The present report delves into implications that individual freedom and organizational control will have to the future organization. The first part of the report explains the changes that are taking place in the world of business and how the use of traditional organizational control strategies by some contemporary organizations limit individual freedom. The succeeding part explains what individual freedom at work entails. The third section describes the topic of organizational control and the control strategies that are used in organizations including concertive control, bureaucratic control, cultural control, technical control, and simple control. The concertive control and cultural control promote employee freedom while bureaucratic control, technical control, and simple control limit employee freedom. The subsequent section of the report discusses the balance between individual freedom and organizational control and maintains that the contemporary organizational leaders ought to adopt a control system, which strikes a good balance between the two. The fifth and sixth parts describe the implications of individual freedom and organizational control to the future organization respectively. The paper maintains that individual freedom and less hierarchical organizational controls will empower the employees and, as a result, lead to numerous benefits such as increased productivity, improved effectiveness, increased creativity and innovation, and strong co-worker relationships, among others to the future organization.
There are enormous changes that are happening in the world of business. The forces that are facilitating these changes include the economic uncertainty, globalization, and information technology consumerization. According to Hooper and Newlands (2009), businesses expand beyond their national borders due to globalization. In fact, the force of globalization is changing how organizations are carrying out their business both at home and overseas markets. The environment in which organizations operate is quickly changing, implying that the future organizations will be entirely different from the current ones. Among the fundamental organizational facets that are changing are workplace and space, internal structure, value creation, and external networks. The role of the office, where and how personnel work and the workplace nature are quickly transforming. Additionally, organizations are doing away with the traditional hierarchical structures. Moreover, organizations are changing their business models and priorities through value creation. What is more, there are changes happening in organizational innovation nature, as well as, how the business process are operated as a result of the access of talent outside the organizations. According to Morgan (2015), the future organization will be globally distributed with small teams, the employees that cooperate with each other, the flatter structure, shorter term loyalty to products and individuals, and innovation anytime and everywhere. These factors suggest that the future organization will be totally different from the current organization.
Some of the present-day organizations still have hierarchical structures that limit individual freedom. These organizations have not embraced the change taking place in the world of business, and the problem starts with the management. Kotter (1996) implies that a major change in organizations is difficult unless the organization leaders are active supporters. Thus, the organization managers and leaders play an imperative role in bringing about transformation. Some organizations still function according to the bureaucratic principles and practices that are designed to maximize specialization, efficiency, predictability, and standardization. The lack of individual freedom makes these organizations less engaging, innovative, and adaptable. The hierarchical structures facilitate the absence of individual to individual communication that is crucial to teamwork. The fixed authority in these organizations contributes to the lack of employee commitment. The employees lack the power to determine the way to achieve their goals. The effective control facilitates the realization of organizational goals. In organizations, control is greatly connected to individual freedom and choice. Consequently, organizational control touches on the subjects of decentralization and centralization, autocracy and democracy, and general supervision versus close supervision. It is noteworthy to note that individual freedom and organizational control will have huge implications for the future organization. The success of the organizations will be greatly determined by the balance between employee freedom and control.
Individual Freedom at Work
In the past, the connection between efficient production in organizations and individual freedom was perceived as problematic. The freedom of the employees was seen as a potential problem that had to be constrained. The workers who fought for their freedom at work were expelled. In the 21 century, individual freedom has turned out to be an imperative factor for the development and success of organizations. The bureaucratic principles of organizational control have been heavily criticized. Bureaucracy restrains the individual freedom due to the divisions it creates within organizations. The scope of individual freedom has been expanded by the advancement in technology. The freedom to express oneself, challenge, choose, and associate has been expanded by the mobile and digital technologies. Nevertheless, some contemporary organizations have not embraced individual freedom at work. These organizations still function according to the traditional bureaucratic principles and practices, which explains why there is little passion, creativity, and initiative. The individuals in any organization need the freedom to connect, create, contribute, choose, and challenge to work effectively and facilitate organizational success.
Granting employees the freedom to connect contributes to the creation of teamwork, which is vital to the success of any organization. Those organizations, which know the significance of individual freedom a place of work gain more benefits than those that do not. However, some of the present day organizations are still culturally and structurally biased against taking risks. It is crucial to mention that creativity originates from risk-taking. These organizations do not have the necessary mechanisms, resources, and time for discovering the new directions. They also lack the process for rewarding the successes, which result from creation. As a result, these organizations do not give their employees the freedom to improvise and experiment their skills. In other words, these organizations deny their employees the freedom to creativity.
