Introduction the following struggles. Following through with this

Introduction

Recently having discussed the effects of
‘Organizational Behavior’ and ‘Human Resource Management’ theories in relation
to the termination of employees in Sainsbury plc. This following essay will
reflect the journey and my experience working within a group environment.
Firstly focusing on the conflicts my group members and I struggled with during
the duration of the assignment. Then reflecting and analyzing different
policies and practices which if implemented may have mitigated the following
struggles. Following through with this reflective journal, I will enable myself
to learn from experiences and combine my learnings in order to be more
effective and efficient. As (Bassot 2016, p.6) once said, “Reflection enables
me to process my thoughts and make sense of them”.

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Experience
during group exercise

Not having any familiar acquaintances with me
in lectures was a true burden. Once my instructor to form into groups
consisting of exactly six members announced the assignment, I immediately said
to myself ‘this is not going to be easy’. A couple of weeks later, with the
help of the module forum online, I was able to communicate with existing peers
via email, who were looking for fellow group members as well. With e-mails
going back and forth with a peer who took initiative, we were able to identify
six group members. Having not seen any of them physically, we formed a group on
‘WhatsApp’, and agreed on meeting the following day right after our class. As
this was my first time having to do a group assignment with complete strangers,
I let out a sigh of relief as in my belief the hard part was over. Having
looked through the assignment outline and the deadline, I assumed getting the
assignment completed and submitted was going to be very smooth and laid-back.
Although to my surprise, the series of events that occurred right after were hardly
any of the following.

Being eager to start on this assignment
immediately in order to have more time to focus on my other set of modules.
Having the only one who looked over the contents of the assignment, I took
initiative on behalf of my group members to search for a recent newsletter.
Expressing strong desire in regards of Albert Bandura’s (1978) self-efficacy
theory, which “considers how people perceive themselves or how they appraise
their own level of competence in the process of learning”. Having accomplished
that, as well as ruling of different examples of items in the news. I had
really hoped by our first meeting my group members had fulfilled their promises
on searching for newsletters as well. On Tuesday October 24 the date of our
first meeting, which was, one week after forming our group
initially. With the final agreement on meeting outside our module classroom.
The time finally came and our class was finally over, I left our class in JP
Hall whilst surrounded by hundreds of other colleagues I was in the search for
my group members.

Finally having met my group members, which
consisted of all ‘English speakers’ which I was very thankful of as it
mitigated any types of language barriers. To my expected surprise, a fellow
group member and I were the only people who researched topics for our
assignment. Having already scheduled a room in the Main Arts Library, we walked
there together whilst ideas brainstormed regarding which approach to follow.
Having done my research on the concerning topic, my group members were interested
in what I had to offer. Having shown them a recent article that consisted and
covered all aspects of Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management,
we made our final decision.

Fast forwarding to our second meeting, which
was exactly a week later. Having fulfilled my promise on the assignment from
the previous meeting, I was eager to see what my group members have had
accomplished. The initiation of my conflict started then, as during our meeting
I have come to realization that I was the only person who had started his work.
It began to unravel to me that using goal setting as a motivational technique
had led to a huge disappointment (Locke 1968). Reflecting to The Porter-Lawler
model of Work Motivation (1968), I began to realize that my expectations and
effort would not lead to my perceived equity of rewards. Progressing through
our meeting, slowly but surely I began to unveil the true nature of my group
members. Having dealt with previous dysfunctional groups, I knew exactly the
appropriate approach to deal with my current situation. Derailing (Vroom’s 1975)
expectancy theory, in which the outcomes I had imagined to transpire were not
attainable. Due to these circumstances, I was not motivated to participate even
slightly for the remainder of the meeting. As my hard effort had gone
unnoticed, I shifted my interest to my own self. As the assignment was due on 12
December, I thought it was still too early to panic. After the end of our
meeting, we decided to schedule our next meeting after reading week, in hopes
that everybody would be able to accomplish their part of the task.

15th November to my surprise, the
group was progressing to a certain extent. Only half of the group members had
fulfilled their tasks, while the others came up with excuses covering the
reasons why they were not complete with their task. Taking initiative, I urged
everybody to send me his or her completed parts of the assignment so I could
combine and structure the assignment prior to the submission. Receiving the
work of other group members, I had realized that most of their work done was
irrelevant to what was required from our instructor. Having contacted one of my
group members who had demonstrated his intentions and extrinsic motivation
(Huczynski and Buchanan 2013). After a close discussion, we decided to cover
the remaining parts of the assignment ourselves, as we were looking forward to
achieve a high grade, To our relief we were given an extension on our group
assignment. With our admirable group effort, we were able to achieve our common
goal of completing the task with time to spare.

