Имя материала: Организационная психология

Автор: Занковский А.Н.

The english summary of the book zankovsky a. organizational psychology. m: fl1nta, mpsi, 2000. 648 p.

The crisis Russia found itself in at the eve of the third millennium has affected the majority of the organizations in this country. Among them are even those organization, which recently all Russian people were very much proud of. The range and destructiveness of the crisis happened to be a nasty surprise not only for thousands of plants, factories, schools, clinics, mines or army units, but for the organizational experts as well.

For the psychologists this situation is a special challenge: during "perestroika" the gap between the words and the deeds, between organizational goals and personal interests of the leaders at every level of the management has become so large and socioeconomic contradictions within the country — so sharp, that very often only the inner, psychological analysis can clarify the meaning of the events in progress.

However, the organizational psychology — the field of science, basically established to study the contradictions between overt and covert sides of organizational behavior and provide the solution to the whole scope of psychological problems in organization, has faced serious difficulties in explanation and exploration of the destructive virus, that has afflicted all the organizational systems in the country.

What has happened in Russian organizations during "perestroika" and why everything, that previously gave rise to hope and seemed rational, turned out to be so dull, confused and unsusceptible to scientific analysis?

In the former Soviet Union the activity of every organization was strictly determined by the state plan. The country's economy was like a giant fleet following one course and sensitively orienting to the signals from the flagship. Under these conditions the work of organizational psychologists boiled down to the solution of the routine "marine services" problems (work motivation, leadership, personnel selection, work rationalization, group dynamics and efficiency, organizational culture etc.) The question "Where and what for does the ship float?" never came even into the captain's mind.

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union too much things have changed to the Russian organizational ships. Having lost the flagship of the state planning the powerful fleet has dissipated in the stormy ocean of transitional period, and all of a sudden it has turned out that the traditional concept of organization as "forethought coordinated social unit with definite boundaries, functioning on relatively stable basis for achieving the joint goal", does not unveil the most important moment in organizational functioning — its contradictory nature.

It has become obvious that the organizational unity — is just an illusion, and if the organization is plotting her course on its own account, plenty of contradictions threaten not only its efficiency, but even its survival. On the surface these contradictions can reveal themselves in the most unexpected and grotesque forms and then all of a sudden disappears the expensive production of the plant, stocks of a powerful factory are sold out for peanuts, workers and engineers are working month by month without hope to get their ratty salaries...

In the context of these acute contradictions the efforts of organizational psychologists to solve the traditional psychological problems look like ambulant treatment of a serious decease. All this makes extremely actual the developing of new approaches that can extend the possibilities of psychology in analysis and solution of real organizational problems. The book presents one of such attempts. It is suggested to treat any organization first of all as a contradictory process of interaction between people, sharing different or even opposite goals, interests, needs and ideas.

Psychologically this contradiction reveals itself in two contrary tendencies: centripetal and centrifugal. The first tendency jogs an individual to organization, cooperation and search for joint goals and interests. Within this tendency the organization comes out for the individual as an instrument for his needs satisfaction: working for the company and following its goals he/she gets not only the means for life, but prospects for well being and development, as well. The second — forces an individual to avoid the organizational pressure. The necessity to comply with organizational requirements and inability to follow exceptionally his/her plans and desires inevitably evoke on his/her part the protest and reluctance to enter the organization.

This contradiction is essential characteristic of any organization and permanently threatens its integrity. To exist as a unit an organization can only in the case, when the centripetal forces pronouncedly and steady dominate over centrifugal, when tendency for integration prevails over tendency for disintegration. However, the individualism and flexibility of human behavior with its instability in emotions, needs and motives can not provide the spontaneous development of stable tendency for cooperation. What after all can provide the victory of integration over disintegration, triumph of cooperation over individualism?

The majority of theories dealing with human organizations and joint actions agree that the first and indispensable condition for existence of any organization is development of a common goal. Indeed, one could hardly overestimate the importance of common goal in any collective undertaking. Represented in the form of statement, which with less or more details reflects some desirable for organization results, the goal serves as a key factor determining the behavior of organizational members.

Where does this common goal come from? In whose head does it emerge or in other words, who is its subject? The idea that a common goal is a kind of shared organizational consciousness and expresses acceptable direction for actions for everyone in organization, though looks attractive and democratic, is in fact just a metaphor that does not move forward our knowledge of actual psychological mechanisms of organizational functioning.

If every member of organization, convinced in the validity of his own individual goal tries to promote it as a common goal, the "wagon" of this organization will never move anywhere. Somebody's even the most attractive individual goal by itself can be hardly perceived as significant by other people and one could not await that they will persistently follow it.

