MANAGING BUSINESS RESPONSIBLY
QuestionOne: Personality Clash
Theimportance of collaboration and cooperation in any workplace cannotbe gainsaid as far as the profitability and sustainability of theorganization is concerned. This is especially considering that theproductivity of workers has a direct bearing on the productivity ofthe entire organization. Needless to say, the productivity of workersis determined on how compatible they are with each other (Cowan,2003,p. 29). Of course, every person is different and bears some unique ordistinctive characteristics. This is essentially what makes peoplecompatible. However, there are instances where individuals working inthe same environment have fundamentally different characteristicsthat make them entirely incompatible (Mathis & Jackson,2008,p. 59). This is called personality clash, which is defined as asituation that occurs when individuals conflict over a particularincident or issue but simply as a result of a fundamentalincompatibility of their style of life, approach to issues, or evenpersonalities.
Asmuch as I may have experienced some sense of compatibility with alarge number of colleagues in my workplace, I have also had apersonality clash with my supervisor. While I would say that both ofus are considerably competent at what we do, we have extremelydifferent personality. He is demanding, confident andaction-oriented. He gets quite worried about missing out onopportunities. In most cases, he is unable to articulate the basisfor the decisions he makes. In fact, I think that they are partlybased on data provided and partly by emotions or gut feeling. Whatmay be even worse is the fact that he makes no effort to spell outwhat exactly he is looking for in his staff or subordinates, althoughhe always knows it when he gets it and even goes as far as rewardingit. However, he always lets the staff know when he does not get it.
Onmy side, I have a considerably more fact-driven and controlledpersonality. I place more faith in on information and well researcheddata than in emotions and personal feelings. I am always worriedabout making any costly mistake, and often take thorough and slowapproach as far as project design and policy change is concerned.
Needlessto say, such a personality clash can be detrimental to theproductivity of the organization, both in the long-term and theshort-term. The boss, undoubtedly, sees me as slow and too careful,while I see him as too demanding and as one who does not really knowwhat he wants. Nevertheless, this personality clash can be exploitedto the benefit of the organization. Of particular note is the factthat the two are committed to ensuring that the losses are cut andopportunities are the best for the company. In essence, getting amediator who would assist them in bringing out their strengths whilesuppressing their weaknesses for the benefit of the organizationwould be imperative (Handel,2003,p. 56). On the same note, it is important that the two hold a talk soas to determine where the other party is coming from. This would,essentially provide an enhanced comprehension of the motivations ofthe other party, thereby promoting more cooperation andcompatibility.
Question2: Breaching experiments
Breachingexperiments are defined as acts of defiance that are performed inpublic and are composed of symbolic and/or actual violations of theknown and accepted definitions and social practices. Scholars havenoted that rituals and norms give rise to sacred objects.Essentially, the moral sentiments that individuals attach to thesacred objects become the basis for moral and social solidarity, aswell as the integration in the society. In instances where thesymbolic objects are violated, there is a reversal of the sentimentspertaining to moral solidarity into a righteous anger directedtowards the violators, as well as their actions.
Itis worth noting that breaching experiments involve breaking of rulesthat are not explicitly stated and that everyone takes for granted.These are things that the society considers wrong but they are yet tobe officially illegal (Scott,2001,p. 37). The unwritten rules are social norms guiding almost everypossible activity in which a human being can engage.
Acase in point is when an individual goes to a retail shop and insteadof taking items from other shoppers’ carts instead of taking itemsfrom the shelves. Of course, this behavior is not illegal but it goesagainst the accepted social norms (Jacksonet al 2009,p. 87). The reasoning is that the shopper from whose cart the itemwas picked had not paid for it in which case it was not legally hisor hers. Further, the “errant” individual may state that he justfound it easier to take the item from the other shoppers’ tray thanfrom the shelves.
