Postal Service Essay

The Postal Service is one of the USA ‘s largest employers. In 1994, the Postal Service employed more than 800,000 workers at 352 mail processing and distribution workss and 39,392 station offices, subdivisions, and Stationss in 85 territories. In 1997, 21 instances of workplace force at the Postal Service were documented between 1983 to 1996, which resulted in the decease of 40 postal workers and other victims ; at least three extra instances have occurred since 1996.

In 1992, the Committee on Post Office and Civil Service of the US House of Representatives issued a study of its probe of the 1991 shots at the Royal Oak, Michigan, station office, where postal worker Thomas McIlvane killed four supervisors, wounded four other employees, and committed self-destruction. The study cited legion Congressional hearings and studies on postal direction patterns. These studies repeatedly revealed the being of an bossy direction manner, which was acknowledged by Anthony M. Frank, former Postmaster General ( 1988-1992 ) , on his going.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

Frank said that one of his declinations was his inability to pass the corporate civilization. He described the bureau as holding a “ paramilitary character, ” wherein the inquiry “ Why do I hold to make that? ” frequently receives the reply “ Because I told you to. ” Although betterments have been made, he said that the attitude that “ I ate soil for 20 old ages, now it ‘s your bend to eat soil, ” still existed among excessively many supervisors.

A 1994 study by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health found that ( 1 ) neither the postal industry nor postal businesss were among the groups at greater hazard for workplace homicide for the period 1983-1989 ; ( 2 ) the occupational human death rate for postal workers was approximately 2.5 times lower than that for all workers combined ; and ( 3 ) the homicide rate for postal workers was about the same as the national rate for all industries for the period 1983-1993. In 1983 to 1993, nevertheless, whereas homicide was the 3rd prima cause of job-related decease for all industries, homicide was the 2nd prima cause of postal worker deceases on the occupation. Besides, more colleagues have been killed at the Postal Service than in other industries. The province of the work environment hence continued to be of concern.

The Postal Service became an independent governmental organisation under the footings of the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970. A 1994 study on Postal Service labour-management dealingss noted its achievements in overhauling operations and bettering employee compensation, waiving direct taxpayer subsidies, and keeping cosmopolitan service. Besides, the study complemented the Postmaster General in station at the clip on his attempts to implement enterprises to assist construct a labour-management partnership at the national degree, and to do the Postal Service a more customer-driven and employee-oriented organisation.

In Congressional testimony in 1993, Postmaster General in station at the clip cited the following enterprises in the country of labour-management dealingss: including representatives of brotherhoods and direction associations in hebdomadal senior leading meetings at central offices and major installations across the state ; carry oning employee sentiment studies to mensurate factors related to employee committedness ; keeping directors and supervisors accountable for bettering employee committedness ; mensurating executive public presentation through the procedure called “ 360-degree feedback, ” which utilizes appraisals by supervisors, equals, and subsidiaries ; and trying to present promotion merely to executives with “ people accomplishments. ”

However the 1994 study concluded that plans since 1982 to better work floor dealingss have non changed implicit in direction values or systems impacting supervisor employee relationships: “ Employees continue to work in huge mail processing workss and in station offices throughout the state under a extremely structured system of work regulations and a extremely bossy direction manner. ” In kernel, no “ clear model or scheme exists for traveling agreed-upon values and rules down to first-line supervisors and employees working at treating workss and station offices. ”

Key findings of the study included the being of long-run adversarial labor dealingss between direction and three of the four postal worker brotherhoods ; inadequate public presentation direction systems ; “ tense and confrontational ” dealingss in mail processing workss, which are described as mills ; and reliance on disciplinary procedures and grudge processs for struggle declaration. In 1992, a backlog of 38,335 grudge instances awaited declaration through arbitration ; many employees could anticipate to wait a twelvemonth or more for an arbitration declaration if instances continue to be processed at the 1992 rate. The cost of the grudge procedure for financial twelvemonth 1992 alone was estimated at $ 200 million.