In order to make an integral organizational unit out of a group of people, the individual goal of one or several individuals must acquire some privilege over the goals of other members, that is this very individual (or group) should become the subject of the common goal of organization.

There is a well-known experiment in animal psychology, in which a monkey in order to satisfy its hunger has to get bananas suspended under the ceiling of the cage. The animal can get the desired fruits only if it put several boxes one over another. Each monkey on his own is able to accomplish the task quite quickly. However, when this task is given for a group of monkeys simultaneously, each animal tried to attain its goal never minding efforts and wishes of the other monkeys. This kind of cooperation inevitably evokes struggle for the boxes, conflicts and even fighting. Looking at nearly finished box construction and a fellow climbing upstairs, some of the monkeys can decide that it would be better to put the lowest box up... As a result — the "building" is never finished, goal is never attained and tied, hungry animals have nothing to do but to look in distress at inaccessible fruits'. To our mind, this experiment can serve as a good example of "organization", in which the individual goal of all members are equal and have no privilege over other goals. In such case we can state that the monkey community is completely deprived of any common goal.

To become common the goal should lean against some force or process, that can provide its privilege upon individual goals of other members of organization. If such kind of support is not available the most prominent and efficient goal has few chances to struggle through the fence of other even completely talentless intentions and plans. And on the contrary, the most stupid and shabby idea can knock out bright and noble plans, if it rests on the organizational process, ensuring its priority over other individual aspirations.

Besides, the supremacy of one goal over others should be regular and stable. Thus, we can conclude that the first and critical condition for forming an organization is not just a common goal, but some force, that is able to give any individual goal a status of a common goal. This force in organization we call organizational power, which can be defined as an organizational process, providing stable priority of common goal of organization over individual goals of organizational members and using for this purpose a wide scope of organizational means, including coercion. It is important to emphasize that organizational power is a crucial organizational process and we can state the existence of organization de facto only if it integrated by a constant process fixing the priority of common organizational goal over all individual goals and intentions. If such a process is not established or weak, the existence of organization as an integral productive unit is under the threat.

Analyzing the functioning of organization in the context of organizational power has provided us with a new outlook on explanation and solution of many organizational problems, namely, problems of efficiency, motivation, leadership, conflicts, personnel selection, performance evaluation etc. Besides, treating organizational power as a core concept of organizational psychology gives us deep grounds for formulating a new comprehensive theory, covering the wide scope of psychological phenomena in organizations.

In the light of power-approach the history and achievements of modern organizational psychology have been reviewed in the book. Besides, comprehensive analysis of theories and thorough systematization of research data have been made, and various case studies and examples of problems solution in real organizations have been presented.

The book is recommended as basic textbook on organizational psychology for the students of universities, business schools and colleges. Managers, experts in consulting, personnel recruiting and organizational development may use this book as a manual for tasks and problems they constantly face in their work. This book will be interesting for the wide scope of readers, as the understanding of the implicit, psychological reasons of human behavior in organizations opens every individual new chances for development and success in any field of activity.

The structure of the material reflects the basic idea of the book — to conceptualize the achievements of modern organizational psychology in the frame of the new paradigm with organizational power as the crucial organizational process. The book consists of 13 chapters organized in 5 parts.

Part I "Organizational psychology as a scientific discipline" deals with analysis of theoretical problems of organizational psychology. Two chapters of this part discuss the history, subject, main problems of organizational psychology and methods, which enable to give scientific explanation and predict human behavior in organizations.

Part II "Organizational power" acquaints the readers with different aspects and manifestations of power in organizations. Chapter 3 "The problem of power in modern psychology" reviews a wide scope of power research in psychology, introduces main approaches and concepts, describes power sources, mechanisms and tactics in organizations. Chapter 4 "Power as the basic concept of organizational psychology" demonstrates the importance of power for understanding and solving of almost all psychological problems in organization.

The proposed concept of power genesis has enabled to formulate a number of fundamental for organizational psychology conclusions and state that the evolution of power and organization has ensured the development of behavior forms specific only for human beings. In this context we can say that the power has produced the modern man.

Today the concept of power is very often replaced by the concept of leadership. Indeed, the ultimate objective of leadership is also concerned with the integration of individual goals in common direction, i.e. with forced change of organizational members' behavior. But the power of a leader is mainly based not on organizational resources but on his personal features and expert knowledge. In fact the followers are much more oriented on the personality of a leader, and only as consequence on the common organizational goal. Therefore, the way a leader uses to integrate the goals and efforts of his followers is perceived by them much more democratic and psychologically comfortable. Though the leadership is the main tendency of power evolution today, the basic mechanisms of this phenomenon can not be understood only out of personal and behavioral characteristics of leaders. Treating leadership as specific type of organizational power, we first of all analyze it in the context of the basic organizational process — power. This approach along with review of modern theories, models and research data in the field of leadership is presented in Chapter 5 "Leadership".

