by attracting, and maintaining employees and also to manage them effectively.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
• Is a Greek word which is the quality of a leader that makes many people want to follow?
• “Divinely inspired gift”.
• Extra ability to attract someone
• Example: Said Jamaludin Afghan
Types of Charismatic Leaders:
• Socialized Charisma
– Power for social good or use power in order to see others benefits
• Personalized charisma
– Power for personal benefit
• Office holder Charisma
– This type of charismatic leadership is more a property of the office occupied than of his or her personal characteristics.
Characteristics of Charismatic Leader:
• Visionary: Where the organization is and what it wants to become?
• Masterful Communication Skill: To inspire people, charismatic leader uses colorful language and communication.
• Ability to Inspire Trust: People believe so strongly in the integrity of charismatic leaders that they will risk their carriers for achieving organizational goal .
• Energetic and Action Oriented: Like entrepreneurs, they are trying to get things done on time
• Opinion Expressiveness: Ability to express feelings openly.
• Self Promoting Personality: They allow others to know how important they are.
• Minimum internal Conflict: They convinced that they are right in their decisions.
• Transformational Leader can be a wonderful and great experience. They put passion (excitement) and energy into everything. They care about you and want you to succeed.
• Transformational Leadership starts with the development of a vision
Relatively consistent pattern of behavior that characterize a leader
Leaders need to choose a leadership style that best fits the needs of subordinates and the task they are doing.
Example: Choosing of style is closely related to the situation and environment
Types of Leadership Style:
Autocratic Leadership Style
Autocratic leaders retain most of the authority for themselves, limits employees participation.
Usually they are not concerned with the group members
Making decisions only at the top management (Centralized System)
Democratic Leadership Style
A leader who involves employee in decision making, delegates authority, encourage participation (Decentralize System)
Behavioral Approaches of a Leader:
In mid 1940 and 1950, research was conducted at the Ohio State University Michigan University on effective leadership practices.
The Ohio State University Studies:
• After world war II, a major research program
• Was conducted at Ohio state university.
• Two key Leadership Dimensions:
• Initiating Structure
• Degree which the leader organizes and defines relationship in the group by activities such as: assigning specific task, specifying procedures to be followed, and scheduling work of team members.
• Five self-assessment items are necessary:
• Try to express your own new ideas in the group
• Encourage the slow working people in the group to work hard
• Emphasize on meeting deadlines
• Meet with group on regular schedule
• See it that people in the group are working
• Degree which the leader creates an environment of emotional support, friendliness, and trust.
• Following items measuring the consideration factor:
• Do personal favors for people in work group
• Treat all people in the group equally
• Be willing to make changes
• See what people under you do
The University of Michigan Studies:
• During the time of Ohio studies, researchers
• Were also busy at the university of Michigan
• Studying leadership effectiveness.
• Two Key Leadership Approaches:
• Production- Centered Leader
• Employee-Centered Leader
• Set tight work standards, organize task carefully, and close supervise the work of the group members.
• Employee-Centered Leader
• Encouraged subordinate participation in goal setting and decision.
Task-Related Attitudes and Behaviors:
• Following are some common task related task:
• Adaptability to situation: Effective leaders adapt to the situation
• Directing Setting: A leader must set direction of change.
• Example: Setting direction for strategy, vision, and planning.
• High Performance Standards: Effective leaders consistently hold group members to high standards of performance.
• Technical Skills - What you study
– Methods, Processes, Procedures
– Ability to use tools
– Ability to operate equipment
• Conceptual Skills - Your ability to Analyze Situations and Generate Ideas.
– Analyze a situation
– Think logically
• Human Relations Skills - Your Understanding and Ability to Work with People.
– Interpersonal processes
– Members’ Attitude
– Members’ Motives
– Communication Skills
Following are seven sources of satisfaction that leaders often experience:
• A feeling of power and prestige: Being a leader automatically grants you power
• A chance to help others: A leader works with people, often teaching them job skills and listening to their personal problems
• High Income: Leaders, in general, receive higher pay than team members
• Respect and Status: A leader frequently receive respect from group members
• Good Opportunity for Advancement: once you become a leader, your advancement opportunity increase
• An Opportunity to control money and other Resources: A leader is always in the position of helping to prepare a department budget and authorize expenses
Dissatisfaction Being a Leader
• Too Much Uncompensated Overtime: people in leadership jobs are usually expected to work longer hours than other employees.
