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Xyz Energy Organisational Behaviour

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Before XYZ Energy (government-owned company) was being acquired by Big Energy (private-sector competitor), XYZ Energy had loyal staffs who worked hard to create new processes which gave it a significant competitive advantage in the industry. XYZ Energy's management team was also well-respected by employees and everyone supported each other. After the acquisition, Sally Johnson; a member of XYZ Energy's management team was retained to facilitate parts of the integration. Now, with the rapid rate of integration Big Energy has adopted, XYZ Energy's employees were treated with redundancies and majority of the staff were removed. This caused XYZ’s remaining staff to have trouble adapting to new organizational culture, be unmotivated at work, and thereby lack organizational commitment.

                        Adapting to New Organizational Culture

Richard (2003, p. 88) states that ‘Organizational culture can be definite as values, beliefs, and standards that employees of a business share’. According to Cameron and Quinn (1999), there are four types of organizational culture – market culture, hierarchy culture, clan culture, and adhocracy culture (cited in Lopez-Nicolas 2009, p. 4). By noting how fast Big Energy wants to integrate XYZ Energy, the culture in Big Energy could be hierarchy culture as they emphasize on structure and process, focusing on efficiency and consistency. While XYZ Energy falls in an adhocracy culture as the emphasis is on innovation and new ideas (Choo 2013). Being merged, XYZ employees may not be able to adapt well to a different type of culture quickly, adding that no help from Big Energy’s management is offered to reduce the anxiety of new environment. Employees who do not easily adapt to organization change may react with feelings of stress (Lu & Cooper, cited in Dam 2005, p. 1) or changes in work attitude.

Lack of motivation

It is not surprising that XYZ’s remaining employees’ morale dropped when they are considered worthless in the new company (Big Energy). Naturally, they won’t be as motivated to work hard as they did in XYZ. Consequently, as Gibson et al. (2003 p. 126) state, ‘Motivation is the concept we use when we describe the forces acting on or within an individual to initiate and direct behaviour.’ How much effort is used depends whether the employee feels if it match the performance level. And from performance, the employee will perceive to see if he/she obtains the desired outcome (V.H. Vroom, cited in Colquitt, LePine & Wesson 2011, p. 182). People tend to work harder in a sense that they will exert more effort in their job when there are positive outcomes. An employee’s satisfaction is deem to which when the rewards that he or she receives for performances are unbiased. While fulfilled workers are more expected to perform, unfulfilled employees employ a smaller amount of effort, resulting in deteriorating performance and effectiveness (Werner, Schuler & Jackson 2012). In this case study, XYZ employees’ job performance changes for the worst when there’s not much for them to look forward to in the new environment. With no direct and job satisfaction at work, XYZ employees’ values automatically go in-sync with their job performance where quality, accountability, commitment, teamwork, achievement, consistency, personal growth, trust, innovation etc. heads for a downturn. It is then important for one to have something to work towards as people strive to meet their needs, wants and desire. According to Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (cited in Pettinger 2010, p. 130); physiological, safety and security, belongingness, esteem needs, self-actualization, people are more incline to fulfil their needs one by one. A person would have to satisfy the most basic need (physiological) first before proceeding to the next. So when XYZ employees are being integrated to Big Energy, they would need to get their safety and social needs fulfilled. However, it is almost impossible to because of the lack of concern from Big Energy’s management team to help XYZ employees adapt to the new environment.  Without a sense of belonging, XYZ staffs will be more dissatisfied in their current situation. Additionally, XYZ remaining staffs were also not allowed to compete for jobs based on merit which creates extra dissatisfaction. Knowing there won’t be future change of a better position in the company, it seems to XYZ employees’ their career path is a dead-end when they cannot progress and realize their needs. According to McClelland’s theory of needs consisting of the need for achievement, need for power, and need for affiliation (cited in McShane & Glinow 2008), each of these needs help explain motivation further which applies differently for every XYZ employees. Some may have a drive to succeed and obtain personal achievement rather than maintaining status quo. High achievers tent to seek situations which challenge their capability so they can set moderately challenging goals that require them to come out of their comfort zone (nAch). On the other hand, individuals high in need for power (nPow) desire to impact and control others. They would use persuasive communication, voice out their ideas in get-togethers. Individuals with need for affiliation (nAff) want to seek belongingness to a group. As they strive to build friendly and close interpersonal relationships. However, these needs are not met for XYZ employees as they are not given the same career opportunities as Big Energy’s employees, leading to greater adverse impact on their motivation level when XYZ’s employees compare the fairness of rewards and benefits to Big Energy’s employees. Wood et al. (2010) state that ‘Equity theory focus on deciding whether the distribution of resources is fair. Equity is measured by cost or reward for each person’. The biasness at work could cause XYZ staff members to engage in negative behaviours like change in work inputs; reduce performance effort or leave the situation; quit (Wood et al. 2010). Therefore many XYZ staffs volunteered to resign due to feelings of anger and frustration when inequality exists in Big Energy. The consequence of a lack of motivation thus generate a decrease in effort intensity, withdrawn usage of personal capital; social and technical knowledge and eventually exhibiting nil organizational commitment (ed. Kozlowski 2012).

