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The Experiment: Organizational Behavior

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Individuals structure the organization to attain not only the organizational goal but also their personal goals. This is quite the same as what the movie "THE EXPERIMENT" we have watched. It shows that one's personal desires can be better met within his group. However, it creates problem of individual identity. As seen in the movie, the psychologist who hired the 26 men divided them into two TASK GROUPS on which members of each had created an introspective and perceived role- the one as authoritative "guards" and the other as humiliated and submissive "prisoners". Individuals in an actual or real life setting and as well as in the movie itself, grow faster than the group as a whole. There are some practical effects of pressure, communication and power on individual and group performance. Generally, INDIVIDUALS are DISTINCTIVE. Within the organization, they are required to make PSYCHOLOGICAL ADJUSTMENTS, taking into consideration the personal interests and calling for sympathy and appreciation of another's point of view. Thus, the relationship should be built in an atmosphere of intellectual freedom and human rights.

TRAVIS, a peace activist, in the movie seems to be a STRANGER in a STRANGE LAND, as prisoner 77. The experiment reveals them, reveals their true color (perhaps, their inner weakness), what their principles in life are and how long they will fight for it. As they go along the prison experiment for a period of 14 days or two weeks supposedly, each individual within the group has a different degree of commitments to the goals or should we say, for "MONEY" purposes, as well as unique personal needs which the group must satisfy accordingly. But within only six days, many of them gradually shifted their purpose inside. BARRIS, a weakling and a repressed mama's boy suddenly changed because of the perceived authority he was capable of practicing inside the "prison". He was psychotically enjoying the NEW environment he is dealing with. His mindset totally altered including his goal of entering inside. Consequently, his good relationship with Travis had gone like a repressed idea. But remembering from the acting group leader of the guards, on their first day: "RULES ARE RULES, but of course we do not use violence here. Try to humiliate them," as he said.

Nevertheless, it is expected that individual's freedom will be limited as they strengthen and broaden the group perceived authority and perceived role. We think, the main point in the movie is, PEOPLE DO NOT DEDICATE THEMSELVES FOR A GROUP, THEY DEDICATE THEMSELVES FOR A CAUSE!

Change starts with goals, this relate to growth of individuals as well as group. While this group growth is the result of orderly and effective management in a group, it also creates a certain degree of UNCERTAINTY within the right in the forming stage, especially if you don't know each other in a group. The study established inside the "prison" consisted of different people from different fields and kinds of life. We found out that the movie was based on a true-story which was conducted 40 years ago in Stanford University. People interested voluntarily accept the offer but handed with them the dubious consequences they would facing inside. There follows in the growth of the group the storming, norming performing and finally adjourning which came so fast in the movie. Moreover, the group growth may reflect also SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS AND UNFORTUNATE DISPLAY OF POWER AND AUTHORITY.

Now, let's put in place the scenes in the movie of having a prison experiment in the life situation in regards with human behavior, particularly group behavior. What we are saying in the preceding is before getting to know a group behavior, individual behavior is of great importance, we need to relate the movie for individual behavior, and at the same time how it affects group behavior.

COGNITIVE DISSONANCE, it is the incompatibility of one's behavior or attitude within a group. There seen the dissonance between Travis and Barris which resulted to disagreements; Travis as desirous peace-lover and Barris as psychotic turned-to-be authoritative and "punishment-lover". Indeed, we cannot avoid this kind of situation. The incompatibility happens in real life. We must know how to deal with everyone in the group to avoid having conflicts which may affect the fulfillment of the organization's goals.

BRUTALITY, we believe is the result of such unfortunate display of power and authority, overconfidence, self-centered and unfair punishment. Here, we are talking about NORMS, as group behavior requires of it, which makes a degree of choice for individuals within a group. It is limited within the accepted policies or practices of the organization or group. These norms are sometimes unjust. The norms created among the "guards" are of violence and power over subordinates with unfair and implausible punishment. It is inevitable, thus, the members of the organization usually act not according to the policies because there is something wrong. This gives rise to misunderstanding and conflicts. But if one belongs to a group, one must follow the right and ethical rules and regulations for effective and efficient management.

DEVIANT WORKPLACE BEHAVIOR arises as norms are being violated. The image created in the movie as we perceived it is the clash between different species battling for survival. Because of the perceived role, they violated the universal norm of respect; the "guards" and "prisoners" have fallen to a pit where anything is allowable. In a workplace, that's impossible! Thus, many of the punishments and corrective actions imposed by the guards are considered deviant behavior.

Actually individuals have certain expectations in giving the organization or group. The rationality of an individual is bounded by the task of the organization or group with which he/she is associated. The employee/individual expectations are more important than any particular reward management may offer them.




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