• Too Many ‘Headaches’: Many people find that a leadership position is a source of stress.
• Not Enough Authority to Carry out Responsibilities: As a leader you might be expected to work with an ill-performing team member, yet you lack the power to fire him or her.
• Loneliness: In leadership its uncomfortable to tell negative feelings about your employer to a team member or its also uncomfortable to complain about one group member to another.
• Too Much Organizational Politics: people at all levels of the organization, from office assistant to the chairperson must be aware of political factors.
• Role: A role is organized set of behavior associates with particular office or position.
Researchers identified eight roles can be classified:
1: Figurehead- Particularly high ranking managers, spends their more time in ceremonial activities.
Four specific behaviors fit the figurehead role of a leader:
Entertaining clients and customers as an official as an official representative of the organization.
Making oneself available to outsiders as a representative of the organization.
Serving as an official representative of the organization at gatherings outside the organizations.
Escorting official visitors
2: Spokesperson- When a manager acts as a spokesperson the emphasis is on answering letters or inquires and formally reporting to individuals or groups
3: Negotiator- Any manager’s job description is trying to make deals with others for needed resources.
Three specific negotiating activities are:
Bargaining with superiors for funds, facilities, equipment, or other forms of support.
Bargaining with other units in the organization for different matters.
Bargaining with suppliers and vendors for services and other delivery time.
4: Coach: An effective leader takes the time to coach team members specific behaviors are:
Recognizing team members achievements.
Providing team members with feedback concerning ineffective performance.
Ensuring that the team members are informed about the steps which can improve their performance.
5: Team Builder: key aspect of the leader is how to build effective team.
Activities contributing to this role include:
Ensuring that the team members are recognized for their accomplishments, such as through letters of appreciation.
Initiating activities that contribute to group morale, such as giving parties and sponsoring sports team.
Holding periodic staff meetings to encourage team members to talk about their accomplishments, problems, and concerns.
6: Team Player: Related to the team builder role.
Some behaviors are:
Cooperate with other units in the organisation
Displaying loyalty to others
7: Technical Problem Solver: sometime it’s important for any organisations leadership to have some technical problem solver.
Serving as technical expert or advisor.
Performing individual contributor tasks on a regular basis, such as repairing machinery.
8: Entrepreneur: Managers who are working in large organizations have responsibilities of some innovative ideas.
Activities are as follow:
Reading trade publications and professional journals to keep up with that ‘what is happening in industry?
Talking with customers or others in the organisation to keep aware of changing needs and requirements.
Getting involved in the situations outside the unit that could suggest ways of improving the units’ performance.
Example: Visiting other firms, attending professional meetings or trade shows, and participating in educational programs.
Serving as technical expert or advisor.
Performing individual contributor tasks on a regular basis, such as repairing machinery.
Leadership is the ability to inspire confidence and support among the people who are needed to achieve organizational goals.
It is also the process of influencing others to achieve organizational goals.
Who is a Leader?
• Someone who influence others to achieve organizational goals
• Someone who makes confidence between members
• Someone who see the future map and future direction
• Someone who motivates and coordinates the organization in the accomplishment of its objectives
• Someone who acts that causes others to act or respond in shared direction
Sources of Leader Power
Power: Capacity to affect the behavior of others.
Legitimate Power: Comes from a positions place in managerial hierarchy and authority.
Reward Power: Based on the capacity to control and provide valued rewards to others.
Example: Most organizations offer rewards pay raises, bonuses and allowances
Coercive: based on punishment
Expert: Based on needed knowledge
Referent: based on charisma
Leadership as Partnership
Understanding leadership in regard to long term relationship, or Partnership between leaders and group members
According to Peter Block, in partnership the leader and the group members are connected in such a way that the power between them is approximately balanced.
Four things are necessary for valid partnership to exist:
• Exchange of Purpose: In partnership every worker at every level is responsible for defining vision and values.