These organizations closely connect contribution with the formal level that an employee has. Consequently, the individuals that have passions or talents that are not in line with their work responsibilities are denied the chance to contribute. Besides, some organizational leaders fail to grant their subordinates the freedom to participate in the organizational success. With regards to the freedom to choose, the responsibilities in a variety of these organizations are allocated from the top down. They do not give their workers choice over how they work, where they work, and with whom they work. In particular, the workers are not given the freedom to choose their favorite place to work, as well as, their preferred workmates. These organizations also fail to grant individuals the freedom to challenge. The individuals who challenge how the work is done are punished, and their lives made uncomfortable.
The organization that promotes individual freedom encourages creativity and innovation that are crucial to its success. Substituting control with individual freedom inspires the workers to see themselves as helpers, who are engaged profoundly in realizing the goals of the organization. These employees participate in making crucial decisions in their organizations. In the organizations that embrace individual freedom, the management enables the employees in meeting their personal and mutual goals. Instead of punishing the subordinates, the organizational leaders encourage them to learn from their mistakes. The management nurtures employee growth. Individual freedom at work removes the distractions of fear and uncertainty that prevents the employees from giving their best. However, unleashing individual freedom within organizations is a difficult task because it requires undoing the already extremely-rooted administration practices and principles. It requires the organizational leaders to make tough decisions. The contemporary business environment has made individual freedom critical for the success of any organization. It is high time for the organizational leaders to embrace freedom in their institutions. However, these leaders should not take the decision to change their organizational culture from control-based culture into a freedom-based culture lightly. It is only those organizations, which balance organizational control and employee freedom that survive and compete with others successfully. Freedom goes together with responsibility. The employees ought to exercise their freedoms with a lot of responsibilities.
Organizational control is any process in which an individual or an organization of individuals decide what another individual or organization of individuals will do. Flamholtz (1996) maintains that organizations need control as they comprise individuals with different perspectives, tasks, and interests. For this reason, effective control in organizations make sure that individuals do not act in manners that only fulfill their personal goals, but act towards the realization of goals. Ideally, organizational control is a communicative activity that involves overcoming resistance and exercising power over others. In organizations, the supervisors and managers control the activities of their juniors through written directives and verbal commands. The organizational control ensures that organizations are effective. Without the proper control systems, different individuals in organizations make decisions that only fulfill their needs instead of the overall goals of the organizations. Additionally, organizational controls ensure that the activities carried out within an organization are consistent. The management relies on organizational controls when making decisions. In essence, managers know the organizational problems and how to go about solving these problems through the organizational controls. In essence, organizational controls offer the information about the employee performance and outcomes of operations.
The process of organizational control begins with the establishment of the performance standards. The management sets specific, acceptable, measurable, and clear standards or objectives. The second step of organizational control involves measuring the performance. In the third step, the management takes the necessary actions depending on the performance. Every act of organizational control has the symbolic and pragmatic implication. Symbolically, organizational control has a psychological significance to the involved employees and managers. Ideally, control may mean reprimand, inferiority, superiority, guidance, submission, or dominance. Programmatically, the organizational control means something about what an employee should or should not do and the freedom that he has, or he does not have. In organizations, the differences in control strategies have critical impacts on the satisfactions, reactions, well-being, tension feelings, and frustrations of employees. Besides, these strategies have implications for the organizational performance.
Organizational Control Strategies
The organizational leaders use different control methods to influence the behavior of their subordinates. These control methods include concertive control, bureaucratic control, cultural control, technical control, and simple control as below described.
The managers use the concertive control to promote a robust feeling of empowerment and ownership among the employees. For this reason, concertive control is successful in the organization whose management is team-based. The managers encourage the employees to take the responsibility for their peer’s actions. The employees are also empowered to take control of their behavior. As a result, every team member in the organization that embraces concertive control is a subordinate and a supervisor at the same time. As a type of organizational control, concertive control empowers the employees to make their regulations and rules (Gossett, 2009). For this reason, concertive control promotes individual freedom.
