An organization is a group of people who work independently towards a common goal. Organization achieves their goals by creating, communicating, and operating the system existing in every organization. To better organize and manage the organization, manager needs to understand the element of the social system, role and role conflict, as well as the culture of the organization. In this assignment, we were asked to study a case regarding the role conflict and culture that were faced by Amir as a management trainee at a well-established organisation which at the same time, he is a husband and a father of two children. Based on the study case, we found out that Amir is facing with inter-role conflict, personal-role conflict, role overloads and role ambiguity. All these role conflicts must be solved professionally as it can affect Amir’s work performance and the perception of the organizational members towards him. In order to resolve these problems, Amir has to study the changes that happen in the culture of the organization as he needs to adapt with the new environment. There are two types of cultural changes in organization, that are the cultural revolution and the cultural evolution. In Amir’s case, he is confronted with the cultural revolution. Thus, he needs to know the process of creating back the organizational culture so that he can create a good culture.
1. To define organization culture.
2. To describe the factors shaping the organizational culture.
3. To know role and define role conflict in the study case.
4. To know how to resolve the role conflict in organizational.
Do you think that Amir is facing the problem of role conflict? If yes, identify the kind of role conflict Amir is facing.
Role is when someone understands the relative importance of those tasks, in other words, they know the priorities of their various responsibilities, while role conflict is a situation in which an individual encounters deviating role expectations. In my opinion, yes, Amir is facing the problem of role conflict that consists of inter-role conflict, person role conflict, role overload and role ambiguity. Below is the explanation about these role conflicts in this case.
I. Inter-role conflict
Inter-role conflicts occur when an individual occupies more than one role with inconsistent expectations. In other words, certain role with expected of a person are in conflict with the other roles that the person holds.
For example, Aminah has a class-mate that wants to lodge at their room for one day but the room-mate disagree because they have their own rule which is not outsiders are allowed to stay in the room. In this situation, Aminah has to faces the conflict on which role should be performed whether as a class-mate or a room-mate.
In Amir’s case, Amir as a husband does not know how to manage time between the family and the company. Amir was required to do all kinds of work until he has become a workaholic. In the same time, Amir was not able to give sufficient time to his family as he devoted most of his time working even on Sundays.
II. Person-role conflict
Person-role conflicts may define when a role holder is required to perform a role that contradicts or violates the role holder’s attitudes, beliefs and behaviors.
As an example, when a staff expected to punch card for his friend, indirectly it may contradicts the staff attitude and beliefs where by a staff in the company should not to punch card for the other staff except themselves.
Throughout Amir’s case, Amir has to assign with various other roles and was required to coordinate and communicate with diverse groups of the workforce. However, the team members do not want to give full cooperation in fulfilling the tasks. Indirectly, was scolded by the boss for errors committed by other team members.
III. Role overload
Role overload occurs when there is a lack of balance or reasonableness in the number or the extent of expectations from a role holder. It also happens when the expectations sent to a role holder are unmanageable and there is not enough time for the role holder to perform all the roles expected of him or her.
For example, where a student is expected to study while at the same time expected to do part time job. As a student, they must expect to perform some other roles even though it is impossible to be done in the same time.
In this case, it’s similar with Amir which is he was required to do all kinds of managerial task from conducting office correspondence and conducting business meetings to solving the complaints of customers and subordinates. As time passed, Amir became more efficient and performed various roles in increasing effective manner.
IV. Role Ambiguity
Role ambiguity occurs when there is lack of clarity in understanding what expectations or prescriptions exist for any given role. A role holder lacks sufficient information in performing the role. This results in the role holder feeling unsure on how to act in his or her role.
As an example, a new student in second intake was entered in the university and they did not receive complete information regarding the subject or any related activities. Indirectly, the student’s do not sure how to act in his or her role.
In this case, the first few months on job Amir have to faced on stress which is he was entrusted with limited tasks related to his area of expertise as a management. It is because the organization did not explained to him regarding his role as a management trainee.
What could be done to resolve his problem?
For every problem, there will be solutions and ways to overcome. Amir who deals with many types of role conflicts can handle the problems well if he knows how to deal with it.
I. Inter-role conflict
In solving Amir’s dilemmas of role conflict as a worker and as a head of family members, the best way in dealing with these problems is he must know how to manage his time well. He also needs to understand and distinguish his responsibilities in holding both roles. Amir should avoid working on weekends as that is the only time to have a good time with the family members. This is to make sure that at the same time of being a dedicated worker to the organization, he can spend his quality time with his family members as well.