The phenomenon of power can be understood only in the context of organization and its means. That is why Part III "Power and organization" is devoted to the analysis of structural, process, formal, psychological and other organizational characteristics, that provide priority of common organizational goal over individual goals of its members. The main characteristics of organization as materialization of common organizational goal are discussed in Chapter 6 "Organization". Besides, the chapter deals with the evolution of different views on organization and its analysis.

Chapter 7 "Motivation" is concerned with the review of modern achievements in motivational research. In general the solution of motivational problems is concerned with the search of the factors, determining directions of individual behavior. Being aware of such factors, organizational power is able to consolidate individual goals of organizational member in the definite direction using the wide scope of organizational resources, that can satisfy individual needs. Within the frame of this approach we analyze the theories and concepts of motivation, as well as different models, methods and resources used by organization for simulating effective organizational behaviors.

Chapter 8 "Organizational culture and development" deals with two more forceful tools, which organizational power can use to establish goal-oriented team. Organizational culture is an important determinant of individuals' attitudes and sentiments to different sizes of organizational life. Knowledge of main components of organizational culture enables organization to form an atmosphere that supports and eliminates obstacles interfering with the common organizational mission. Even the most conservative organizations are subjected to constant changes, which can have negative or even lethal consequences. Chapter 8 also presents principles, methods and programs of organizational development that provide positive tendency for organizational changes.

Part IV "Power and a group" is devoted to the group phenomenon, which had not attained attention of organizational psychologists until 1940-s. Chapter 9 deals with fundamental characteristics of groups and their role in organization. The importance of group research rests upon the fact, that it is much more difficult to orient group goals to common organizational goal, then it is in the case of an individual. The famous Hawthorn experiments has demonstrated that the group determines individual productivity much more than his abilities and professional skills. By that the group often negatively affects organizational efficiency as well. That is why efforts of managers and psychologists at aimed not only at better use of group potential, but also at overcoming or neutralizing of negative group effects. In this context a special accent is made on the analysis of so called "social loafing", which reveals itself in constant and dramatic loss of individual efficiency while working in a group.

Chapter 10 "Organizational communication" analyzes communicational processes, which factually are the main means for harmonizing individual goals with the common goal of organization. At the same time, direct and immediate communication in organization come to life within the frames of a work group. That is why the main attention in this chapter is given to discussion of intra- and intergroup communication as one of the components and tools of organizational power.

The final Part V "Power and an individual" consists of three chapters. Chapter 11 "Individual and organization" deals with the foundations of individual behavior. It analyzes individual goals, personal characteristics and traits, determining individual behavior in organization. Entering organization each individual brings with him his unique experience, conception of the world, values and attitudes, which facilitate or impede his integration in organization. Chapter 12 "Values and life styles" is devoted to analysis of attitudes and values of organizational members. Knowledge and understanding of these personal formations enable to anticipate their adequacy to organizational mission. The last Chapter "Personnel selection" introduces with methods, that allow organization to hire individuals sharing its goals and possessing relevant professional skills and abilities. A special emphasis is laid on the selection of organizational powerholders, whose effect on the effective functioning of organization is profound.

For obviousness the book is supplied with the examples of practical application of the concepts and methods discussed in different types of organizations: banks, industrial companies, state organizations, clinics, research centers, universities etc. Besides, the text is provided with various "case studies" and exercises allowing to apply discussed material to solution of actual organizational problems. We hope that the knowledge of power can be helpful for Russian organizations in their pulling through current difficulties.

This book would never be written but due to the help and attention of many people. First of all, I want to thank my wife Tatyana for advices and support which were so needful during the long-term every day work..

1 would like to express my gratitude to my colleagues from Russian Academy of Sciences with whom I have already been having luck to work with for twenty five years. I am also very grateful to Japanese Foundation, Alexander Humboldt Foundation (Germany), faculties of Waseda University, Aoyama Gakuin University, Aomori Koritsu University (all — Japan), Aachen Technical University and Marburg University (both — Germany), to Human Factors and Ergonomic Society (USA), International Association of Cross-Cultural Psychology and to my colleagues professor M.Maruyama (Japan), professor L.Hornke (Germany), professor M. de Montmollin (France), professor H.Triandis


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