According to Gossett (2009), the bureaucratic method of organizational control depends on the rule systems to impact the behaviors of the employees and enable collective action. The organizational managers who use bureaucratic control create the rule systems to help them direct employee behavior. These rule systems facilitate decision-making and define how specific tasks in the organizations are performed. Additionally, the organizational leaders use the rule systems to assess whether employees comply with the directives they give them. The bureaucratic control discourages employee freedom.
The organizational leaders that use the cultural control technique of organizational control refer to the social and communal features of the organizational life to influence the behavior of their workforces. The managers convince the subordinates to make organizationally suitable decisions and embrace organizational values (Gossett, 2009). The cultural control technique of organizational control facilities the formation of robust personal connections among the employees. Besides, it improves the loyalty of the employees toward their organization. Just like the concertive control, the cultural control promotes individual freedom at work.
The technical control strategy of organizational control depends on technological intervention to substitute for the managers’ presence. It entails the use of technical devices, for example, conveyor belts to direct the production pace (Gossett, 2009). Besides, the use of technological devices help the management in assessing the degree to which the employees are violating the agreed upon policies. As a result, the subordinates cannot challenge the directives given hence this organizational control strategy does not support individual freedom.
Under the simple control strategy, a manager offers directions to the subordinates, appraises their performance, and administers the necessary disciplinary actions. The relationship between the employees and organizational leaders greatly determines the success of simple control strategy (Gossett, 2009). In essence, the subordinates are not given the chance to take part in the process of organizational control. Thus, the simple control method does not promote individual freedom. In the large organizations, simple control is complicated.
Balance between Individual Freedom and Organizational Control
The employees and managers in organizations have competing interests that complicate the process of organizational control. While employees try to find ways to capitalize on their personal compensation, managers attempt to capitalize on employee productivity at the lowest cost. The contemporary worker movements have criticized the use of traditional organizational controls despite the transformation in the nature of organizations. The modern types of organizations are more reactive, as well as adaptable in the present day fast changing world. Compared to the past hierarchical organizations, the contemporary organizations nurture employee empowerment through granting them individual freedom. The top management of the contemporary organizations should do away with the traditional hierarchical organizational controls.
Individual freedom and organizational control are primarily not mutually exclusive. On one hand, organizations need to embrace employee freedom to facilitate an innovation promoting the environment. Alternatively, it is necessary for organizations to implement control mechanisms that help in directing the efforts of their employees in the correct strategic direction. Nonetheless, the incorrect form of organizational control might limit the subordinate creativity and, as a result, lead to poor performance. Organizations need to come up with a working strategy that is goal-directed, well-articulated, and offers the needed structure to enable individual freedom, as well as the success. Most organizations pretend to grant their employees freedom, but in the real sense they do not emancipate them from control. They control them in all the aspects and, as a result, deny them the opportunity to participate in the organizational success. Consequently, these organizations lack a balance between freedom and control. It is the duty of the contemporary organizational leaders to adopt a control system, which strikes a good balance between individual freedom and organizational control.
Implications of Individual Freedom to the Future Organization
The future organization will manage a multigenerational workforce. It will be more innovative and engaging than the current organization. The level of collaboration will be very high. There will be extra new collaborative technologies that will further influence how the future organization will function. In fact, these technologies have already given employee freedom, as well as, flexibility to work on any device, anytime, and anywhere. The employees will need more freedom including the freedom to experiment with innovative ideas, pursue their passions, challenge the traditional thinking, ignore the hierarchy, and choose their work. Additionally, these employees will be more vocal in demanding their right to freedom compared to the current employees. Moreover, the information will be completely opened up unlike in the current organization. The technologies will encourage, as well as, support new behaviors, for example, information and ideas sharing, being transparent and open, creating communities, and collaboration.
The enhanced individual freedom in the future organization will greatly empower the employees. These employees will have more control and input over their work. Besides, they will have the capability to share openly ideas and suggestions regarding their work. The future organization will give employees a great stake in making decisions that will directly impact their jobs. The increased individual freedom in the future organization will allow the employees to access more information. Since information is power, the knowledgeable employees will primarily be better prepared to access services, negotiate effectively, exercise their rights, capitalize on opportunities, and hold the organizational leaders accountable. Additionally, these employees will have increased participation in the crucial activities of the organization. Ideally, employee empowerment as a result of increased individual freedom will mean a lot to the future organization. The empowered employees will be greatly conscientious, loyal, and committed to the organization. Besides, individual freedom will enhance employee morale, encourage creative thinking, foster strong coworker relationships, enhance customer service, and improve productivity.