Furthermore a follow up study produced in 1997 declared that small advancement had been made since the 1994 study was issued. Adversarial dealingss between the Postal Service and three brotherhoods continued. Between financial old ages 1994 and 1996, the figure of grudges rose from 65,062 to 89,931, an addition of about 38 per centum, while the figure of backlogged grudges rose from 36,669 to 69,555, an addition of about 90 per centum. In general, the parties blamed each other for the higher volume of grudges and big figure of backlogged grudges. Besides, the Postal Service and the four postal worker brotherhoods and three direction associations were unable to convene a labour-management dealingss acme.

A book published on workplace force classified the Postal Service as a “ ill ” workplace, a class characterized by chronic labour-management differences ; frequent employee grudges ; an extraordinary figure of hurt claims, peculiarly stress claims ; understaffing and/or inordinate demands for overtime ; a high figure of stressed forces ; and an autocratic direction attack. The writer found significant grounds that culprits of workplace force frequently came from such environments. Furthermore, research concluded that the organisational clime is contributing to workplace force, as a consequence of the impact on workers of mechanisation, mechanization, and downsizing at the Postal Service since the 1980s. In drumhead, they suggested that a theoretical nexus exists between the direction of alteration and recent homicides at the Postal Service.

The writer ‘s felt that “ The debasement of labour under conditions of rapid technological and organisational alteration causes a signifier of societal disorganisation that provides the external conditions for eruption of force. Employees are objectified, pressured, and intimidated by the autocratic nature of scientific direction. Attendant defeat and disaffection weaken employee integrating and committedness to the organisation, which undermines traditional signifiers of societal control. Over clip, this defeat and disaffection catalyze alternate significances and forms of behavior including force. ” In amount, the writers blame the ‘organization ‘ of work at the postal service for the dysfunctional behavior that frequently occurs at that place.

Questions

Explain how the organisation of work can lend to dysfunctional behavior in the workplace. Support your analysis with illustrations from the instance.
See an illustration of dysfunctional behavior in an organisation with which you are familiar. Analyze the causes of this behavior. To what extent do you believe that these causes are ‘organizational ‘ in nature?
Dysfunctional Behavior has many signifiers, all taking to a wide consequence, which is doing injury in a manner or another to the organisation and/or its stakeholders. This paper will show two different signifiers of dysfunctional behaviour in two organisations.

Each illustration has resulted from a combination of cultural and environmental factors. We will endeavour to analyse the grounds for such negative behaviour, how it started and to show the theories that suggest solutions to get the better of it.

Question 1
Dysfunctional Behavior has many signifiers, all taking to a wide consequence, which is doing injury in a manner or another to the organisation and/or its stakeholders. This paper will show two different signifiers of dysfunctional behaviour in two organisations.

Each illustration has resulted from a combination of cultural and environmental factors. We will endeavour to analyse the grounds for such negative behaviour, how it started and to show the theories that suggest solutions to get the better of it.

Question 1

The presented instance survey gives an illustration of dysfunctional behaviour in one of the largest USA ‘s employers. This behaviour is chiefly derived from the organisation ‘s civilization, every bit good as minor influence of the environment where it exists. This portion of the paper indents to foreground how the organisation of work, exampled in the USA Postal Service, contributed to the dysfunctional behaviour in the workplace.

Description of the Dysfunctional Behavior in the US Postal Service
Cardinal words: Autocratic direction, Weberian bureaucratism, Mechanical Structure

To understand the type of dysfunctional behaviour that occurred in the US Postal Service, its symptoms, and how to rectify it, it is better to get down with the sample definition of dysfunctional behaviour ( DB ) by Giarcalone and Greenberg ( 1997, p. seven ) , being “ any behaviour that brings injury, or is intended to convey injury, to an organisation, its employees, or stakeholders ” . Although this definition is wide, it encompasses the elements that are largely affected by this behaviour. Traveling frontward in the analysis, high spots will be drawn on why and how the force started in the workplace, and the justifying theories for that behaviour, in add-on to proposing solutions to get the better of this negative corporate civilization.

