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Understanding And Managing Of Difficult Colleagues Commerce Essay

The intent of this study is to see a personal direction of people ‘problem ‘ within the wide context of organizational behavior and human resource direction. The peculiar job focuses around the behavior of one person who is a equal of the writer. As the writer has no direct line direction authorization over the person, practical actions by the writer are hence limited.

The job is hence examined through an geographic expedition of the possible causes of the behavior of the person in inquiry to enable the writer to understand and cover more efficaciously with the person concerned.

Whilst there are many factors that can impact workplace behavior ( Hanna, Burns, & A ; Backhouse, 2000 ) , for the intents of this study, the followers are considered: organizational context, employee motive, and civilization.

Theory is considered and suitably applied to the issue to help apprehension and to help with the finding of classs of action available to the writer to take.

Finally the study concludes with a personal contemplation of the acquisition gained through transporting out this undertaking within the DMS/MBA ‘Managing Peoples in Organisations Module ‘

The Problem

The writer works for the Children ‘s Workforce Development Council ( CWDC ) , which is a public sector organic structure set up to back up work force reform across the kids and immature people ‘s work force. It has seen a rapid growing since it began five old ages ago and presently employs over 200 staff, most of who are based in Leeds though many senior directors are home workers.

The writer leads one of four sub-teams within a peculiar programme of work covered by a larger squad. For the intents of this assignment these are referred to as Teams A, B, C and D. The squad that the writer has duty for is squad A which deals with a figure of cross cutting facets of the programme i.e. communications, rating. This requires close affair with the other sub-teams which lead on cardinal undertakings within the programme. At the beginning of this undertaking, Teams A and B were managed by line director X and squads C and D by line director Y. All squads are now under the direction of line Manager X. Each of the squad has one or two junior members of staff.

Team C director is a director who behaves in a forceful manner frequently ruling squad and director meetings. On occasions, she has sulked when non acquiring her manner. Her ain staff every bit good as those in other squads have commented on her manner as they feel that they can non lend to meetings for fright of holding their positions dismissed or upsetting her. Team director C has besides attempted to enforce her ways of working on others.

Recently the relationship between the writer and squad director C became strained as a consequence of what was thought to be a private conversation between the writer and her line director Y. Unbeknown to the writer, squad director C was listening to this conversation as line director Y was on hands-free in the auto in which she was a rider. The writer has made attempts to decide the troubles but squad C director has non wished to prosecute, including on one juncture walking off in cryings.

Since so squad director C has colluded with squad director D to inquiry and undermine determinations made by the writer including in secret turning to senior director for support for their positions.

A restructure across the whole administration is taking topographic point along with a restructuring of the work countries within the four sub-teams. The result of this is that there will merely be one overall squad line director ( X ) and that single squad countries of work will alter, as good line direction duties. The writer ‘s squad have expressed the position that they do wish to be managed by squad C director because of her mode and bossy manner.

As the writer ‘s squad ‘s work covers transverse cutting activities, there will be increased coaction between all squads within programme. It will hence be critically of import that the writer make a more effectual working relationship with squad director C. Given the squad restructure it is besides of import that a better civilization is created across the squad that allows all squad members to lend and that greater squad working is achieved. This in bend is of extreme importance to the squad and the administration in order to accomplish its strategic and operational ends.

Alternate issues within this job such as pull offing staff through structural alteration have non been chosen due to the wide nature of that subject and the ability to act upon it being limited due the structural alteration non significantly impacting my squad.

The personal desire to concentrate this study on a disputing scenario in order to develop the writer ‘s cognition, accomplishments and personal resiliency, has besides influenced the pick of subject for this assignment. The latter being something that the writer has identified as portion of his ongoing personal development through personal reappraisals and work originating out of the Personal and Professional Development Module within the DMS/MBA programme.

Organisational Context

The starting point for this undertaking is to see human behavior in the overall organizational context of CWDC, which Rollinson ( 2002 ) argues is critical for directors to make in order to execute their function efficaciously ( Rollinson, 2002 ) . A farther ground for making so is that single behaviors are affected by ‘variety of stimulations, generated by their work puting ‘ ( Robertson, 1994 ) .