The increased individual freedom in the future organization implies that employees will be involved in policy changes and decisions, which will directly impact their careers. As a result, this will empower them to be more autonomous and increase their morale significantly. The organization will treat them as crucial assets and give their input consideration. They will be more confident in performing their duties. As a result, the organization will benefit from employee enhanced morale significantly. In essence, the improved employee morale will increase their loyalty to the organization hence reduce the rate of turnover. Besides, these employees will be very committed to the organization and will always offer their best toward the realization of organizational goals. The increased morale due to freedom also implies that the employees will increase their longevity with the organization. Granting them freedom will make them feel appreciated hence they will endeavor to establish long-term and permanent association with the organization. Consequently, the increased longevity of employees with the organization will make them more experienced and, thus, benefit the organization more as they will be used to mentor the new workers. Individual freedom will, therefore, improve employee morale that will result in the realization of the organizational goals.
Increased creativity and innovation
The individual freedom in the future organization will increase employee creativity. The freedom to connect, create, contribute, choose, and the challenge will make the employees feel valued. Accordingly, they will engage in creative and critical thinking, which will facilitate innovation in the organization. The creative and critical thinking among the employees will make the feel more brilliant and proficient to devise situations in exceptional ways that can result in improved product development. Consequently, these employees will find exceptional ways to revise the inefficient organizational policies and market the services and products of the organization to the clients. It is important to mention that employee creativity will help nurture an innovation culture in the organization. Employee freedom will make them feel welcomed in providing problem-solving ideas and solutions during the challenging times in the organization. The employee opportunity to participate in finding solutions to the organization problems will nurture their growth and lead to more imaginative and critical thinking. The individual freedom will create suitable situations for innovation and creativity in the organization. Besides, it will lead to improved personal psychological well-being of the employees in the organization. As a result, this will encourage more creativity and innovation in employees and make the organization gain the competitive advantage.
Strong co-worker relationships
Individual freedom will nurture a spirit of collaboration in the future organization. The employees will have freedom to connect with their managers and fellow employees. The employees will freely interact with each other. Besides, the employees will not depend much on their supervisors and managers in executing their duties since more individual freedom will lead to increased self-governance. Consequently, the organization will benefit from strong employee working relationships. For one, the strong co-worker relationships will make the employees more engaged in their roles and lead to improved satisfaction. They will feel more comfortable working with their peers and, thus, offer their best. They will focus more on the organization goals and objectives rather than spending much energy and time solving the problems related to negative working relationships. It will be easy for the organization to realize its objectives and goals. Additionally, they will work together as family and increase the organization productivity. The strong working relationships will give employees more freedom to choose how to work. The managers and supervisors will not need to be with the workers at all the times since they will govern themselves and choose the working methods that will best suit them. Moreover, the strong co-worker relationships will result in the creation of high-quality outcomes in the organization.
Improved customer service
The employee empowerment due to the increase in individual freedom in the future organization will lead to improved customer service. The empowered employees will offer excellent customer service. They will promote the image of the organization in the ways they will deem fit since they will have the power to make the decisions. Additionally, freedom will make them create a sensation of true customer service, which will eventually produce much-improved loyalty among the customers. The organization will benefit from improved customer loyalty. In essence, there will be an increase in customer referrals. As a result, the organization will increase market share and gain a competitive edge. Other than improved customer loyalty, better customer service will also reduce the marketing costs of the future organization. The organization will not spend much in advertising services and products. Besides, the organization will have an improved market position. The employees will also feel pride and satisfied when serving the loyalty customers. Better customer service will also facilitate the growth of the organization by increasing the number of times the clients will shop and the money each client will spend in every transaction. The organization will, thus, get numerous benefits due to improved customer service from the autonomous employees.