Berkowitz argued that the organisation can lend to expose DB in one of two ways ; by:

“ making societal conditions that promote force by bring forthing aggressive dispositions ” or by “ take downing restrains against violent actions ” .

( Berkowitz, 1993, p. 281 )

The first premise by Berkowitz is more relevant to the state of affairs of the instance under survey. The force is largely created from inside the organisation, due to certain Acts of the Apostless and misbehaviour by the employees and/or their higher-ups, which has n’t been decently fought or streamlined, taking to constructing a negative civilization inside the organisation. In the US Postal Service, labours were enduring from bossy civilization that has been built over the old ages. Such civilization was around direction, hapless work conditions, mechanical construction, and even inability to implement the restructuring enterprises when the jobs where identified.

This is in add-on to the environment where the company operates, being spread all over the USA, necessitating extra attempt to unit the employees across the state under one end, and to decently pass on to them the vision of the company. Although it can be argued that the environment influence is minor, and that there are legion transnational organisations runing even globally do non confront the same job, it ‘s however imperative to observe that bossy direction combined with the environment factor caused greater consequence to developing this negative civilization.

The above premise can be criticized by the Burns and Stalker ‘s ( 1961 ) theory about bureaucratism. ‘They related organisational construction with environmental alteration to propose that a typical bureaucratism might be an appropriate organisational signifier in some fortunes. For illustration, houses in a predictable and comparatively certain environment could be managed by a predictable bureaucratic construction… Hence the organisation tends to develop bureaucratic and hierarchal constructions. ‘ ( Anon, p. 12.10 )

The direction of the US Postal Service have implemented the Weberian bureaucratism theory, believing that regulations and processs enable the organisation to map in a predictable and everyday mode. ( Anon, p. 12.9 )

Reason/Justification for the Dysfunctional Behavior

Cardinal word: Mechanical construction, deficiency of coherence, Work environment
From the above description, it can be derived that these negative symptoms constituted the corporate civilization inside the US Postal Service. Edger Schein ‘s ( 1984 ) definition of Corporate Culture explains how it might hold started:

“ Form of basic premises that a given group has invented, discovered, or developed in larning to get by with its jobs of external version and internal integrating, and have worked good plenty to be considered valid, and hence, to be taught to new members as the right manner to comprehend, believe and experience in relation to those jobs ”

The definition does non speak about whether the ‘invented premises ‘ are right or incorrect, or whether they helped in constructing positive or negative civilization inside the organisation ; it merely mentioned that it helped ‘cooping ‘ with a certain job, which can be either ways. These jobs were created from the huge size of the company, attributed with centralisation of the determination devising in the custodies of the top direction and their inability to travel the “ agreed-upon values and rules down to first-line supervisors and employees working at treating workss and station offices ” . Hence, there were no coherence amongst the members of the company and no clear vision on their mission. This deficiency of coherence is evidenced by the statement made by Anthony M. Frank, former Postmaster General ( 1988-1992 ) that one of his declinations was his inability to pass the corporate civilization.

Having pointed out the deficiency of coherence as a signifier of dysfunctional behaviour, moves us to speak about the 2nd cause of this behaviour being the hapless on the job environment, which helped in advancing force in the workplace. Many factors constitute this environment, some of which are the “ nature of the undertaking, physical scene, communicating and engineering ” ( Anon, p. 9.16 ) . Some of these factors are inevitable and hard to alter, such the nature of the undertaking as it is related to the operation of the company.

