Organizational (Buchanan et al., 2017). Organisational behavioural theories can

Organizational
behaviour is ‘the study of the structure and management of organizations, their
environments, and the actions and interactions of their individual members or
groups’ (Buchanan et al., 2017). Organisational behavioural theories can be
applied to BFGym and may help the company to resolve current issues. BFGym has
adopted a bureaucratic structure which is mostly beneficial but requires some
adaptations. Leadership at BFGym also needs addressing to ensure that it is as
effective as possible. Sources of power vary between workers but different
approaches could allow power to be used more efficiently. Finally, individual
differences of employees can be analysed to help maximise their performance and
therefore help BFGym to reach its full potential.

 

Bureaucracy is
defined as a ‘legal-rational type of authority underpinning a form of
organisation structure that is characterized by job specialisation, authority
hierarchy, formal selection, rules and procedures, impersonality and
impartiality and recording’ (Buchanan et al., 2017). Max Weber (1947) examined
bureaucracy and its effect within society. Weber looked in detail at the
‘features of the bureaucratic structure’, he described bureaucracy as ‘an
identification of the administrative components of a particular type of
organisation’ (Allinson., 1984). BFGym uses a clear bureaucratic structure. An
authority hierarchy clearly organises workers and provides ‘supervision of
lower offices by higher ones’ as stated in Weber’s key features of a bureaucratic
structure (Allinson., 1984). This is essential for BFGym as they have 50
employees, the hierarchy provides clear lines of communications for all employees
to ensure that workers know who to communicate with in different situations.
This prevents time wasting and ensures that the correct people can deal with
each situation. The current managers of BFGym are former trainers meaning that
they have gained experience in the areas over which they are managing and
therefore they are more likely to be efficient in their roles and is a clear
example of formal selection. A distinct set of ‘technical rules or norms’ (Allinson.,
1984) and procedures for employees at BFGym to follow generates consistency
throughout the business. Whilst this is beneficial for the company’s public
image, the procedures may not be best adapted to suit the instructors needs.
The hierarchy prevents changes being made by instructors and can inhibit
innovation and creativity. Managers at BFGym have previously made amendments to
class lengths without consulting instructors creating potential to cause
dissatisfaction with customers if changes affect the quality of classes.
Managers at BFGym would be better to consult instructors before making changes
and allow instructors to have more flexibility over their classes and schedules.
Use of a democratic style of leadership would benefit both managers and
instructors to ensure that any changes made are beneficial to the company. A
clear operating structure also allows job specialisation within the business.
This is an example of ‘division of labour’ (Allinson., 1984), another of
Weber’s key features of a bureaucratic structure. This means that instructors
can focus on more specific roles hence increasing productivity and performance
rates. However, lack of control over their job roles and repetitive tasks can
also make instructors feel unimportant and lead to a shortfall in job motivation.
Job enrichment is ‘a technique for broadening the experience of work to
employee satisfaction and to improve motivation and performance’ (Buchanan et
al., 2017). The use of job enrichment could help to increase the motivation of
instructors by making them feel more responsible and involved in the company.
Allowing instructors to have more control over classes would aid motivation and
reduce pressure on management by distributing tasks. Overall, whilst a
bureaucratic structure mostly benefits BFGym it has also generated some issues.
These can easily be addressed be allowing more flexibility for instructors and
adapting leadership styles dependant on the given situation.

