Organizational Behaviour and Human Resource Management

Why organizations need an awareness of their environment

The increased economic activities in various parts of the world result in the production of more energy to meet the consumption demands. This massive production is responsible for environmental degradation experienced in various regions fuelling fear that if things continue this way, the environment may not be able to sustain the demands of production. The need for a sustainable approach to an organization’s environmental awareness continues to be the concern of environmentally friendly bodies that seek to perpetually remind organizations of their role in making our environment safer (Perron, Cote & Duffy 2006, p. 553). Several organizations must engage in environmental initiatives to improve the quality of their environmental performance.

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Organizational environmental awareness, according to King and Lawley (2013, p. 66), helps organizations to be mindful of the environment, thus assisting them in nurturing environmentally friendly practices. There are numerous benefits to environmental awareness including reduced corporate liability and financial saving among other factors. However, Rollinson (2005, p. 50) opines that several constraints normally inhibit the full realization of a responsible and environmental organization. Some of the most notable constraints are concerns related to corporate culture including change management. According to Lussier (2006, p. 34), to overcome these concerns and succeed in the implementation of robust environmental conscious initiatives, the role of organizations in understanding the environmental needs must suffice above all other operations (Schirato, & Webb 2003, p. 25). There is a great need for organizations to emphasize the importance of environmental awareness training that seeks to produce awareness training through popular participation that nurtures environmental commitment and understanding. Equipped with this awareness, organizations can amicably understand how their surrounding can affect and be in turn affected by their activities.

Various organizations apply different approaches to environmental awareness, management, and training (Perron et al. 2006, p. 556). As Hitt, Black, and Porter (2005, p. 26) note, it is necessary that organizations pose in their line of duty to evaluate the efficacy of their environmental awareness to ensure they generate the benefits. Organizational environmental management is typically an organizational change process that businesses must take into consideration. Moreover, organizational environmental consciousness is a change process that organizations must adopt to become more sustainable. In keeping with this necessity, organizations must adopt environmental cultures where the entire workforces must reorient their attitudes and behaviors to resonate with an organizational commitment to achieving new objectives (Rollinson 2005, p. 52).

The importance of corporate environmental education and organizational awareness training is to make business environments sustainable by nurturing ethical production practices. Therefore, managing change, as Hitt et al. (2005, p. 36) note, is necessary within organizations, and this must entail popular employee and stakeholder participation. Organizational participation is very necessary for ensuring that all the parties involved in the production function take increased cognizance of their roles to protect the environment from harmful practices (Perron et al. 2006, p. 557). There is a need to bring the employees to understand their contribution to the efforts aimed at securing efforts to endorse a sustainable corporate environment. Without collective corporate responsibility, environmental management initiatives and sustainability efforts may have limited effects despite several technical improvement strategies aimed at securing a safer corporate environment. To this far, there is a need for a strong level of support for corporate environmental education to inject greater organizational environmental awareness in the corporate world.

How an understanding of motivation theory contributes to leader effectiveness

Managers see employee motivation as a way to increase workers’ job performance. All the theories, for example, suggest that workers would put greater effort and become more productive if they believed their managers were giving them attention (Aarons 2006, p. 1165). This means that managers can motivate their subordinates to be more engaged in their work and increase productivity by paying attention to them and addressing their needs (Hall 2003). Also, they suggest that managers should improve the workplace atmosphere such that workers can develop a sense of belonging, interpersonal relationships, as well as collaborative relationships with the management (Hall 2003). It should also be noted that the existence as well as the importance of informal organizations, as suggested by the human relations approach, is highly accepted in the field of management (Cole 2004, p. 272; Mullins & Christy 2011, p. 25).

Cole (2004, p. 278) emphasizes that informal organizations are essential to the operations of formal organizations in that they promote communication, cohesion, and cooperation and coordination, knowledge sharing. Mayo’s human relations approach, McClelland’s acquired needs theory, and Herzberg’s two-factor theory emphasize the need for employee training or professional development opportunities and work design which are common best practices in modern-day organizations (Givens 2008, p. 5). Besides, companies today adopt employee award programs to recognize and reward employee achievements. Growth and promotional programs often accompany such programs. Job design has also become a common practice in today’s companies. Bauer, Carpenter, and Erdogan (2010, p. 345) summarised the implication of the acquired needs theory to modern-day business by emphasizing the significance of understanding each worker’s motivation needs. This could be needed to gain approval from colleagues and supervisors to acquire influence over others or a position that gives one decision-making authority or need for achievement of goals.