The employee involvement and empowerment due to increased freedom will directly translate into the rise in productivity in the future organization. The freedom to contribute will give the workers the chance to give their ideas concerning the way to minimize costs and raise productivity in the organization. The employees will feel self-assured that the organization will value, heed to, and act upon their input and, thus, share their ideas about improving the organization productivity. The future organization will give its workers more freedom and at the same time expect them to take responsibility and be more self-sufficient. Consequently, these employees will become more resourceful as they will learn to steer their obligation by depending less on their supervisors and managers for direction. The organizational leaders will not spend much time on directing and supervising the employees hence they will have a better opportunity to push their organizations forward toward achieving the prearranged goals and objectives. Additionally, the organization will give the employees the freedom to make decisions about how to minimize the costs of production. The employees will feel treasured and work hard to come up with better and working solutions. For this reason, the individual freedom within the future organization will facilitate the increase in production.
Implications of Organizational Control to the Future Organization
The future organization will completely flatten hierarchies since any employee will have the freedom to communicate or connect with everyone else in the organization irrespective of seniority. Additionally, the future organization will draw attention toward more generative, effective, adaptive, and perceptive concept. The absence of hierarchies will lead to strong employee involvement in the activities of the organizations. The organizations will completely do away with the organizational controls that limit the individual freedom at work such as bureaucratic control, simple control, and technical control and replace them with organizational controls that promote employee freedom such as cultural control, concertive control, and many others. These organizational controls will promote employee freedom at work. As a result, this will make employees pay more attention while working toward the predetermined organizational goals. The beneficiary will be the organization as the employees will work hard and deliver distinctive results.
Some of the contemporary organizations are still operated in the hierarchical environment that keep the power of decision-making entirely in the hands of the managers and supervisors. Nevertheless, the future organizations will be more flattened. They will have fewer management levels than the current organizations. As a result, the employees of future organizations will have more space to make decisions. The personnel will feel more responsible for the success of the organization and provide their best. The use of organizational controls that promote individual freedom in the future organization will also facilitate the creation of self-managed teams. These teams will be made of a limited number of committed and disciplined individuals. The organization will select the most appropriate and qualified employees when forming the teams and give them enough freedom to choose how to work effectively. In fact, there will be a minimal supervision of these self-driven teams. The organizational leaders will not struggle to control these teams since they will be Self-driven and result-oriented. These teams will work hard toward the achievement of organizational goals.
The organizational controls that promote individual freedom will also increase effectiveness in future organizations. The future organization will be more effective in realizing the prearranged results than the contemporary organization. The organizational controls that will be in use will facilitate talent management. In essence, the future organization will be deliberate and strategic in the way it will source, attract, choose, develop, train, promote, and retain the staff members. The organization will give employees the opportunity to demonstrate their talents and nurture them to produce the best. Additionally, the future organization will exhibit strengths in crucial areas such as decision-making and leadership. Every individual in the organization will be involved in decision-making. Also, the organization leadership will be more effective because managers and supervisors will allow the employees to challenge their leadership. The absence of hierarchies will improve team effectiveness. The employees will be free to enquire anything from their fellow employees in all parts of the world. As a result, they will work well together, specifically in creating new ideas as well as innovation. The improvement in team effectiveness will ultimately result in organizational effectiveness. The future organization will have the capability to produce the anticipated outcomes with a least possible expenditure of material and human resources, money, and time.
The future organization will no longer operate in the closed and centralized environment, but will go past this boundary. In fact, this will ease the increase in communication in all levels of the organization and outside environment. The structure of the future organization will be a networked organizational structure. For this reason, the organization will engage in activities like downsizing and outsourcing. The organization will reduce costs substantially and expand business coverage through outsourcing. Also, the absence of organizational controls that limit individual freedom at work will make the future organization work hard to try to find numerous opportunities to cater for the needs of clients in a better way. Specifically, the future organization will provide superior services and products to cater complex customer needs because it will involve all the employees in decision-making. The process of decision-making will be simple because there will be no hierarchies, which are known to slow the process.
Some of the present-day organizations have not embraced the transformation taking place in the business world. These organizations are primarily designed for control, implying that they still strictly control their employees, information, and budgets. They are operated in hierarchical environments that limit individual freedom, which is crucial to the success of organizations. The future organization will embrace change fully by promoting freedom at work and abandoning the traditional hierarchical structures. The employees will have more freedom at work since there will be minimal supervision. As a result, the use of organizational controls that promote individual freedom in the future organizations will lead to several benefits to the future organizations.
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