Lessons
learnt

As result of the inception of this forming to
be my first group assignment with unfamiliar faces, there were many lessons I
drew back upon after the final submission. As stated previously, I was eager to
demonstrate my attributes and knowledge in regards of the assignment following
the first meeting. Although due to the lack of motivation generally provided by
my colleagues, the group as a one force were not able to progress forward in
achieving our mutual goal. With me stepping down as the initiative taker
resulting from lack of support, would have an actual tenacious and stable
leader benefited us more. Following the study of Burns (1979) model a ‘Transformational
Leader’ was exactly what our group needed. The basis behind a transformational
leader is “the process by which a person interacts with others and is able to
create a solid relationship those results in a high percentage of trust that
will later result in an increase in motivation” (Leadership-central, 2018).

With different cultures and personalities
progressing through a shared assignment, the familiarity aspect was off. Origin
of culture is thought to be considered one of the leading factors, which may in
fact affect the behavior of individuals, (Hofstede, 1980) exemplifies this
model. For an ideal task team, the professionalism factor usually overlooked.
Expression and communication are elements that help with the formation of a
functional group structure, once neglected or prevented it negates any
evolvement. Whilst organizational behavior is a new topic that I have come
across, my new understanding of certain related topics in regards of
‘leadership and motivation’ will help me apply theory of practice differently
next time ( Gersick 1991; Avolio 1994; Ralph Stogdill 1974).

While being comfortable with Grasha and
Riechmann’s (1974) model that overlooks learning styles in a more cognitive
approach of learning. I had never really adapted nor comprehended the potential
synergy of implementing such learnings in reality. As well as the recent
understanding of Kolb’s (1984) model, that has opened up a new experience and
enlightenment of self-improvement and development. Due to the importance of
self-reflection following any experience of great practicality and
significance, the true intentions behind it is to increase understanding for
future purpose of use. As Baltasar Gracian (1637) once said, “Self-reflection
is the school of wisdom”.

This experience has been eye opening, as it
has given me an opportunity to experience and reflect on the ability to manage
myself in different perspectives. Influenced mainly with retrospect to my
surrounding vibes, which may have been an obstruction and in fact an obstacle
to overcome. Whilst failing to engage myself as an initiative leader, due to many
external factors (Burns, 1979). With this reflection, I have made various notes
on how to overcome these factors whilst working in a group exercise. For example,
the act of patience and observing in order to understand the current situation,
before making any rash decisions. Communication comes a long way, in a group
structure in order to attain the mutual objective. Having put in more of an
effort in regards of communication may have been a minor and common issue,
something as simple as checking up on a person’s work may have been a force to
push us forward as a group. In hopes that this ‘bad experience’ may be the
last, I will be working on significantly improving myself in terms of both
being a leader as well as not doubting and second-guessing my actions. With
this overview of self-reflection, in future time I hope to be the more
effective and influential leader as well to attaining the ability to manage my group
members efficiently and overall myself.

The opportunity to work in any type of group
work most often generally cherished, as the principles used and applied may
help you prepare for a brighter future in a workplace. The intention of
communicating and working together in order to achieve a mutual goal is similar
and compared to the principles and structure of an organization. The experience
that I have went through regarding my recent group exercise in a bigger picture
may have caused the downfall of an organization. Nowadays, organizations tend
to expect their managers to be qualified with many internal and external
attributes, so would the common standards of Fayol’s (1916) ‘Principles and
Functions of Management’ considered to be enough in the 21st century?
With the irregularity and fast-paced changes in our everyday lives, leaders in
an organization have to be able to reflect and adapt to irregular situations in
which the firm may face. Due to the complexity and changes of a corporate
structure, the manager has to have the capability of comparing historical
forecasts and analyzing events in order to progress in the future.

The act of reflection and learning from inner
mistakes may be a more valuable trait to an everyday manager than for example
Mayo’s (1920) ‘Human Relation’s Theory’ or Burn’s (1960) ‘Theory X and Theory
Y’ (Perry,2017). Although considered a necessary trait for a manager, many
known to resist keeping a reflective journal in order to improve performance.
Shareholders and CEO’s must encourage their managers to enhance themselves, in
order to negate any risks and ultimately improve the performance of the
organization. Although still at its early stages, many shareholders have
started implementing ‘Human Resource Development’ officials, which use “their
professional skills in order to help managers and employees reflect and improve
on their organizational skills”. Although sometimes seen as an extra cost,
which ultimately leads to no improvements in practice. The act of reflection on
previous mishaps and inefficiencies may reveal resolutions in order to resolve
the subject matter in the future. This is where questions such as ‘how can we
improve next time’ and ‘how do we avoid similar risks’ come into mind. If an
organization fails to resolve problematic matters, the expected occurrence in
every term may affect the firm’s ability to be a ‘going concern’.