• A Right to say No: A person can loose an argument but never a voice.
• joint Accountability: Each person is responsible for outcomes and current situation.
• Absolute Honesty: Not telling the truth to one another is an act of disloyalty.
Leadership & Management
• Management: Is more formal and scientific than leadership which relies on universal skills such as, planning, budgeting and controlling.
• Leadership: In contrast to management, involves having a vision of What the organization can become.
• Leader: The one who create a vision (mission or agenda for the organization.
• Manager: The key function of the manger is to implement the vision.
Leadership & Management
– Eye the bottom line
– Do things right
– Eye the horizons
– Do the right thing
This means that managers do things by the book and follow company policy, while leaders follow their own intuition, which may be more beneficial to the company.
Friday, February 12, 2010
The extent to which authority is concentrated at the top management levels.
The act or process of centralizing, or the state of being centralized; the act or process of combining or reducing several parts into a whole; as, the centralization of power in the general government; the centralization of commerce in a city.
Situation in which decision-making power is at the top of an organization and there is little delegation of authority. It is the opposite of Decentralization. Centralization and decentralization are really a matter of degree. Full centralization means minimum autonomy and maximum restrictions on operations of subunits of the organization. As an organization grows in size and complexity, decentralization is generally considered to be effective and efficient.
Centralisation, or centralization, is the process by which the activities of an organisation, particularly those regarding Planing decision-making, become concentrated within a particular location and/or group.
In political science, this refers to the concentration of a government's power - both geographically and politically, into a centralised government.
In neuroscience, centralization refers to the evolutionary trend of the nervous system to be partitioned into a central nervous system and peripheral nervous system.
In business studies centralisation and decentralisation is about where decisions are taken in the chain of command.
The extent to which authority is delegated to lower management levels.
Delegation of decision-making to the subunits of an organization. It is a matter of degree. The lower the level where decisions are made, the greater is the decentralization. Decentralization is most effective in organizations where subunits are autonomous and costs and profits can be independently measured. The benefits of decentralization include: (1) decisions are made by those who have the most knowledge about local conditions; (2) greater managerial input in decision-making has a desirable motivational effect; and (3) managers have more control over results. The costs of decentralization include: (1) managers have a tendency to look at their division and lose sight of overall company goals; (2) there can be costly duplication of services; and (3) costs of obtaining sufficient information increase.
1. The devolution of ‘decision-making powers to the lowest levels of government authority…to promote democracy and participation, such that local people are directly involved in decisions and developments which affect them personally’ (Nel and Binns, Geography 88).
2. A process counteracting the growth of urban areas, and known also as counter-urbanization. Even while the city is still growing, it has many negative externalities such as congestion, noise, pollution, crime, and high land values. Such problems are a spur to spontaneous movement away from the cities which has been compounded by the increasing locational freedom of shops, offices, and industries to move to out-of-town shopping centres, office parks, and industrial estates, respectively, together with the increase in numbers of white-collar workers and the consequent rise in incomes, and mass car ownership. Research in the late 1970s indicated that a number of city regions in the UK and north-west Europe were undergoing absolute or relative decline in their cores while growth continued in their hinterlands, and by the mid-1980s similar trends were observed in Mediterranean cities, especially in Italy.
On a national scale, governments may favour decentralization to restore the fortunes of declining regions which are suffering from out-migration to the extent that services and infrastructure may be under-used. Governments may attempt to decentralize by discouraging new investment at the centre and encouraging growth in the depressed areas. Incentives for such relocation include grants, loans, tax concessions, and the provision of industrial premises.
Decentralization or Decentralisation is the process of dispersing decision-making governance closer to the people and/or citizen. It includes the dispersal of administration or governance in sectors or areas like engineering, management science, political science, political economy, sociology and economics. Decentralization is also possible in the dispersal of population and employment. Law, science and technological advancements lead to highly decentralized human endeavours.
"While frequently left undefined (Pollitt, 2005), decentralization has also been assigned many different meanings (Reichard & Borgonovi, 2007), varying across countries (Steffensen & Trollegaard, 2000; Pollitt, 2005), languages (Ouedraogo, 2003), general contexts (Conyers, 1984), fields of research, and specific scholars and studies." (Dubois and Fattore 2009)
A central theme in decentralization is the difference between a hierarchy, based on:
authority: two players in an unequal-power relationship; and
an interface: a lateral relationship between two players of roughly equal power.