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Individual
differences refer to the differences in behaviour of individuals usually
impacted by personality, skills and perceptions. The big 5 personality traits
(Costa and McCrae 1992) are defined as the ‘consistent trait clusters that
capture the main dimensions of personality; Openness, Contentiousness,
Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism’ (Buchanan et al., 2017). Philip
shows traits of an extravert. He asserts leadership during the group discussion
and is talkative throughout. He enjoys teaching and interacting with others,
showing traits of an extravert. Extraversion allows Philip to perform well in
his job as it is ‘linked to performance’ (Buchanan et al., 2017) and ‘sociability’
(Maltby et al., 2017). Philips role requires interaction with customers, extraverts
thrive ‘on action and being engaged with people’ (King et al., 2016) and extraversion
is linked to ‘leadership’ (Maltby et al., 2017). However, Philip also shows a
lack of agreeableness. When Jo and Robin are not contributing to the discussion
he shows characteristics of a ‘challenger’ (Buchanan et al., 2017). He is seen
to be ‘uncooperative’ (Buchanan et al., 2017) and causes conflict within the
group negatively effecting the discussion. This could also have a negative
impact on Philips performance if relationships with other employees are under
tension. Nick displays characteristics of an introvert. During the discussion,
he refrains from contributing as he feels his input is disregarded. Whilst he
feels he is being treated unfairly at BFGym, he has not actively tried to
resolve this showing ‘tolerance’ (Maltby et al., 2017). This displays
characteristic of high agreeableness; an ‘adapter’ (Buchanan et al., 2017). In
both examples, it suggests that Nick does not want to cause trouble for others
and tolerates the situation. However, Nicks behaviour is likely to be in
response to feeling excluded from the team at BFGym, therefore his actions may
not accurately represent his true personality. The team at BFGym should take
responsibility for including Nick and management should ensure that all staff
are treated fairly and equally. This is an example of poor leadership by
management. Agreeableness is linked to happiness and job satisfaction. In this example,
Nick is clearly unhappy and not satisfied with his job. Introversion can also
be linked to poor performance. If Nick is unhappy at work he is unlikely to
perform to his best potential. Jane shows a high level of openness; an ‘explorer’
(Buchanan et al., 2017). She is ‘creative’ (Buchanan et al., 2017) in her
suggestions to make improvements at BFGym and is ‘open-minded’ (Buchanan et
al., 2017) to others’ suggestions. Jane shows ‘engagement in ideas’ (Maltby et
al., 2017), a key characteristic of openness to experience, this makes people
more likely to be effective leaders. Jane shows leadership potential and
therefore may have been a more effective leader than Philip in the group
discussion. Jane also shows that she has a highly agreeable personality; an ‘adapter’
(Buchanan et al., 2017). She can adapt well to different situations and has
gained the trust of the group.  When
management rejected her suggestions for improvements at BFGym Jane displayed
characteristics of compliance as she was stagnated but accepted the decision.

 

Leadership can be
defined as ‘the ability of an individual to influence, motivate and enable
others to contribute towards the effectiveness and success of the organisations
of which they are members’ (House et al., 2004). Leadership and management are
not the same thing. Management refers to the ‘everyday practices of running the
organisation in a smooth fashion’ (King et al., 2016), whereas leadership
refers to the impact upon influencing the behaviour of others. This can be performed
by any member of the team at BFGym. Kate is the manager of BFGym. Kate displays
leadership traits and qualities, she shows an interest in the lack of
motivation within the workplace and is looking at how this can be improved. Kate
is displaying ‘skills in dealing with people’ (King et al., 2016) by involving
her workforce to find resolutions to the problems that have been highlighted. However,
in the past Kate may not have been an effective leader as she has allowed workers
to become demotivated. It could be suggested that her new found leadership
qualities are motivated by management led incentives as it is indicated that turnover
costs are high. Kurt Lewin’s (1939) ‘three key styles of leadership:
autocratic, democratic and laissez-faire’ (King et al., 2016) can be applied to
both Kate and Philips leadership styles. Kate displays characteristics of
democratic leadership. A democratic leadership style ‘encourages the
involvement of the group, but the leader ultimately makes the decisions’ (King
et al., 2016). As the manager, Kate has the overall final decision, but she is
encouraging her workforce to be involved in aiding her decisions. Lewin claims
that a democratic approach to leadership is the ‘most effective’ (King et al.,
2016). This is because ‘there is less aggression, change is more easily
accepted, relations between group members are friendlier, and the group is more
creative. It creates a sense of belonging and participation within the group’ (King
et al., 2016). However, the most effective leadership style will depend upon
the situation. In the case of improving motivation a democratic leadership style
is effective for Kate to use. In other situations, Kate could adapt her
leadership style as democratic leadership can be time consuming and particularly
‘slow in time of crisis’ (King et al., 2016). Kate would become a more
effective leader if she can adapt her leadership style to suit a variety of
situations. Philip adopts a task centred and autocratic leadership style. This
is typically associated with a ‘control and command leadership style’ (King et
al., 2016). Philip clearly takes control of the group during the discussion
which allows little input from other group members. With Philip controlling
decision making during the group discussion, the rest of the group may be
unsure of the final decisions. This could worsen the initial problem. However,
it allows decisions to be made quickly which may benefit this situation as few
members are enthusiastic about the meeting. To be a more effective leader,
Philip needs to ensure that everyone has an input to the meeting and all
opinions are listened to. For example, Nick feels left out and that his opinion
is disregarded. James McGregor Burns (1978) distinguished between transactional
and transformational leadership. Transactional leaders ‘treat relationships
with followers in terms of exchange’ (Buchanan et al., 2017). Transformational
leaders ‘treat relationships with followers in terms of motivation and commitment,
influencing and inspiring followers’ (Buchanan et al., 2017). As the manager of
BFGym, Kate should adopt a transformational form of leadership as she should
aim to motivate and inspire her employees. A transactional style of leadership
is more appropriate during the group discussion allowing the meeting to be
efficient in exchanging ideas.