However, the staying factors can be improved, such as the physical scene, communicating and engineering. In fact, these jobs were identified, as spotted in Postal Service labour-management dealingss study ( 1994 ) that has ‘recognized overhauling operations and bettering employee compensation, waiving direct taxpayer subsidies, and keeping cosmopolitan service. ‘ Unfortunately, as mentioned above, these enterprises failed to accomplish its end of heightening the work environment and therefore cut down force, due to the bossy direction.

In fact, all the case in point factors are accessory to the chief job taking to the dysfunctional behaviour ; which is the bossy manner of direction. The US Postal service is characterized by holding mechanical construction, where all the determinations are centralized in the manus of few direction at the top of the company, cascading the ‘orders ‘ to their subsidiaries, who in return impose them on the employees and labours.

“ Robert Merton ( 1949 ) believed that bureaucratism ‘s accent on control and repeatability frequently consequences in human behavior going stiff and defensive… As a consequence of the employees ‘ negative attitude, clients and clients can go hostile and even aggressive. In response, employees become even more defensive and progressively reliant on regulations and processs. ” ( Anon, 2005 p. 304 )

Suggested solutions to get the better of the dysfunctional behaviour and foretelling result.
Cardinal Wordss: QWL, Clear Objectives, Persuasive manner, Delegation
Having described the symptoms and causes of the dysfunctional behaviour in the US Postal Service, it is easier now to use the theories that would show solutions to rectify the negative behaviour.

Merton ( 1949 ) concluded that to keep organisational control, authorization must be delegated through the managerial hierarchy. Deputation may be defined as: ‘The act by which a individual or group of individuals possessing authorization transportations portion of that authorization to a low-level individual or group. In all organisations there must be some deputation of authorization, although organisations differ in the extent to which deputation takes topographic point. ‘ ( Anon, p. 168 ) . In order to accomplish this degree of deputation, the company has to be geographically divided without increasing the hierarchal construction of the company, which will guarantee that the top direction have to go through the information to their subsidiaries and work on implementing the resolved determinations.

“ As portion of organisational alteration and restructuring enterprises, squads have been implemented for the undermentioned grounds:

Teams are the structural agencies for thin production systems, where the squad has the duty for production, quality, and machine care ( Womack et al, 1990 ) , and aids with the execution of just-in-time ( JIT ) , entire quality direction ( TQM ) and concern procedure re-engineering ( BPR )
Teams facilitate flexibleness.
Teamwork changes the organisational design and facilitates effectual decentralized organisational constructions.

There has been a displacement from leading being seen as the director ‘s occupation to the leading map being pushed down the hierarchy to the squad at lower organisational degrees. This reduces the centralized control of supervisor as accountant. Increased interpersonal and squad accomplishments are required from forces to pull off squads. ” ( Anon, 9.21 )
Furthermore, clear aims have to be set on the company ‘s overall ends, every bit good as the directions ‘ enterprise to heighten the quality of working life for the employees. It is noticeable that the employees lack assurance in the organisation, ensuing in less coherence amongst the groups at work. This is evidenced by the ‘existence of long-run adversarial labor dealingss between direction and three of the four postal worker brotherhoods ‘ .

Peter Drucker ( 1955 ) argues that ‘Objectives are needed in every country where public presentation and consequences straight and vitally impact the endurance and prosperity of the concern. These are the countries which are influenced by every direction determination. ‘ Drucker suggests that holding aims in cardinal countries would let the direction of an organisation to make five things, one of which being to Predict behaviour.

Decision:

It can be concluded that the cardinal word for the dysfunctional behaviour in the US Postal Service was the bossy manner of direction and hapless on the job conditions, which has to be corrected by implementing better Quality of Working Life. Workers have to bask some degree of self-denial over their daily work, which they decidedly know better so the direction sitting at the top of the organisation.

Furthermore, the labours ‘ voice has to be heard, showing themselves, and experiencing some grade of acknowledgment and engagement in directing their ain ship.