Asmuch as breaching experiments can be extremely disorienting, theconversations emerging from them may be helpful in organizations.This is especially in cases where the organization is undergoing achange or an incremental enhancement of its existing capabilities.Scholars have noted that the monotony that emanates from doing thesame things over and over again can cripple innovation and creativity(Crowther &Rayman-Bacchus,2003,p. 49). The monotony creates a situation where employees play by therules both the explicit and implicit ones, in which case they do notthink about what can be done differently so as to enhance thefunctioning of the organization.
Question6: Competencies of Change Agents
Thestrength of any organization is based on its capacity to change andadapt to the existing conditions in the market. Needless to say, themarket in the contemporary human society requires that organizationshave the capacity to adapt to the existing conditions as fast aspossible so as to enhance their competitiveness. Organizationalchange refers to the incremental improvement on the currentcapabilities of the organization. It revolves around reviewing andchanging the management structures and processes of a business to asto stay ahead of competition through doing things in a more efficientand cost-effective manner (Hopkins,2007,p. 85). More often than not, organizational change does not occur byaccident rather it is caused by a deliberate effort of individuals inthe entity, commonly referred to as change agents. These changeagents have certain competencies and characteristics that make themsuccessful in leading or influencing change in the organization.
First,change agents are extremely trustworthy. It is always imperative thatchange agents earn the respect of leaders in the fastest way possibleso as to allow the latter to consider their advice and even factor itin their decisions. Scholars note that such trustworthiness makes thefoundation for a partnership that is cognizant of the values thatindividuals inculcate to the organization. Of particular note is thattrustworthiness has to be demonstrated in every way every timethrough actions such as being insightful and reliable.
Inaddition, change agents are highly resilient. This refers to thecapacity of an individual to take in high levels of an unsettlingchange without showing much dysfunctional behavior. Scholars havenoted that resilient individuals evade the dysfunctions that comewith future shock as they have high capabilities for rebound and arepliable (Mathis & Jackson,2008,p. 49).
Moreover,change agents have high capacity for conflict management. Any changein the organizational structure and processes is often stressing,which may result in dysfunction that is expressed in conflict (Hodson&Sullivan,2012,p. 56). Change agents must have the capacity to remain objective andcalm while assisting other people to iron out their differences inhealing and constructive ways.
Onthe same note, it is imperative that change agents have highlydeveloped communication skills. Communication does not simply involvetelling other people what to do, rather it revolves around a two-wayengaging dialogue, talking and listening. Change agents must have thecapacity to surface the resistance, as well as assist individuals toair out their concerns and fears. Scholars have underlined thedifficulty and essential nature of getting individuals to a pointwhere they would make a decision.
Lastly,change agents must have facilitation skills. Change involves movingthe thinking patterns of individuals. Facilitation involvessubjectively structuring and running events in such a way that theenergy remains focused to the topic, as well as ensuring that all therelevant participants have their voices heard (Luecke,2003,p. 34). This would essentially allow for perspectives and informationto be shared, analysis to be generated and decisions to be made.Facilitation converts the thought patterns of individuals who,initially, have their own isolated starting points, but eventuallyhave a fuller comprehension of the change and the group’sperspectives (Burnes,2004,p. 84). It is not necessary for all people to agree, but engagementinforms the decision of the participant pertaining to their owncommitment level.
Ipossess quite a large number of these competencies that allow me toinfluence change. In cases where I need some improvements made in theorganizational structure, I start off by comprehending the thingsthat are required of me and making sense of them. Second, I examinethe existing structures, systems and processes and determine whetherthey support the modifications that I am about to take. Third, Ire-examine my skills and ensure that I have the necessarycapabilities to behave in a new way. Lastly, I become a role model soas to influence the behavior of my colleagues, staff and evenleaders.
Question7: Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporatesocial responsibility has been one of the most contentious yetpopular issues in the contemporary human society. It refers to thecorporate initiative for evaluating and taking responsibility for theeffects of an organization on the environment, as well as the impactit has on social welfare (Rahim,2000,p 45). This term is usually applied to the efforts of a company thatextend beyond the things that may be required by environmentalprotection groups or even regulators. It may also underline corporatecitizenship and may involve incurring varied short-term costs fromwhich the company would not get immediate financial benefit but wouldinstead enhance positive environmental and social change.
