Business / Group Case Study - Organisation Behaviour

Group Case Study - Organisation Behaviour

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Autor:  anton  20 April 2011
Tags:  Organisation,  Behaviour
Words: 1377   |   Pages: 6
Views: 708

Question 1


The information gathered from the grapevine had shown unhappiness and high stress level of the employees since Bjork started working in the company. Ever since Bjork joined the work force, she gave a rather bad impression towards the employees who had witnessed Bjork’s ill-mannered behaviour towards Wong. When she was promoted to the supervisor position to replace Wong for his retirement, her irrational attitude towards the employees had gradually turned the company from a peaceful and team-oriented workplace, to a stressful and uncomfortable working environment.

Question 1(i)

Hierarchy of needs

There are two types of theories of motivation – Early and Contemporary Theories of Motivation. Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory is one of the Early Theories of Motivation. Every human beings there exists a hierarchy of five needs. (Robbins and Judge, 2005, p167). In this case, Bjork did not understood the team member members’ level of the hierarchy needs in order to motivate them. Neither did she make an effort to practice this theory which could help to satisfied needs among the employees. Without satisfying the necessary needs of employees will lead them to lose faith and interest in working in the company.

One of the needs in the hierarchy – Esteem, Bjork drew a clear line of status difference between herself and employee on the first day of work as supervisor. She mentioned that she would like to be addressed as Ms Huang in the future, which immediately cut off the friendliness contact between the superior and employee. Moreover, since Bjork took over as supervisor, employees no longer receive complements on the quality work they have done. Unlike Mozart and Amadeus, she did not praise the employees who had done well in their job. On the contrary, Bjork complained the speed of workers who spent too much time on the production and even threatened one of the employees with a chisel at his face for ruining a very expensive instrument, which violated the Safety need in the hierarchy.

Theory X

Theory X, which is one of an Early Theories of Motivation, describes one of managers’ assumptions that employees will avoid responsibilities and seek formal direction whenever possible. (Robbins and Judge, 2005, p169). Bjork called for a meeting on the first day of work as supervisor, and while asking for feedbacks or questions, no one answered. Bjork also felt that her employees were not serious about their work that had led

to delay in some deliveries thus she believed that there was a need to threaten them with punishment in order to control to achieve the goal. However, punishment was not always the right choice as it will cause the employees to feel unfair about the judgment because they were not giving a chance to clarify before they got punished in the case.

Two-factor theory

Two-factor theory is another Early Theories of Motivation, also known as motivation-hygiene theory, which relates intrinsic factors to job satisfaction, while associating extrinsic factors with dissatisfaction. (Robbins and Judge, 2005, p169). Bjork did not supervise her employee on the production when necessary unlike the previous supervisors. There was no motivation towards the growth area in advancement and recognition under Bjork’s leadership. This had caused job dissatisfaction and losing faith in being loyal to the organization which result the cohesive team spirit to wane.

Contemporary Theories of Motivation

The Contemporary Theories of Motivation, McClelland’s Theory of Needs focuses on three needs – Achievement, Power and Affiliation. In the view of Achievement need, Bjork thought Wong an old and not progressive manager. Moreover, she thought he was not striving hard for success and achievement, thus she felt that he has no position to advise her on how she should do in her job. And in a fit of anger, she scolded back Wong, which actually affected the employees’ moral and impression towards her.

Secondly, the need for power, states the desire to have impact, to be influential, and to control others. (Robbins and Judge, 2005, p172). Bjork immediately requested to replace Wong’s position when she was aware of his retirement. And upon the succession of supervisor position, she drew lines between herself and employees and came out a list of rules for her employees to follow in order to gain overall control.

Lastly, the need for Affiliation, desires relationships that involve a high degree of mutual understanding. (Robbins and Judge, 2005, p173). Similar to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Bjork wanted her employee to address her as Ms Huang. This already put a gap in between the superior and employee. Besides, she was not understanding towards her employees for ruining the instrument and the slow production speed.

Tuckman’s model

There are five different views of Tuckman’s five-stage model of group development – Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning.


The Forming stage, when members try to figure out the unknown behaviour of each other. Bjork as the supervisor implemented too many rules in the first day instead of trying to know each other well first. From the quarrel between Wong and Bjork previously, she already gave a bad impression to the employees. But she did not even make effort to cultivate or manage her relationship better with the employees.


Secondly, there is the Storming stage, which there is resistance to the constraints that the group imposes on individuality. (Robbins and Judge, 2005, p266). In the case, Bjork was too pushy and not able to accept comments and criticism from the employees. This resulted conflict between she and the employees and thus there was no team spirit at all. And gradually, there will be no cooperation between each other.


Thirdly, the Norming stage which assimilated a common set of expectations of what defines correct member behaviour. (Robbins and Judge, 2005, p266). From the beginning stage of forming, there is no mutual understanding between the members and leader. Bjork did not understand her team members well enough Hence, there is no cohesiveness and no sense of group identity.


The fourth stage of the group development, the Performing stage, group energy has moved from getting to know and understand each other to perform the task at hand. (Robbins and Judge, 2005, p266). From one of the feedbacks, it was commented that Bjork did not understand the working process of the production. She blamed the employee for delaying job without knowing the actual problem. This will affect the morale of the employee and the quality of the instrument might be compromised as well.


Finally, the Adjourning stage where the group starts to split up. Bjork’s managerial style greatly demoralized the members in the team. It is evident that after she joined the company, the absenteeism and turnover rate had increased as the members did not have any interest in working for the company.

Question 1(ii)

Through Grapevine communication, employees can retrieve information or rumours which they are unable to get from formal communication. This informal communication spread the important news easier and much faster to keep employees aware and get prepared before the news is formally announced. This can actually reduces the anxiety of the employees by giving them information in advanced which can be crucial to them.

Higher management can also learn what employees’ social needs and their feelings informally in order to manage or solve if there is any misunderstanding encountered among a group. And in times, grapevine can also get information externally to which can indirectly benefit the company.

Question 1(iii)

In the case, Wong did not inform Bjork about his retirement. And when Beethoven Huang announced Bjork’s promotion, Wong merely gave a stifled congratulatory comment and left the room, which was out of Bjork’s expectation. These already showed some unhappiness from Wong. Shortly after that, Wong reported sick and did not come back to work for many days which was unusual as it was not his style to take long period off. However, Beethoven Huang found that Wong was in good condition when he paid a visit to him. Hence, it was apparent that Wong purposely absented himself from work even when the company needed him.


In conclusion, it showed how a supervisor without people skills can affect the mood, morale and motivation of the employees, which will eventually have bad effects on the company. However, with the implementation of feedback system, it helped the management to gain some positive comments which can enhance on the relationship and environment more effectively.

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