CWDC can be described as holding a level construction with 6 degrees of staffing, sitting between Drucker ‘s maximal seven degrees and Peter ‘s upper limit of five ( as referenced in Vecchio, 2000 ) . It is besides one that can be defined as centralised ( Vecchio, 2000 ) . This is unsurprising given that it is a public sector administration where, as Mullins puts it, ‘there is a greater demand for answerability, regularity of processs and uniformity of intervention ‘ ( Mullins 2005 ) .

Assorted authors have identified a figure of theories and attacks around pull offing people in administrations, which have developed over the last hundred old ages viz. ,

Classical – which incorporates the scientific direction of work undertakings and where people were seen as machines and that pecuniary wages was the lone motivational factor ( Mullins, 2002 )

Human dealingss – which stresses that people have societal and personal demands beyond pecuniary wages which motivate them ( Rollinson 2002, Mullins 2005 ) ,

Bureaucratic – where there is a hierarchal construction within which people have specific places and functions and undertakings which are allocated harmonizing to put procedure ( Watson, 1995 ) . CWDC as a big administration can non assist but expose such features ( Mullins, 2005 )

Power, struggle and determinations, where consideration is given to the ways in which the first two three elements can act upon how determinations were made ( Handy,1999 )

Open systems, where and administration is viewed as a system which processes inputs and end products with connected sub-systems ( Mullins, 2005 ) non sealed off from the external environment and hence affected by it ( Rollinson, 2002 ) . In peculiar the construct of sing administrations a socio-technical systems which contain sub-systems which involve single feelings, demands and motives every bit good as interpersonal dealingss and people behaviors ( Mullins, 2005 ) . This is peculiarly relevant to this undertaking and is explored in more item subsequently.

Contingency – where there is ‘no one best construction ‘ as with the classical attack and how an administration operates is determined by ‘variables or situational factors ‘ including size, engineering, what it does and its environmental influences ( Mullins, 2005 ) . This attack is frequently seen as a signifier of unfastened systems theory as it emphasises how the internal workings should accommodate to run into external influences ( Maula, 2006 ) .

Institutional ( Handy, 1999 ) where administrations are seen as unique and where all of the above apply in some manner and where civilization plays a immense portion ( Handy, 1999 ) . Linked to this is besides the motion towards quality betterment, peculiarly the Nipponese organizational civilization of engagement of the work force to better quality ( Vecchio, 2000 ) .

Using the above theories and attacks to CWDC, the writer would measure CWDC as being ‘institutional ‘ with some strong elements of ‘bureaucracy ‘ every bit good as ‘open ‘ systems.

Miles and Snow ( 1978 ) put frontward a model which suggests that administrations should suit their constructions and procedures to their organizational scheme ( Miles & A ; Snow, 1978 ) . Four scheme types are identified: guardians ( who focus on a narrow market and strive for stableness and efficiency and is associated with centralization ) ; prospectors ( who look for new chances and invention and flexibleness and associated with de-centralisation ) ; analysers ( a combination of guardians and prospectors ) and reactors ( who do n’t hold a scheme and simply respond to the external environment as it changes ) ( Miles and Snow, 1978 ) .

Andrews et Al, 2009 in their survey which tested the pertinence of the Miles and Snow theoretical account to the populace sector found that there was some pertinence to public sector of the Miles and Snow ‘s theoretical account ( Andrews et al, 2009 ) . Therefore using it to CWDC, it is contended that CWDC is an analyzer which peculiarly focuses on centralization but besides attempts to introduce. This in bend influences the civilization within CWDC.