Question 2
Environment and civilization of XYZ Egypt

The 2nd illustration of dysfunctional behaviour that will be presented is for a personal experience that I faced in one of the largest fiscal establishments in the universe, which for the interest of confidentiality and professionalism, will be named XYZ Bank. It is sufficient to suggest that this Bank is ranked amongst the largest 3 fiscal establishments in the universe. I joined XYZ Bank, Egypt Branch, in 1998, as a relationship director in the corporate banking, unluckily when the whole state was heading towards recession that lasted boulder clay 2003.

At that clip, the economic system was enduring from the pecuniary policy set by the authorities to crest the Egyptian Pound ( E.P. ) at 3.4 against the US Dollar, whilst its just value was around 5.9, which created a parallel market for the difficult currency, that was locally known as the black market.

The overall downswing of the economic system made the fiscal system disbelieving about enlargements, as many borrowers defaulted on their liabilities a declared bankruptcy, or rescheduled their dues. What made things even worse, that the authorities has all of a sudden floated the E.P. , which resulted in its sever devaluation beyond the just value, making 7.25 against the US Dollar.

Adding to this the effects of 9/11, the environment was disruptive, and uncertainness was rounding even the being of the Bank, particularly that the chief rival Citibank has shrunk its presence to simple representation. This state of affairs has left small room of growing for fiscal establishments and therefore their employees.

On the internal forepart, employees were experiencing unbarred, with the chance of being discharged, in add-on to about no opportunity of growing, and intensifying the managerial ladder. This feeling has pushed the Bank ‘s Chairman in 2001 to ask for all employees to a response where he declared that there will be no retrenchment, nor lay-offs. The proclamation gave alleviation and committedness towards the Bank.

In the coming few paragraphs, it will be justified why, despite this direction support, there has been a dysfunctional behaviour that led to 30 % of the in-between direction voluntarily go forthing their occupation despite the attempts made to retain them. It will besides be described how this dysfunctional behaviour is largely organisational in nature, with small influence from the environment.

Description of the Dysfunctional Behavior in XYZ Egypt
Cardinal word: Recession, Mechanical constructions

By 2003, the recession was coming to an terminal in Egypt every bit good as the remainder of the Middle East ( peculiarly the Gulf states ) , with unobserved rates of growing and economic recovery. The employees, holding sustained the dry period, were hungry for publicities and more income after about 6 old ages of stagnancy. However, the Bank ‘s top direction, being experienced and holding seen multiple economic rhythms, were conservative about the sudden roar, and preferred to providentially step into new countries of finance. As a consequence of the above confrontation between the two positions, every bit good as the inability to advance ‘everyone ‘ at the same clip, about 30 % of the corporate in-between direction left the bank in 3 months for the local competition every bit good as some Gulf Banks. I personally left for XYZ subdivision in the United Arab Emirates.

In brief, the organisation was characterized by being mechanical, with fixed construction, and of class really antiphonal to its environment.

Reason for the dysfunctional behaviour
Cardinal Word: Demotivation
Before stepping into placing the grounds for the above described behaviour, it is better to get down with the definition of motive being: ‘a province arising in procedures that are internal and external to the person, in which the individual perceives that it is appropriate to prosecute a certain class of action ( or actions ) directed at accomplishing a specified result ( or outcomes ) and in which the individual chooses to prosecute those results with a grade of energy and continuity ‘ ( Rollinson, 1998: 148 ) .

What happened in XYZ Egypt was the contrary. The direction failed to understand the demands of ‘self appraisal ‘ for the employees. The latter have admitted the attempt of the bank to guarantee their security, nevertheless, their feelings were distorted by many other factors such as the demand for salary additions, publicities, engagement in determination devising… etc. Hence, Rollinson ‘s definition of motive was non wholly achieved in the eyes of the employees. They did n’t happen a driver to go on working and execute.

