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Business Psychology Essay

In this era of globalization, every organization must design its own strategy in terms of running its business at excellent level to survive and stay in competition. Trigger factors of higher demands that addressed to organizations are; emergence of free market which means that competitors are not only from the local market but also come from organizations all over the world, technological advances that developed rapidly over time also has role in higher demands that has been exposed to organizations in determining that everyone inside the organization must be compatible with the rapid development of technological advances at their workplace. Intense competition environment as already mentioned above certainly lead to tendencies for organizations in emerging innovations, creativities, enhancement of added value, service excellences, competitive prices and acceleration of process business plot as an objective to be “the winner” in competing with other organizations.

A paradigm shifting in the design of the organizational strategies is necessary to be developed by organizations in order to survive in spite of the free market enforcement. One of the strategies that can be applied is building an effective team in the organization, the transformation in working method from individual to team work as the main focus must bring psychological effects for every individual in the organization. Every member in the organization is forced to be part of their team, regardless to their preference to work as individual or as a team.

This phenomenon also brings the “domino effect”; each member in the organization will be evaluated not only for their field competencies related to their job performance, but also personal competencies related to perform effectively as a team member (team work competencies) will be evaluated by the organization. In the realization of forming an effective team, more than one strategy related to competencies in team building, which are parts of the business psychology area, must be combined in a synchronous way.

Business psychology can be use as a source in designing and implementing an organizational strategy, especially for the accentuation in understanding individual behavior and self improvement basis when they are put and work together in a team. There some business psychology focuses that can be used in designing a strategy which at the end also can be used as references in building personal competencies needed in order to perform as an effective team. These are the beneficial focuses:

1. Perception and personal reality

Every individual has cognitive limitation in responding to information that they received, as a result of that phenomenon, they are forced to pick information selectively regarding to which received information associated as valuable and which is invaluable, which data that will be taken to the next level of information process. Related to selectivity process, individual tend to use heuristic process, an information processing which characterized by incomplete usage of given data, only based on general issues and experiences, and all those information processed quickly. This information processing form has potential in bringing biases, misunderstanding, and inaccurate result in processing information.

Based on the implementation of information processing above, in interacting with other individual, stereotypes and expectations emerged. Stereotyping is a judgment processing of someone that made only based on perceptions to the group where they can be categorized. Expectations from each individual not always positively responded by the other party where they are interacting with each other. Expectations also correlate with communication styles that will be used in interactions.

2. Team ship

In building an effective team, many approaches must be used and collaborated in a synchronous way. Defining roles in each team member is an important aspect for balancing the roles of team members in order to optimize the team’s outcomes and coherence. One of the models that can be used in describing team roles in details is “team roles model” by Belbin :

An effective team, in the process basis is characterized by these indication processes; active listening, sharing leadership, taking turn-not interrupting, positive reframing, rescuing eac other’s views, spontaneous and open praise and elaboration of ongoing ideas. In terms of their task performance, an effective team is characterized by these indication processes; analyzing, focus on results, reflecting, open rejection-goal oriented, open rejection-based on data, seeking opinion, seeking clarification and closure.

There are some important key behavior in an effective team, such as: open communication, mutual respect, shared output responsibility, agreement through consensus, active disagreement, clear individual responsibilities and roles, subordinate own goals to group objectives, engender high team morale, receptive to new ideas and change, and constructive and supported feedback.

There are two applicable models that can be useful in order to design the strategy for establishing an effective team, and they are: Jungian model and Tjosvold model.

a. Jungian Model

b. The Ideal Team System by Tjosvold

Sharing organizational expectations, business strategies and visions, core values, organizational cultures and organizational objectives, can be defined as envisioning. Showing interest about team member’s visions, task clearances, valuing intercultural differences, and transferring the idea of the team ship’s paradigm importance are efforts in uniting the team. Bringing out loyalties, responsibilities, knowing potential of team members and assigning them based on that, and motivate them when they need motivation are characteristics in the empowering step.

After being empowered, exploration in discovering problems and focusing on finding solutions can be established, diversities can be managed in finding the best solution, and all that will raise the team’s awareness to the importance of learning over time to have the upper hand in the market competition. After the best solution is reached, reflecting what the team has been through at every step of the cycle above can be very important as the source of any plan or step that needs to be revised on the next period in order to perform as an effective team.

3. Conflict resolution

There are some causes of conflicts that usually appear in organizations: competition, scarcity of resources, interdependence/dependency, conflict in objectives and tasks, differences of opinion and of influence, differences in status, cultural differences, change, misperception, miscommunication, different ways of seeing things, personal preferences, pace of response, range of response and form of response, individual differences and emotional defenses. Traditionally, from all causes of conflicts that mentioned above, individual differences and emotional defenses are the main issues in organizations.

In dealing with conflicts, there are three natural reactions that are usually expected from the individuals involved: striking back (leads to escalation, potentially damaging the relationship), giving in (usually results in poor outcome, can be seen as rewarding bad behavior), and breaking off (sometimes can be beneficial, often very costly, hasty and regretted).

Regarding to conflict resolution, application of negotiation competencies can be very useful. There are five stages in negotiation process; orientation, position taking, search for solutions, crisis/deadlock, settlement and finalization. It is important to each team member to identify their position in those stages that are related in optimizing conflict resolution process. By knowing and sharing their each position, they can build the same perceptions in finding the best conflict resolution scheme.

Principled approach is a combined technique in negotiation from soft and hard style of positional bargaining. In this approach, participants are problem solvers, the goal is a wise outcome reached amicably and efficiently, people and the problem must be separated, must be soft on the people and hard on the problem, independent of trust is proceed, the focus is on interests not the positions, interests are being explored, having a bottom line is avoided, options for mutual gain are invented, multiple options are developed, the use of objective criteria is insisted, a result is reached based on standards independent of will, there is tendency to be open to reasons and yield to principle, not pressure.

Conflicts can lead to project delays, missed market opportunities, confused communication, inconsistent information, teams fail and difficult to retain good staff. Considering the effects of unresolved conflict, there are three category : first order effects (quantifiable) can be counted by employee replacement cost, including termination costs and recruitment, second order effects (harder to quantify) which can be observed by increased supervision or management activities , and third order effect (impossible to quantify) when its already revealed in passive aggressive behaviors.

There are two types of conflict; task focused, which is characterized by differences of views and opinions, based on facts and reasoning, and related to intellectual matters. The other type is relationship focused conflict, characterized by anchored in personal differences, influenced by history/assumptions, and related to feelings and emotions. There is a model by Thomas Kilmann which explained deliberately about correlation between assertiveness and cooperativeness in dealing with conflict.

4. Decision making

There are two types of decision making process that people tend to implement, they are: width (diverging) and depth (converging). Diverging type is characterized by some points; seeking options/strategies, works with multiple perspectives, requires more options, considering new ideas, combining options/lateral ideas, and creative suggestions. On the other hand, converging type is characterized by: seeking consensus, seeking clarification, seeking structure, review based on new information, analytical, making inferences, assess consequences based on data, strong defense of viewpoint, clear decisions and outcomes. The usage of both types can be based on the situation that the decision making processes is taking place in the organization. Combination of width and depth are expected and can be the best option in decision making process.


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