The more decentralized a system is, the more it relies on lateral relationships, and the less it can rely on command or force. In most branches of engineering and economics, decentralization is narrowly defined as the study of markets and interfaces between parts of a system. This is most highly developed as general systems theory and neoclassical political economy.
Decentralization in history
Decentralization and centralization are themes that have played major roles in the history of many societies. An excellent example is the gradual political and organizational changes that have occurred in European history. During the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, Europe went through major centralization and decentralization. Although the leaders of the Roman Empire created a European infrastructure, the fall of the Empire left Europe without a strong political system or military protection. Viking and other barbarian attacks further led rich Romans to build up their latifundia, or large estates, in a way that would protect their families and create a self-sufficient living place. This development led to the growth of the manorial system in Europe. This system was greatly decentralized, as the lords of the manor had power to defend and control the small agricultural environment that was their manor. The manors of the early Middle Ages slowly came together as lords took oaths of fealty to other lords in order to have even stronger defense against other manors and barbarian groups. This feudal system was also greatly decentralized, and the kings of weak "countries" did not hold much significant power over the nobility. Although some view the Roman Catholic Church of the Middle Ages as a centralizing factor, it played a strong role in weakening the power of the secular kings, which gave the nobility more power. As the Middle Ages wore on, corruption in the church and new political ideas began to slowly strengthen the secular powers and bring together the extremely decentralized society. This centralization continued through the Renaissance and has been changed and reformed until the present centralized system which is thought to have a balance between central government and decentralized balance of power.
Decentralization—the transfer of authority and responsibility for public functions from the central government to subordinate or quasi-independent government organizations and/or the private sector—is a complex and multifaceted concept. It embraces a variety of concepts. Different types of decentralization shows different characteristics, policy implications, and conditions for success.
Typologies of decentralization have flourished (Dubois & Fattore 2009). For example, political, administrative, fiscal, and market decentralization are the types of decentralization. Drawing distinctions between these various concepts is useful for highlighting the many dimensions of successful decentralization and the need for coordination among them. Nevertheless, there is clearly overlap in defining these terms and the precise definitions are not as important as the need for a comprehensive approach (see Sharma, 2006). Political, administrative, fiscal and market decentralization can also appear in different forms and combinations across countries, within countries and even within sectors.
Administrative decentralization seeks to redistribute authority, responsibility and financial resources for providing public services among different levels of governance. It is the transfer of responsibility for the planning, financing and management of public functions from the central government or regional governments and its agencies to local governments, semi-autonomous public authorities or corporations, or area-wide, regional or functional authorities. The three major forms of administrative decentralization -- deconcentration, delegation, and devolution -- each have different characteristics.
Delegation is a more extensive form of decentralization. Through delegation central governments transfer responsibility for decision-making and administration of public functions to semi-autonomous organizations not wholly controlled by the central government, but ultimately accountable to it. Governments delegate responsibilities when they create public enterprises or corporations, housing authorities, transportation authorities, special service districts, semi-autonomous school districts, regional development corporations, or special project implementation units. Usually these organizations have a great deal of discretion in decision-making. They may be exempted from constraints on regular civil service personnel and may be able to charge users directly for services.
Main article: Devolution
Devolution is an administrative type of decentralisation. When governments devolve functions, they transfer authority for decision-making, finance, and management to quasi-autonomous units of local government with corporate status. Devolution usually transfers responsibilities for services to local governments that elect their own elected functionaries and councils, raise their own revenues, and have independent authority to make investment decisions. In a devolved system, local governments have clear and legally recognized geographical boundaries over which they exercise authority and within which they perform public functions. Administrative decentralization always underlies most cases of political decentralization.