The need for interpersonal relationships in the workplace suggested by the human relations approach, the two-factor theory, need-hierarchy theory, and the acquired needs theory imply that workers’ motivation can be best achieved by paternalistic leadership style. Under this leadership style, the leader assumes a more relationship-oriented kind of leadership. Amaratunga, Ginige, Haigh, and Thurairajah (2008, p. 315) describe relationship-oriented leadership style as a kind of leadership that involves “encouraging participation; sharing power and information; enhancing self-worth; changing self-interests for an overall good; relating power to interpersonal skill, and believing in better performance when feeling good.” Equally, the paternalistic leadership style involves offering fatherly leadership to subordinates by helping each one of them in every way possible (Anwar 2013, p. 109).

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Pellegrini and Scandura (2007, p. 567) note that paternalistic leadership involves taking a personal interest in one’s subordinates’ off-the-job lives and attempting to promote their welfare. Arguably, this is what transformational leadership supports. This kind of concern is expected to motivate the workers to remain loyal to the manager as well as the organization (Aarons 2006, p. 1162). Just as was proposed by the human relations theory, the paternalistic leader offers subordinates “a platform where they can give their ideas but at the end, a mutual decision will be taken” (Anwar 2013, p. 113). This generally means that the leader cultivates a friendly working environment where the workers are encouraged to share their problems and are encouraged to make suggestions about issues related to their work. The leader provides social support to the subordinates and offers moral leadership by ensuring consistent, fair, and ethical practices and decisions.

Strategic diversity management aimed at improving organizational effectiveness

The world economic landscape keeps on shifting and rapidly becoming increasingly global and more diverse. In virtually every organization in the developing nations as well as in the developed economies, embracing diversity is the in thing. The greatest concern of the 21st century is rather how successful organizations are at exploiting the evolving opportunities while tackling their underlying challenges as well (Hitt et al. 2005, p. 56). Achieving such a great feat depends solely on how intelligent organizational operatives are at observing as well as interpreting the dynamics of the world under which it operates. Cultivating a global mindset is essentially a key ingredient that is required for nurturing such intelligence.

The environment under which most organizations subsist is more than ever before, complex, global, dynamic, extremely volatile, and still highly competitive. This trend is likely to remain, and even escalate in the years to come, especially regarding the ever-changing market trends (Schirato & Webb 2003, p. 34). Apart from these external conditions, research documents that numerous organizations currently face many global challenges, especially those linked with talent flow, generational conflict – including the shortage of much-desired competencies (Fisher 2009, p. 348). The authors hypothesize that among the major institutional challenges for most organizations is that their lifeline depends solely on their propensity and wish to be global. Besides, organizations aspiring to be on the global map have to be systematic, especially in managing their human resource capacities. Essentially, this aims at streamlining the organization in an attempt to secure organizational effectiveness and sustain a competitive advantage.

According to the Global Leadership and Organisational Behaviour Effectiveness Research Programme (GLOBE), cultural differences between a leader and the followers can hinder or aid the effectiveness and success of leadership. An example is Pepsi’s strategy to improve its image in Saudi Arabia. After entering the Saudi Arabian market, Pepsi identified various strategies of survival in the market that the government initially closed to foreign investors. After a conclusive SWOT and PESTEL analysis, Pepsi developed workable measures of remaining relevant in the competitive multicultural economy. Pepsi invests in quality marketing, branding, and packaging since its greatest rival Coca-Cola equally provides similar services.

To be unique, the company introduced the Pepsi diet, which has fiber that helps in reducing weight gain and improving health. Health consciousness is a major concern in Saudi Arabia, which the Muslim religion strongly supports (Fulop, Linstead, & Lilley 2006, p. 71). In Saudi Arabia, Islam deters residents from consuming alcohol or pork, as they consider such foods unhealthy. The same applies to high-calorie content foods and soft drinks that contain high levels of sugar, preservatives, and carbon. Pepsi realized such concerns and developed a Pepsi diet to increase consumer consciousness about health while enjoying soft drinks. In its adverts, Pepsi uses Saudi locals and celebrities to increase consumer association with the products that it manufactures in the country.

According to Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory, culture instills values in its members, which in turn influences behavior (Mullins, & Christy 2011, p. 71). From this presumption, countries having different cultures will have employees of different behaviors in terms of language, political systems, geographical proximity, and religious beliefs, as organizational leaders have to forge a diverse approach in handling such a multicultural workforce. Hofstede’s model analyses cultural values using power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism-collectivism, and femininity-masculinity.