The problems that we have faced together as a
group, if having occurred in an organization workplace would have led to their
downfall and demise. Our group lacked any leadership and any progressive
communication. Including the lack of diverse team roles in regards of Belbin
(2010), our group was a ticking time bomb from the given start. We may have not
had the best resources or information when choosing or picking our group
members, as it is mainly focus based on a random population sample. To their
advantage, organizations have the option to employ specific personnel who they
consider would be beneficial to the company’s growth, as well as avoiding
potential employees who do not share the same work ethic and values. Holding
the trust of their shareholders and stakeholders, the risks of heading into a
downward spiral must be minimized close to none. With thousands of publics’
interests at stake, firms will have to allocate a big portion of interest and
research into familiarizing employees and corporate managers with the
attributable skills and principles, in order for the business to be run
smoothly.

The implementation of Organizational Behavior
theories are encouraged within organizations in order to mitigate problems
persisting in regards of leadership, management and culture. “Learning is the
process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience”
(Kolb, 1984, p.38). David Kolb’s experiential learning theory overlooks and
divides four separate learning styles. The theory is interpreted into four
stages, the first being “Concrete Experience”, the first stage revolves around
actually encountering a said experience, which may have affected you
dramatically. The second stage is “Reflective Observation”, is where you
reflect or observe on the experience, in which you highlight specific matters
of importance or great significance to you as a person. The following stage
“Absolute Conceptualization” gives rise to a modification or something you were
to do differently if the said experience were to happen once again. With the
last learning cycle concluding to “Active Experimentation”, where the person
who has went through the previous stages, would apply the modification in order
to see if it were actually beneficial for the person.

 

Implication
of Kolb’s learning style theory to mitigate such problems

 

Stage
One: Concrete Experience

Reflecting on what had occurred on our second
meeting as a group, one of the key elements that stood out was I refusing to
participate as soon as I had found out that none of my group members had
fulfilled their obligated role. I had a hard time reacting to the unraveling of
this information, as it was clear to me now that I had entered a dysfunctional
group. With having finished my part of the assignment already, by the first
meeting. I had decided to step down and not intervene with any group
complications or objections.

Stage
Two: Reflective Observation

After reflecting on what I had done, I now
understand that I should not have stepped down on my role as a leader. As I had
taken the first initiative with coming up with the topic for the group
assignment, in realization that maybe my group looked for me to lead them to
the completion of this assignment. In coincidence, If I had leaded and managed
my team appropriately after the second meeting, with words of encouragement they
might have took initiative and finished their assignment work by the third
meeting.

The main insight that I have acknowledged
about myself after reflecting on my behavior, is that I may rush certain
decisions without being aware of the total consequences. Introducing Duval and
Wicklund’s (1973) study of self-awareness. I should have focused on the
brighter image, and took time to assess and evaluate my behavior to the
appropriate standards and values bestowed on me. As Albert Bandura (1978) once
said in regards of self-efficacy, “it is the belief in one’s capabilities to
organize and execute the courses of action required to manage prospective
situations” (Albert Bandura, 1978, p.84).

Stage
Three: Absolute Conceptualization

The application or modification might as well
be considered the most important stage whenever applying Organizational
Behavior theories into practice. Having identified what I had done wrongfully
under stage two of the process. The main practice modified would have been
setting straight the rightful leader at the initiation of the group assignment.
Whether it would have been myself or any of my other colleagues, as well as I
could have interpreted Argyle’s (1972) ‘Communication Cycle’ and had brought
total awareness of who is in charge to my colleagues, which would have set the
tendency in a different manner.

Other aspects I would apply differently in any
other group exercise would be identifying weak group members at the initiation.
A certain identification of whom may have experience or knowledge regarding our
group exercise, may offer us a certain type of understanding. As the
identification of the person who may not handle a vast workload be clear, in
which other group members may be willing to offer help to whomever may require
it. It may be clear as well, that there are many different modifications I
could in fact make, in order to steer group exercises in the most efficient and
appropriate path. Although many of the other implications would require the
support and understanding of my colleagues in regard of OB practices, in which
I could bring light upon the practices although there final application may not
be necessary.

Stage
Four: Active Experimentation

I have not yet been able to actually apply
these modifications, due to my module not containing voluminous group
assignment opportunities. However, these principles implicated in any form of
group activity, even in sportsmanship. Although in hopes that the opportunity
arises in the near future, as the implication may result into my organizational
success. In order to succeed or benefit from self-reflection, there has to be
many cases in which the latter has to be applied. As I am certain as an
individual that the succession of self-reflection will lead me in my desire of
being a more efficient and as well effective leader.

Conclusion

My actions may have been the unnecessary push
that has driven my group exercise to go indeed downhill. Had I reacted
differently at the start of the group assignment, it might have positively affected
the group’s approach in getting the group exercise done. However, this based on
my own self-reflection, until being applied; its implications may not in fact
help. Since such events may be, drastic if occurred in a workplace, having
solved it prior hand in our learning stages may be very beneficial and exactly
what future employers are looking for. In whatever line of work or context,
knowing the application of self-reflection and actually applying it in your
everyday life will help you improve not only as an employee but as a person as
well.

 

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