 

Power is ‘the
capacity of individuals to overcome resistance on the part of others, to exert
their will and to produce results consistent with their interests and
objectives’ (Huyczynski and Buchanan, 2004). Philip and Jane possess personal
power not hierarchical power. This is known as soft power and means that
followers have freedom to choose whether to follow the person with power. John
French and Bertram Raven (1958) identified reward, coercive, referent,
legitimate, informational and expert as the 6 bases of power (King et al., 2016).
Jane displays traits of referent power, ‘the ability to exert influence based
on the others belief that the influencer has desirable abilities and
personality traits that can and should be copied’ (Buchanan et al., 2017). Jane
is enthusiastic throughout the group discussion making suggestions that benefit
herself and others. Her selflessness gains her respect from the rest of the
group. Philip does not fit directly into one of the 6 power bases, he appears
to combine legitimate and expert power. Legitimate power displays ‘the ability
to exert influence based on the others belief that the influencer has authority
to issue orders which they in turn have an obligation to accept’ (Buchanan et
al., 2017). Philip as a dominant character appoints himself as the group leader
by arranging and leading the meeting. This leads the other group members to believe
he has power over them. Philip has a clear aim to accomplish the task set by management.
The rest of the group maybe lead into thinking that Philip possesses some form
of expert power; ‘the ability to exert influence on the others belief that the
influencer has superior knowledge relevant to the situation and the task’
(Buchanan et al., 2017). Jane and Philip use different power tactics for
influencing others. Gary Yukl (2005) assessed the most and least effective
tactics for influencing others. He determined rational persuasion,
consultation, inspirational appeal and collaboration to be the most effective (Buchanan
et al., 2017). The least effective are seen to be pressure, coalitions, upward
appeals and legitimating (Buchanan et al., 2017). Jane is effectively
influencing the other group members by using rational persuasion and
inspirational appeal. Her opinions are valued by the group, she displays how
effective her suggestions could be and generates solutions to solve everyone’s
problems. This shows that she is using her power effectively. However, Jane also
needs to be able to influence management. Previously management have not
approved changes that Jane suggested. The use of rational persuasion would also
help Jane to more effectively influence managements decisions. If management
can clearly see the benefit to the company of the changes that are being
proposed then they are more likely to be considered. Philip uses an autocratic
approach to leadership. This style prevents him from gaining full respect from
group members. He adopts a more pressurised tactic which results in conflict
within the group, therefore showing that this is not an effective technique. To
have a better influence over the group Philip should use influencing techniques
such as consultation and collaboration, allowing everyone to have a say and
find the best solution. Like Jane, Philip should also use rational persuasion to
influence management.

 

Overall BFGym is a
successful business. However, simple changes could improve factors such as
motivation in the work place. Involving instructors in decision making would
prevent demotivation. Decisions such as to remove the staff break out room
should be consulted to instructors first. More effort to improve social
interaction would better work relationships and prevent staff members from
feeling excluded. These changes would help BFGym to reach its full potential.