Applying knowledge of diversity to improve organizational effectiveness

According to Fulop et al. (2006, p. 158), the internal environment of the Coca-Cola Company has a diverse workforce that includes all generations, races, and religions. This culture of absorbing employees from different backgrounds has assisted the company in encouraging product identification among its customers. Markedly, the company has branches in over 200 countries; therefore, absorbing different workforce improves product identification among customers. The company practices workforce flexibility by allowing employees to attend to some of their activities. An employee can choose the schedule that he/she feels to work. This system has enhanced employees’ satisfaction. PepsiCo has also adopted a similar management technique of diversity in employment and using recent technological development to meet its strategic objectives (Barney & Hesterly 2005, p. 22). Moreover, it encourages harmonious relations between employees and management. The two companies in the beverage industry have the opportunity of persuading consumers to use their products. These two multinational companies are competitors; as a result, they have been striving to differentiate their products and services to gain a competitive advantage over one another (Dunning 2001, p. 71).

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Discussion

The increasing levels of diversity and market dynamism have brought stiff competition among organizations, thus forcing them to engage in training of the available workforce, as well as hire competent employees to give them a competitive edge in the crowded market. Technological developments have also brought business services into a single platform where customers in any part of the world can access the products and services of an organization from the internet (Certo & Certo 2006, p. 62). With these drastic changes in business operations, organizations are struggling to be in advantaged positions by attracting, developing, motivating, and retaining productive employees from diverse cultures. This move helps organizations to report high performance with competent employees.

In engaging a competent and diverse workforce organizations to become sustainable in their operations, as they can successfully meet their strategic goals and objectives. HR departments in all organizations have to ensure that they bring out the best from the existing employees. This process does not only touches on hiring and retaining the right people but also touches on making apt decisions that benefit both employees and the organization. Globalization itself continues to challenge companies in a way that prompts them to rethink their strategies, reorganize their institutional structures as well as the desirable competencies of which managers need to possess. The existing studies show that most often organizations do not have sufficient managers within the global outreach (Dumdum, Lowe & Avolio 2002, p. 51). Again, if this phenomenon is not checked in time, then competition for human capital resources such as talent will be more labor-intensive in the years to come.

The fundamental prerequisite that should guide the selection and progression of diverse team’s management is the identification and nurturing of the desired competencies of various sprouting global managers while capitalizing on the already acquired skills. However, most researchers claim that as much as this is important, this is not normally the case and perhaps that is why most organizations have not identified the type of competencies and skills they should emphasize approaching the global agenda. Likewise, others argue that the progression of the talent management process is not well advanced within many organizations (Fulop et al. 2006, p. 159). A recent survey showed that over 50% of organizations are experiencing leadership shortages in various parts of the world. This, as the author observes, was a 40% point increase from the previous year.

Consequently, the authors suggest that a drastic change in thinking skills is essential in tackling the shortfall in talent and its strategic authority in developing new capabilities to manage the crowded global supply chain. Besides, a comprehensive paradigm shift is necessary to grow leadership development, strategy alignment, and workforce planning, as well as enhancing workforce diversity capabilities. However, valuing employees, appreciating the cultures and diversities, and making sure they own the projects of an organization ensures a high rate of employee retention and productivity since these strategies enable employees to understand different points of view on how to work with people from different cultures. Instituting steady rules for all employees is a single strategy that helps in ensuring equal treatment among the employees. Such a rule eliminates chances of discriminatory actions by senior employees on the junior staff from different cultures. An example of such a rule entails the definition of work language.

Conclusion

The ability of corporate leaders to manage their organizations amicably is their capacity to draw a clear distinction between success and failure. Accordingly, the need to identify and develop well-rounded leaders for the future, with a purposeful diversity focus, involves the recognition of the fact that organizations can reap from transfers of knowledge, expertise, skills, and experience that these diverse groups bring to an organization. Most importantly, however, is the balancing act, organisations must learn to balance between global, regional, and local needs. The balancing act is the extent to which managers allow their organizations to reach out to the optimal matrix of local, regional, and global operational preferences alongside the established global standards that have become almost always commonplace in modern-day management.

References

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Amaratunga, D., Ginige, K., Haigh, R., and Thurairajah, N 2008, Role of women leaders in the UK construction industry and their career barriers, University of Salford Press, Salford.

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Anwar, H 2013,Impact of paternalistic leadership on employees’ outcome: A study on the banking sector of Pakistan,’ Journal of Business and Management, vol. 7, no. 6, pp. 109-115.

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