Morgan ( 2006 ) offers an alternate manner of sing administrations, by seting frontward ‘a manner of believing ‘ to understanding administrations through the usage of metaphors ( Morgan, 2006 ) . Whilst each of the metaphors may hold restrictions ( Rollinson, 2002 ) , the cardinal metaphors applied to CWDC are that it can be seen as a mixture of ‘machine ‘ , ( which links to the thoughts approximately bureaucratism as above ) ‘culture ‘ and at this minute of clip due to its structural alterations in ‘flux and transmutation ‘ metaphor. The civilization metaphor which states that administrations can be viewed as a system where members portion common beliefs and values and premises and that civilization has monolithic influence on behavior ( Rollinson 2002 ) is peculiarly disposed for this undertaking. Sing CWDC as a cultural system or a system of sub-cultures ( Rollinson, 2002 ) is explored in more item below.

Intrinsic in each of the above theories and models is the demand to see how they affect the person. Team director C is a comparative fledgling to CWDC holding come from a local authorization merely under a twelvemonth ago. She frequently states that she had significantly more autonomy and control of budgets and operations in her old employment. This clashes with the above appraisal of CWDC in peculiar the bureaucratic and controlling nature of CWDC, and is hence arguably impacting her felicity within CWDC and as such doing her to respond in the manner she is making. She may besides experience that the different civilization at CWDC is non to her liking and in bend is impacting her motive. Both of these facets are now explored in farther item.


The construct of organizational civilization has grown in importance over the old ages ( Schein, 2004 ) and is really relevant when sing organizational behavior ( Rollinson, 2002 ; Mullins, 2005 ) . Organizational civilization affects ‘how determinations are made, the forms and mode of behavior and employee motive and satisfaction degrees ‘ ( Williams, Dobson, & A ; Walters, 1993 ) .

However at that place does non look to be a individual in agreement definition of civilization ( Rollinson, 2002 ; Mullins, 2005 ; Vecchio, 2000 ; Schein, 2004 ) .

One of most favoured definitions is that given by Schein, who states it is ;

‘A form of basic premises that a given group has invented, discovered or developed in larning to get by with its jobs of external adaptation and internal integrating and that have worked good plenty to be considered valid and therefore to be taught to new members as the right manner to comprehend, believe and experience in dealingss to these jobs ‘ ( Schein 2004 ) ,

Schein so goes on to state that there are three related degrees of civilization which are layered dependent on their visibleness ( Schein, 2004 ) . These are ‘basic implicit in premises ‘ ( the deepest unconscious embedded degree of taken for given beliefs ) ; ‘espoused beliefs and values ‘ ( which flow from the basic premises and are the witting values and beliefs that are so articulated in schemes, ends and doctrines ) and eventually the ‘artefacts ‘ ( the most externally seeable manifestations of civilization such as office layouts, group member behavior ) .

A tool that builds on Schein and can be used to find the current civilization at CWDC is the cultural web ( Johnson, Scholes, & A ; Whittington, 2008 ) . The tool looks at six different facets of the administration and helps to place any obstructions to accomplishing cultural alteration. For the intents of this undertaking a cultural web analysis of CWDC was conducted with three co-workers and the consequences are shown in appendix 1.

Whilst the tool is chiefly used for informing schemes for civilization alteration, as it used to see the spread between the present civilization and coveted civilization, it is however utile for this undertaking as it provides a image of the civilization of CWDC now. The analysis shows that within CWDC there is already a civilization of important control in topographic point and squad director C ‘s desire to enforce extra her ain controls is doing staff to experience that they do non wish to be managed by her.

Another construct worth sing at this phase is organizational clime. Whilst the footings civilization and clime clasp similarities and are used interchangeably ( Al-Shammari, 1992 ) , they have historically and academically been viewed as separate constructs ( Rollinson, 2002 ) .

Orthodox theory sing clime says it ‘refers to a state of affairs and is linked to ideas, feelings, and behaviors of organisational members ‘ ( Denison, 1996 ) and civilization as mentioning to ‘an evolved context within which a state of affairs may be embedded ‘ ( Denison, 1996 ) .

Denison argued that these differences have emerged as a consequence of differing academic attacks to these countries and refer to the same phenomenon i.e. the creative activity and influence of societal contexts in administrations ( Denison, 1996 ) . For the intents of this undertaking the more Orthodox theoretical distinction is nevertheless used.