                        Lack of Organizational Commitment   

Greenberg (2011 p. 153) states that ‘organizational commitment is the degree to which an individual classifies and is involved with the organization and/or is reluctant to leave it’. Meyer et al. (1990) established continuance commitment, affective commitment, and normative commitment (cited in Bambacas & Patrickson 2008). Continuance commitment occurs when employees weigh the pros and cons of the benefits allied with staying or leaving an organization. Affective commitment is an individual’s strong emotional attachment to the organization and to the work they do. Affective commitment happens because the employees agree with the organization’s goals and values. Therefore, with strong attachment to the company, employees enjoy their job and this increases job satisfaction as well as job performance. Lastly, normative commitment refers to employees’ sense of obligation to stay with the organization when employees feel that leaving their organization would cause disastrous consequences (Liou 2008). Having a sense of commitment benefits the company when employee retention rate improves with lower labour turnover, medical leave and going the extra mile behaviour. Employees who are not dedicated to their organizations participate in withdrawal behaviour; psychological withdrawal and physical withdrawal,  that employees carry out to evade work situations – behaviours that may eventually end in quitting the organization. It is likely that XYZ employees would display both psychological and physical withdrawal behaviours involving daydreaming, cyber loafing, socializing, moonlighting, tardiness, long breaks, and quitting (Colquitt, LePine & Wesson 2011). As no one is there to lead the remaining XYZ staff members, they behave this way as a form of retaliation for negative work events. Developing organizational commitment in employees should therefore be highly valued for maximum quality of work. Employee engagement is the employee’s self-efficacy to perform the job in the right conditions for workers of an organisation to give their best each day (McShane, Olekalns & Travaglione 2010, p. 168). To create a sense of commitment at work and employee engagement, communication between managers and subordinates are important to ensure information about company’s progress is shared among co-workers for everyone to be working on the same page. At the same time, communications help build relationship with superiors and subordinates regardless whether it’s interpersonal, non-verbal, formal or informal means. Researched by William C.  Schutz (1958), he developed three main interpersonal needs people are looking to obtain in a group (Ramaraju 2012). ‘Interpersonal needs theory states that people share common needs comprising of inclusion, control, and affection’ (Awad & Alhashemi 2012, p. 6). Inclusion is an inner drive to get involve or involve others in ones activities. Control refers to a need to make choices and take accountability. And affection is the need to be loved and accepted by others. When employees’ needs are met, they experienced job satisfaction and are more probable to build relationship (Awad & Alhashemi 2012). If needs is not achieved, counterproductive communication behaviours such as absenteeism, lateness, withdrawal happens, as mentioned previously. In application, Big Energy’s senior management took no effort to engage and learn about XYZ workers ability and competencies resulting in XYZ employees not taking pride in their work as these needs are not met. This is to say that building relationships at work is essential to form mutual trust and openness. Without trust, XYZ employees are not willing to voice their opinions, feelings, and improvement, and improvement ideas (Hakanen & Soudunsaari 2012). This in turn does not help Big Energy achieve more success nor pushing it closer to reach the organization’s full potential as XYZ keyed skilled staffs are not put to good used, including the new processes innovated by XYZ employees that gave XYZ Energy a competitive advantage in the industry. Engagements are necessary to keep workers updated on the organization’s strategy, goals and values. Furthermore, employees have regular opportunities to give their view and able to identify with the organization’s values better (Ruck & Welch 2012). ‘Job feedback is the degree to which supervisors provides opinion about the effectiveness of an employee’s performance’ (Slocum & Hellriegel 2011, p. 171). Giving job feedback aids employee’s job performance which leads to better work quality and organizational commitment as it shows the managers cares to improve employee’s personal growth in the company.



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