AnitaRoddick, however, seems to insinuate that corporate socialresponsibility has been hijacked by large organizations, which havemade it an enormous money-making enterprise. She also states that iforganizations are only gauged by the amount of profits that theymake, the entire point would be lost. It is imperative that thefinancial bottom-line also takes up the human rights, as well associal and work justice.
I,indeed, agree that the entire point of corporate socialresponsibility has been lost in the contemporary human society.Organizations simply engage in actions that enhance their image andreputations as environmental friendly, while their businessoperations and core functions offset such efforts as they areprimarily based on activities that essentially degrade theenvironment and compromise on the social welfare of both workers andthe general public. Of course, the key question is the main motivefor organizations to engage in Corporate Social Responsibility. Arethey motivated by a genuine need to create a clean environment forall and enhance the social welfare of their workers and generalpublic or are they simply trying to create a reputation forthemselves that would eventually enhance their position and result insome profit (Banerjee, 2007, p. 33)?
Organizations,nevertheless, can still craft messages and images in their ads in asocially responsible way irrespective of these adverts’ themes.First, they must ensure that the language or message incorporated inthe adverts is truthful and not misleading. This means that allfactual information is presented in a way that does not deceive theviewer while images are not manipulated to as to create an inaccuratefinal impression (Rahim2011,p. 67). For instance, adverts should not insinuate that certainproducts are inexpensive while failing to reveal that they wear outquickly as such information, despite being factually accurate, wouldstill be deceptive.
Inaddition, adverts that are socially responsible should not contributeto or promote anything that has damaging effects on the society.Adverts that use sexist or racist stereotypes or exhibitirresponsible parenting practices, tries to manipulate vulnerableaudiences emotionally or promotes irresponsible consumption ofalcohol would be considered socially irresponsible. It is worthnoting that some messages in adverts offend consumers even in caseswhere the campaign was not intended to be offensive (Godwyn&Gittell,2012,P. 45).
Similarly,public cynicism should be avoided at all costs. For instance, if theproducts of a particular company cause cancer yet the company makesdonations and puts up ad campaigns that enhance cancer awareness,such messages would be considered cynical and socially irresponsible(Reib, 2012, p. 49).
Question8: Managing Business Responsibly
ColgatePalmolive is one of the most distinctive companies in the entireglobe. It is an American multinational consumer products company thatconcentrates in the production and distribution, as well as provisionof healthcare, personal and household products such as oral hygieneproducts, detergents and soaps. While there may be differingopinions, Colgate Palmolive is a responsible organization.
First,I consider the corporate governance of the company to be above board.Not only has the company been recognized as one of the leading lightsin corporate governance by the Governance Metrics International, butit also doubles up as one of just three organizations in the entireglobe that has attained a score of 10 in every other GMI rating cyclesince 2003.
Inaddition, the company has been extremely responsive to any concernsthat are raised about its products or adverts. A case in point is thecompany’s decision to change the controversial ad in 2012 dubbed“No bluff, No glory”. This adverts showed a man in his twentieswho is playing poker around a table. The advert indicated that theman was stressed as he was bluffing and gambling all his rent money.Eventually, the man won the hand. The key point of the advert wasthat Mennen Speed Stick assisted the man to remain composed. However,the problem emanated from the fact that the main character gambledwith his rent money and was also playing recklessly. Some consumersshared their concerns with the company stating that the advert wasencouraging a socially irresponsible practice. The company not onlypulled down the ad but also changed the wording so as to enhance itssocial responsibility.
Onthe same note, the organization has exhibited corporate socialresponsibility especially through its campaign dubbed Bright Smiles,Bright Future. Statistics show that the program has managed to reachmore than 500 million children across the globe in the oral careinitiative that may not have had immediate financial benefits for thecompany but enhanced its reputation and the social welfare of thepublic. Similarly, it has provided its employees with more than 150educational causes in over 25 languages.
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