Self Fulfilling Prophecy Pygmalion Effect Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 9 January 2017

Self Fulfilling Prophecy Pygmalion Effect

The problem with productivity measurements – especially in measuring a company’s workforce efficiency, is that they do not take into account other factors relating to the way people work.

This means that elements such as employee’s initiatives, their flexibility, teamwork and adaptability are not incorporated in the measures of input.

As such, the calculation of productivity is not an absolute one. Also, the failure to incorporate the element of effectiveness in the measurement of productivity could produce a false assessment of the true performance of a company. It’s a fact that attitude is the main stumbling block that holds back employee’s productivity.

The Self fulfilling Prophecy or Pygmalion Effect as a Management Concept. Conceptualized by Robert Merton, it is about phenomenon that occurs when “a false definition of the situation evokes a new behavior which makes the original false conception come through”. The whole theory is based on the theorem: ”if men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences,

This means that when one has a set expectation, he would behave in ways that suggest that his expectation would be fulfilled no matter what. The consequence of his behavior somehow fulfils his expectation.

The ultimate function of a prophecy is not to tell the future, but to make it. It is important for managers to consider carefully their action and behavior as understanding and applying the Self fulfilling Prophecy will have a great impact on the performance of the employees.

In working environment, the way manager behaves, his attitudes, beliefs towards his subordinates do have an impact on how they behave, managers who truly believe in them have the very same people performing better and contributing to the organization success. Instruction must be communicated clearly to employees so that no ambiguity(unclear or confuse) on what is expected of them.

The four factors of self-fulfilling prophecy and its application are

1)Consistent Information (C I) Good performer who are well liked by their managers are often given more ideas, instruction and suggestion. As the day goes by, it help them perform better, have an edge over their colleagues whom the manager deem poor performers.

The key is to be conscious of this “mind play” and to start creating positive expectations rather than negative expectations in managers and employees about the organization and themselves.

2)Expected performance (E P) The way managers communicate performance expectations to their subordinates will influence them to establish realistic levels of aspiration and higher performance goals.

The learning point is, managers and subordinates must establish and set realistic goals and targets.

3)Positive Reinforcement (P R) Subordinates who are expected to perform well are normally rewarded more frequently and generously when they achieve their performance goals.

On the other hand, those who are not expected to perform well tend to perform badly and are not reinforce.

Interestingly, even if they perform well, they may not be rewarded because their managers felt threatened or irritated that their expectations are not proven.

Hence, it is important for managers and supervisors to be aware of their prejudices and negative feelings of their subordinates.

Conscious attempts must be made to eliminate such prejudices and discriminations.

4) Constructive Feedback (C F) Managers who communicate high performance expectations typically provide greater feedback.

Feedback occurs more frequent and have specific suggestion for improvement. Especially in performance appraisal and review, the variables is the manager’s rating of the subordinates.

It is based on the manager’s values, prejudices and feelings. Most employees will take the cues and alter their future behavior accordingly.

As such, managers and supervisors must take due care in the way they give feedback to their subordinates.

Their tone, body language, and attitudes do account for a successful feedback session.

Conclusion: The above four factors which contain a manager’s expectation can be effective and productively manage if mangers are conscious and aware of their existence and the way they function.

The learning point is that even if a subordinate is not a high performer, a manager can still help by being positive with his expectations. This way, the subordinate is at least given a fair opportunity to prove his self worth and capability.

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  • Date: 9 January 2017

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