Management ‘s response to the lag of work gait was self-generated. They ‘ve admitted that the Bank was prolonging the recession and keeping acceptable degree of growing against the hapless economic conditions. Hence, they repeatedly increased the wages with little per centums, to maintain the staff satisfied, and to do them experience appreciated. Over a period of 18 months, wages were about doubled, yet the in-between direction was non motivated as they were looking for engagement in developing the Bank ‘s schemes.

Maslow ‘s theory of human motive, describes the position of these in-between direction in XYZ Egypt. His theory provinces that, on norm, persons are motivated by a desire to fulfill certain specific demands, which can be classified into five major groups: Physiological, Safety, Belonging, Esteem and Self-actualization. ( Anon, p. 8.8 ) .

Harmonizing to Maslow ‘s theory, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd degrees were achieved. The Middle direction had acceptable income that secured nice criterion of life, basking some degrees of power and control over junior staff, in add-on to being portion of a well renowned organisation which gave them the prestigiousness in their society. However, they were still taking towards experiencing the importance of their being and take parting in driving the concern ‘ scheme. “ The survey of motive in organisational behaviour is the survey of the procedures of organisational influence and a survey in the exercising of power and control ” ( Anon, p. 8.15 ) .

The trap where the top direction fell into was their perceptual experience of committedness. They looked at the bulk of the staff who were with low experience, and accordingly underpaid. Increasing their wage committed them to the Bank. However, the top direction had to increase the wages, as a policy, cross the board, which shifted the ingestion curve of the in-between direction beyond their necessities, taking to direct their attending towards more direction powers and fast publicities. When non achieved, they left the Bank with the first mark of chance that showed to them.

Solution for the dysfunctional behaviour:
Cardinal word: Team restructuring

After holding lost 30 % of the 2nd line of direction, the CEO and the Head of HR came up with a solution to assist actuating this niche of Staff, and it has worked good. By the beginning of 2004, the market was recovered from the recession, and was heading for the roar. In the average clip, the planetary tendency in banking was traveling towards retail instead so corporate, with a scheme to split the hazard amongst a wider base.

The CEO adapted the thought of ‘supermarket banking ‘ , where he intended to open a series of little subdivisions to cover the whole state. In each subdivision, a ‘branch director ‘ would be appointed, under whom studies few junior staff and supervisors. The CEO sagely used the directors from the corporate banking side to make full in these new managerial places, under the supervising of Regional Heads for each geographical zone. He motivated them to execute under their existing functions in corporate banking to be ‘promoted ‘ to ‘branch directors ‘ . He aligned the single ends of the in-between direction with the end of organisation, which has been a cardinal success in rectifying the behaviour of the Bank.

Decision

The environment gave the first ignition for the dysfunctional behaviour in XYZ Egypt, which was so flamed by the organisation ‘s mechanical and fixed construction. The solution every bit good came from the organisation itself, as evidenced by holding the environment invariable, and offering the same challenges.

Concluding Decision:
From the above two illustrations, it can be concluded that dysfunctional behaviour has many signifiers ; runing from deficiency of coherence, to miss to motive, and others. However, all taking to the same consequence which is as loosely defined above ; doing injury to the organisation or its stakeholders.

Mentions
Anonymous, Master ‘s Degree in Business Administration Module 1, Unit 1, Edition 12
Drucker, P. ( 1955 ) , The Practice of Management, Harper and Row, New York.
Edgar H. Schein ‘s ‘Coming to a new consciousness of organisational civilization ” , Sloan Management Review, Winter Edition, 1984.
Giacalone, R.A. and Greenberg, J. ( 1997 ) , Antisocial Behavior in Organizations, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks CA.
Merton, R.K. ( 1949 ) , Social Theory and Social Structure, Free Press, Glencoe.
Rollinson, D. , Broadfield, A. and Edwards, D.J. ( 1998 ) , Organisational Behaviour and Analysis, Addison-Wesley, Harlow.
Womack, J.P. , Jones, D.T. and Roos, D. ( 1990 ) , The Machine that Changed the World, Macmillan, New York.