Mullins refers to organizational clime as:

‘the prevailing atmosphere environing the administration, to the degree of morale and to the strength of feelings or belonging, attention and good will among members ‘ ( Mullins 2005 )

Climate recognises perceptual experiences and feelings of the person and as such can impact their public presentation and relationships with co-workers. Organizational clime is measured through an person ‘s perceptual experience of a figure of factors frequently utilizing graduated tables based questionnaires ( Rollinson, 2002 ) . A figure of factors are measured and dependant on the persons perception the consequences can be put on a graduated table of ‘psychologically exciting ‘ to ‘stultifying ‘ which in bend can find whether an person has a positive or negative temperament to the administration ( Rollinson, 2002 ) .

Four factors are peculiarly relevant to this undertaking, viz. regulations orientation, creativeness, oppugning authorization and sociableness. The tabular array below provides an reading based on the writers position of how each of these factors may be perceived by squad director C



Percept of squad director C

Rules orientation

Whether behavior is led by formal regulations

Feels that there are tonss of regulations

Creativity and preparedness to introduce

Is direction seen as receptive to new thoughts

Feels her thoughts are non taken on board e.g. at team meetings people feel loath to hold to her thoughts

Questioning authorization

Whether it is allowable to oppugn senior degree determinations

On one juncture did oppugn a direction determination and was criticised


Extent to which there is a squad spirit

Does non experience this exists every bit on occasions expressed she does non experience portion of it

( adapted from Rollinson 2002 )

The writer ‘s analysis of the above tabular array shows that squad director C ‘s perceptual experience of the administration is at the negative terminal of the graduated table which in bend is impacting her behavior and attitude.

The above shows that organizational factors have a clear relationship to employee behaviors and in relation to this undertaking, the behavior of squad director C. Let us now turn to motive.


Motivation is seen as cardinal factor when sing how to pull off employee public presentation ( Steers, Mowday, & A ; Shapiro, 2004 ) . In this undertaking, nevertheless, motive is considered in order to research the possible grounds for the behavior of Team C director and thereby identify classs of action to take to assist cover with the ‘problem ‘ set out in the debut to this study.

Theories on motive tend to be categorised into two differing types ( Rollinson, 2002, Mullins, 2005 ) :

Content – which focus on ‘what ‘ motivates and includes people ‘s demands and wants as drivers

Process – which focus on the how behavior is created and maintained and emphasises the existent procedure of motive.

( Rollinson, 2002, Mullins, 2005, Vecchio, 2000 )

Two specific content theories are now considered and applied to the squad director C. Firstly Maslow ‘s work on motive which suggested that persons had physiological demands, safety demands, love or societal demands, esteem or ego demands and self-actualisation demands ( Mullins 2005 ) . He put frontward the position that persons were motivated by unsated demands ( Mullins, 2005 ) . Maslow presented these demands as a hierarchy which people moved through consecutive until they achieved self-actualisation.

Maslow ‘s theory has been criticised on a figure of evidences e.g. it does non take into history the wider context or is gender colored ( Dye, Mills, & A ; Weatherbee, 2005 ) ; it assumes that one time a demand has been met ‘it no thirster has a motivational consequence ‘ ( Rollinson, 2002 ) , or satisfaction of demands occurs in a peculiar order ( Winfield, Bishop, & A ; Porter, 2000 ) . Nonetheless it has and continues to be used to a great extent by direction and authors as a popular tool to analyze single demands and their comparative importance ( Mullins, 2005 ; Dye, Mills, & A ; Weatherbee, 2005 ) .

Tips and Porter adapted Maslow ‘s theory and identified a set of organizational factors for each of the demands identified by Maslow ( Steers & A ; Porter, 1991, as cited in Mullins 2005 ) . Appendix 2 provides an application of this version to squad director C.

The analysis from this is really interesting as it suggests that merely her basic demands are being met and that other ‘higher degree ‘ 1s are non. Consequently her motive is really low. As such, her defeat at her demands non being met may be the cause of her behavior at work ( Mullins, 2005 ) . Much of her behavior, falls into the displaced aggression ( reasoning with co-workers ) or arrested development ( her pouting behavior ) , classs highlighted by Mullins as the negative responses which emerge from defeat ( Mullins, 2005 ) .