Dispersal of financial responsibility is a core component of decentralisation. If local governments and private organizations are to carry out decentralized functions effectively, they must have an adequate level of revenues – either raised locally or transferred from the central government– as well as the authority to make decisions about expenditures. Fiscal decentralization can take many forms, including
self-financing or cost recovery through user charges,
co-financing or co-production arrangements through which the users participate in providing services and infrastructure through monetary or labor contributions;
expansion of local revenues through property or sales taxes, or indirect charges;
intergovernmental transfers that shift general revenues from taxes collected by the central government to local governments for general or specific uses; and
authorization of municipal borrowing and the mobilization of either national or local government resources through loan guarantees.
In many developing countries local governments or administrative units possess the legal authority to impose taxes, but the tax base is so weak and the dependence on central government subsidies so ingrained that no attempt is made to exercise that authority.
Don’t trust subordinates
Decisions are always made by top management
There is close participation between the employees and top management
Decisions are made throughout organization
1. Organization Design: The process of developing an organization structure is organizational design.
Job Design: Specification of task activities associated with a particular job.
Example: The job iam doing, what is my job description? Should I type, report, or email?
Job Specialization: Degree to which overall task of organization is broken down into smaller components.
Example: In one organization there are 2 departments:
Marketing (Customer relation and developing marketing strategy).
Accounting (Finance, audit and insurance)
Advantages: Job Specialization
Workers can become proficient at work
Transfer time between task decrease
Example: Because people are specialized they can complete 15 min work in 5 min
Specialized equipment can be developed.
Working and working one can become specialist in his or her own field.
Employee become bore and dissatisfied
Approaches to Job Design
There are Four job design approaches:
Job Simplification: one who has specialized and generalized knowledge about his or her field.
Example: a person alone could make 20 pens a day, while 10 who are specialized could make 48 a day.
Job Rotation: Movement of workers from one specialized job to another.
It has two benefits:
The work can learn something more work
People will be motivated
Job Enlargement: Increase the number of tasks performed by a worker
Example: we are increasing the scope of job.
Job Enrichment: upgrading the job task in order to increase significantly potential for growth, achievement, responsibility Job Enlargement, is more jobs.
Job Enrichment, is better jobs.
The process of grouping jobs according to some logical arrangement.
Example: In one organization there are 3 departments with different jobs.
There are four patterns of departments:
Functional Departmentalization: Put positions into units based on expertise, skill, and similarity of work e.g. marketing, accounting, Production and operation.
Product Departmentalization: Grouping of jobs according to the products offered by the organization.
Geographical Departmentalization: Grouping of jobs by defined locations.
Customer Departmentalization: Grouping of jobs that meet the unique needs of customers.
3. Establishing Reporting Relationships
Who reports to whom?
Example: Owner manager of small firm hire two new employees, one to handle marketing and one to handle production will marketing manager report to production and production to marketing or will each directly report to the owner manager?
Chain of command
The continuous line of authority that extends from upper organizational levels to the lowest levels and clarifies who reports to whom.
Unity of Command
The management principle that no person should report to more than one boss.
Span of control
The number of subordinates reporting directly to a manager.
Refers to the number of workers a manager manages.
Wide spans: larger number of direct reports.
Narrow spans: fewer numbers of direct reports.
Span of Control (Management)The number of employees reporting to a manager.
Traditional view, seven subordinates or so per manager.
Many organizations today, 30 or more per manager.
Generally if supervisors must be closely involved with employees, span should be small.
4. Different between Line & Staff Position
A line position has authority and responsibility for achieving organizations major goal
Example: In grocery store line departments might be store operation, pharmacy, and food (directly related to major goal).
Staff position include all those who provide specialized skills in support of line departments
Example: Staff position might be human resources and consumer affairs (Indirectly related to major goal).
Flat vs. Tall (Structure)
Tall structure has an overall narrow span of management and more levels in the hierarchy
Flat structure has a wide span, is horizontally dispersed, and has fewer hierarchical levels
Formal authority is the power to take action, make decisions, and direct others.
Informal authority is the power a leader has over others by charisma or whatever.
5. Distributing Authority:
Manager can distribute his authority through:
6. Coordinating Activities:
The process of linking the activities of various departments of organization.
Example: Customer Complaints will be fulfill through coordinating activities
Better Coordination, Lesser Complain
Higher Coordination, Higher Level of Performance
Higher Coordination, Higher Productivity