- Briefly discuss the benefits and limitations of the organizational grapevine.
Organizational grapevine refers to the informal communication network that exists in organizations. It allows transferring information (including gossip) among members informally and is based on personal relations and trust. Although grapevine is hard to formally define or implement in the decision-making, the costs and benefits of grapevine cannot be ignored. Firstly, grapevine is usually faster in transmitting information and could allow managers to make more rapid decisions. Grapevine information is usually more flexible as it is not confined within formal communication frameworks. The use of grapevine communication channels could also create a sense of belonging among people involved in such communication and channel information in a better way. The risks of grapevine include information distortion and inaccuracy as well as the risk to exclude relevant parties because of the absence of formal communication channels.
- Briefly discuss the four contingencies of power.
Power contingencies help to understand how power can be effectively transferred into influence. The four contingencies of power are: visibility, substitutability, discretion and centrality. Visibility factor refers to how visible leaders’ power and ownership of unique resources/capabilities are. Substitutability relates to the availability of alternative sources of power in the organization. Discretion shows how free leaders are in making decisions and whether their decision-making power is not hampered by formal rules and procedures. Finally, centrality contingency describes the impact that the absence of the current leader could have on the organization (McShane & Von Glinow, 2005).
- Describe four skills of effective negotiators.
Effective negotiators usually possess four skill-sets: listening, communication, judgement and credibility. Listening is tightly linked to the ability to have a dialogue with the counterparty and to understand opponents’ needs. Communication skills are necessary both for bringing one’s point across and for convincing people about the validity and the strength of the arguments communicated. Judgement is essential for a negotiator at any point of the discussion. It is required for analysing the initial situation, for evaluating the alternatives and opponents’ claims as well as for deciding on the arguments that would be most convincing at a certain moment. Finally, the ability to communicate own credibility is essential for a negotiator, as it is hardly possible to convince somebody if he/she does not fully trust the negotiator’s judgement and opinions (Taylor, 2006).
4. Briefly discuss Servant Leadership.
Servant Leadership is one of the leadership styles that describes a set of practices exercised by a leader, who aims to share power with his/her subordinates, to empower them and to give priority to their needs. The notion was first introduced by Robert K. Greenleaf in 1970. This leadership style is supposed to be very successful in the long-run as it stimulates employee identification with the company, enhances motivation, establishes strong relationships among employees and reinforces positive attitude to customers and other stakeholders. On the other hand, servant leadership is not effective in the short-run and its success is uncertain and requires a balance between addressing employee needs and monitoring performance (Greenleaf, 1970).
5. Discuss three ethical issues in organizational change.
Organizational change often entail three ethical issues: “fairness,” “inequity,” and “deception”. The first one relates to the perceived unfairness of the change due to the fact that nearly any reorganization alters traditional power relationships and disrupts the commonly accepted “fair” status quo. Inequity relates to the fact that new processes and structures redistribute power and benefits in a way that disrupts equilibrium and creates “winners” and “losers”. Lastly, the “deception” issue becomes relevant as the efforts of managers to justify change are perceived by employees as attempts to deceive them and to mask the negative consequences that the change may bring (Sonenshein, 2009).
6. Briefly discuss three types of coordination in organizational structure.
It is possible to distinguish three types of coordination in organizational structure: differentiation, formalization, centralization. Differentiation relates to the differences among departments in terms of structures, expectations and managers’ motivation. High differentiation increases complexity and reduces the ability to coordinate effectively, however it can foster creativity and enhance effectiveness of units in performing specific tasks. Formalization refers to standardization of common processes and procedures. High formalization fosters coordination but results in rigidity within the organization. Finally, centralization describes the dispersion of decision-making within the organization. High centralization usually entails better coordination, however reduces flexibility and the speed of decision-making (Debela & Hagos, 2011).
Debela, T., & Hagos, A. (2011). The design and implementation of business process reengineering in the ethiopian public sector. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa. Retrieved from http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=rlnlReaeDlYC&printsec=frontcover
Greenleaf, R. (1970). The servant as leader. Retrieved from http://www.benning.army.mil/infantry/199th/ocs/content/pdf/The Servant as Leader.pdf
McShane, S. L., & Von Glinow, M. A. Y. (2005).Organizational behavior. (3rd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Irwin.
Sonenshein, S. (2009). Emergence of ethical issues during strategic change implementation. Organization Science, 20(1), 223-239. doi: 10.1287/orsc.1080.0364
Taylor, J. (2006). A survival guide for project managers. (2nd ed.). New York, NY: AMACOM.