A 2nd content theory which is widely used in direction is Herzberg ‘s motivation-hygiene theory ( Vecchio, 2000 ) . Herzberg identified that there were factors that caused satisfaction ( incentives ) and those that caused dissatisfaction ( hygiene factors ) ( Herzberg, 1987 ) and that each should be treated otherwise and are non antonyms ( Vecchio, 2000 ) .

Incentives are those factors that are intrinsic to the occupation and include for illustration accomplishment, acknowledgment, duty, the work itself and chances for promotion ( Herzberg, 1987 ) . Hygiene factors are extrinsic factors which relate to the work environment and include such things as wage, personal life, security, and relationships with equals and sub-ordinates ( Herzberg, 1987 ) .

Herzberg argues that hygiene factors do non actuate but lack of them can do dissatisfaction and bettering these factors will non needfully be an inducement to actuate people to execute better.

Herzberg ‘s theory has been criticised for being flawed in his research e.g. respondents believing themselves to be the causes of the good things at work ( satisfiers ) and the causes of bad things being blamed on the administration or other external factors ( Mullins, 2005 ; Vecchio, 2000 ) ; or that it is limited in its application to skilled professional workers merely and non manual workers ( Rollinson, 2002 ) .

However such unfavorable judgments have failed to explicate the consistence of Herzberg ‘s consequences ( Bassett-Jones & A ; Lloyd, 2005 ) . Furthermore as with Maslow ‘s theory, Herzberg theory is still widely used and applied ( Rollinson, 2002 ) .

Within this undertaking, Herzberg ‘s theory is interesting as it helpfully points out the importance of interpersonal dealingss as a hygiene factor which if non suitably dealt with can take to dissatisfaction in a function. On a personal degree, the dislocation of dealingss is besides impacting the writer ‘s ain satisfaction with his function. An apprehension of Herzberg theory is besides enabling the writer to understand the possible consequence of the two factors on his ain squad. To cover with this, the writer has held separate treatments with his ain squad members. Both members have stated that the behavior of squad director C towards them and the writer has affected their satisfaction with working for the squad, but non impacting their motive to work.

The other type of motive theory is process theory. This is, as stated antecedently, where the existent procedure of motive is examined, peculiarly in relation to the picks people make based on their perceptual experiences of a the variables around them ( Winfield, Bishop, & A ; Porter, 2000 )

The peculiar procedure theory looked at for this undertaking is the equity theory. This is because it has been shown to be a ‘practical account for why employees perform the manner they do ‘ ( Huseman & A ; Hatfield, 1990 ) .

Equity theory emphasises the fact people ‘s behaviors are influenced by perceptual experiences of unfairness ( Mullins, 2005 ) . A figure of phases happen. First is the comparing phase ( Mullins, 2005 ) where the person would compare ain results ( e.g. , position, working from place ) in relation to have input ( e.g. experience, accomplishments ) to those of others ( e.g. co-workers ) ( Latham & A ; Ernst, 2006 ) .

The theory can be applied to this undertaking because it can be argued that squad director C may be experiencing that she is being treated otherwise to others because of the followers:

her occupation rubric differs from others ;

she feels her country of work does non acquire the support from her bing line director ;

she is a fledgling who does non acquire on good with the squad ;

her position that her petition to work from place should non hold been turned down when she sees others being allowed to work from place.

The following phase within equity theory is tenseness and harmonizing to the theory if a individual feels that the tenseness is excessively great so they will take one of six stairss to take that tenseness ( Adams as cited in Mullins, 2005 ) . The most relevant 1 for this undertaking is that of ‘acting on others ‘ .

Team director C displays this behavior by non leting others to talk at meetings and sabotaging co-workers which are ways in which the inputs and results ( referred to in para 37above ) of others can be diminished. Recently squad director C has besides displayed another one of the six stairss identified by Adams ( Mullins, 2005 ) viz. ‘leaving the field ‘ through bespeaking to work from place and informing other squad directors that she is actively looking for employment outside of CWDC.