II. Person-role conflict
As a former Management Executive, for sure Amir will expect the task of management trainee would involves his area of expertise that is, management. However, different roles were assigned to him. In solving this matter, Amir should confront with his superior and ask for a good explanation regarding his exact tasks that he needs to fulfill. He also should stand for his right if he was scolded for errors not committed by him. In my opinion, even though the tasks given are not in his area, Amir can take the tasks as a new thing to learn.
III. Role overload
As a worker, the tasks given by the superior is a must to do but, if Amir thinks there is a lot of work to be done in a time, he should suggests his superior an assistant if possible. Amir should not be stressful with the multi tasks given in order to maintain a good quality of work. If the superior could not fulfill his suggestion, maybe Amir could ask for higher pay. Even though money could not promise happiness and could not replace the time that he can be with his family, at least he would feel satisfied and appreciated for the job he done.
IV. Role Ambiguity
The transfer of information between the sender and the receiver is very important in an organization. Improper communication of information definitely will result misunderstanding between both parties. In solving Amir’s role ambiguity as he was not explained the role as a management trainee, what he should do is get a clear information on his role from his superior. Even though he has a strict taskmaster, he must be brave enough to ask and get the exact information from him. Or else, he should get the right information either from the seniors or other colleagues.
Comment on the culture of the organization that Amir work in. Prior to comment further on the culture of the organization that Amir work in, it is necessary to explain briefly on what is the Organizational Culture. Organization are more than a workplace, they are place where people spend most of their time. Thus, the culture of the organization is important for employees to stay and work happily. Organization Culture according to Robbins and Judge is a system of shared meaning held by members that distinguishes the organization from other organization. Organization Culture is a set of assumption, beliefs, values, and norms shared by everyone in an organization. Organization Culture change in two ways, Cultural Revolution and Cultural Evolution.
There are two main type of organization culture, and it is called dominant cultures and subcultures. It is appropriate to categories that the type of culture that Amir works in is subcultures. Subcultures develop to reflect common problems, situations or consequences that are faced by members in a department. However, it is also includes the core values of the organization. Correspondence to Amir situation that can be seen from the case study article, it is said that his role as management trainee is not properly explain, and when he is assigned with various roles that required him to communicate to a different group of workforce, problem started to occurs and these problem starting to put pressure on Amir. A cooperation that is essential in completing a task was not given to him by other members, instead they act rudely to him. And if there is an error made by other members Amir was the person who will be scolded by his boss. We can see here that it is logical to categories that Amir working in a subcultures environment because Amir is facing a problem in his work, and he is the one who received the consequences of others mistakes, and it is clearly that the core values of the organization isn’t quite harmony because of the values and ethics that is being practice by other members in the organization.. Differ with dominant culture, dominant culture are the core values that are shared by everyone in an organization, which can be understand that everyone have a same work ethics that allow them to complete their work efficiently.
Cultural change is influence or is shape by several factors, firstly is characteristic of people within the organization, the values, beliefs, and attitudes that is bring by the people inside are shared with each other. If most of them have good values it will influences other to do so and vice versa. Secondly, cultural change is being shape by the nature of employment relationship. This factor comes from human resources policies that is enforced in an organization, for example trying bonuses with performance levels. Employees may take these policies as motivating factors to work harder. Third factors is design of organizational structure, defines as primary reporting relationship that exists within an organization where a division of work can be seen clearly. Lastly, cultural change can be shape by the organizational ethics, it is a moral values, rules and principles outlined to employees on how they should act and behave when it comes to dealing with each other and also with people outside the organization.
A suggestion could be shared here, as a top management in an organization, Amir’s boss should be a role-model to his subordinates, he should create an efficient organizational culture in order for them to achieve successfulness. In order to create a prosper organizational culture, Amir’s boss can follow the following steps. First step is formulae a strategic values, which is a basics beliefs about an organization’s environment. Secondly is, develop cultural values, which the values that the employees need to have and act upon in carrying out its strategic values. Third step is, create vision, vision is a picture of what the organization is going to be in the future. Fourth step is, initiate implementation strategies, which is develop action strategies to accomplish its vision. And last step which is the step five is, reinforce cultural behaviors, reinforcement may take various form such as reward system that acknowledged desired behaviors.
Organizational behaviour is concerned with people’s thoughts, feelings, emotions and actions in setting up work. Understanding individual behaviour is in itself a challenge but understanding group behaviour in an organization environment is a monumental managerial task. Role conflict is a situation in which an individual encounters divergent role expectations. This occurs due to different perception and expectations of a person’s role. As we work together in an organization, we should treat people in the organization as a family. In this way, it is easier for us to communicate and interact with each other. The organization itself needs to plant this input in the minds of the workers so that the people that work in the roof of the firm will work happily without any conflicts.
1. Organizational behaviour oxford Sarah Sabir Ahmad
2. Kamus Dwibahasa Oxford Fajar Joyce M. Hawkins