In drumhead, motive theory is a helpful manner of assisting the writer to understand the causes of behavior of squad director C. However action to cover with these causes has been limited due to the writer non holding the ability to straight work out those causes e.g. holding no duty for make up one’s minding whether she is allowed to work from place.

As a consequence of the work on the undertaking, the writer has put in topographic point a cardinal inquiry at the terminal of twelvemonth assessment meeting inquiring each of his staff members for their positions on what they perceive as just intervention within the administration and whether there are any factors doing them to experience demotivated or dissatisfied.


Researching the countries of civilization and motive in more item has shown the importance and complexness of these two constructs. This has enabled the writer to pull some really utile penetrations into both how administrations work but besides how those two constructs can impact the behavior of persons.

This will inform the relationship the writer has with squad director C but will be peculiarly helpful for the writer in the direction of his ain staff. As a consequence of the undertaking the writer has instigated a procedure whereby at each supervising session and terminal of twelvemonth reappraisal he will seek a position from his squad on their degrees of motive and satisfaction.

The writer accepts that he would hold liked to hold had direct contact with squad director C to research some of the issues around motive originating from this study. This has been hard due to the reluctance of the person to prosecute. This has meant that the writer has non been able to to the full cover with the issues associating to his relationship with squad director C. However, the undertaking has enabled the writer to discourse many of the issues further with the several line director in a non affectional manner conveying out the thoughts originating out of this undertaking with him.

At an administration degree, the writer has been able to feedback his work on the cultural web to his line director and at the clip of authorship of this study the director has agreed for the cultural web analysis to take topographic point at a future squad directors meeting.

Brooding Statement

I have found this undertaking really ambitious. At the beginning I chose a job non readily associated with the topic of pull offing people as it related to the managing of a hard relationship with a fellow co-worker at the same degree as me instead than pull offing staff. This has been one of the restrictions within this undertaking and because of the sensitivenesss around the person I have been unable within the short period of this undertaking, to experience sufficiently confident to talk straight to her. I have nevertheless held informal treatments with our now shared line director. As an action point for the hereafter I need to garner assurance to be able to talk to her about our relationship utilizing what I have learnt as a footing.

The undertaking was hence an emotion related one and ab initio I found it hard to research the topics within the undertaking in an nonsubjective mode. The undertaking and the faculty as a whole have made me more critical in my attack to pull offing people. Through reading about and analyzing the theories around civilization and motive and using them to the job, has made me more cognizant about my administration and how people behave. It has stressed to me the demand for directors to be sensitive to these factors and to take action to decide or cut down obstructions to motive. I have besides learnt about my ain motivational demands and how these act upon my behavior. I found the theories of Maslow and Herzberg really relevant to me.

Prior to shiping on this undertaking, I had become dismissive of line director C because of her behavior to me and possibly unwittingly had started taking sides with other co-workers who found her hard to work with. The undertaking has made me more understanding of her incentives and behavior and has made me gain that disregarding her or the issues around her is non what I should make as a director and professional. As a consequence I have taken a more understanding behavior towards her looking more objectively as to why she may be acting in the manner she is, every bit good as guaranting that as a director I do non excuse or let other co-workers to do negative comments about her. I am besides listening more carefully to what she says to guarantee that I do non disregard her suggestions on the footing of our relationship.

Learning about some cardinal issues and theories around civilization and motive has besides provided me with some really utile penetrations into my administration. It has enabled me to understand CWDC ‘s behavior particularly around its constructions and ‘bureaucratic ‘ procedure and why its civilization is the manner it is.

I have besides gained cognition which I have been able to utilize in my work context. For illustration, in a recent meeting with co-workers from across the administration, the topic of accomplishing cultural alteration within the context of work force reform was raised. As a consequence of the work on this undertaking I was able to prosecute more to the full in the treatments and set frontward some suggestions which I would non hold been able to antecedently. Not merely did this mean that my part was more effectual than it would hold been if I had non done this undertaking, it besides has given me greater assurance knowing that my cognition base has improved.

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