Example Of Organizational Culture And Personality Dynamics Essay
Organizational culture refers to the values and beliefs of the members of the organization. It influences the work and productivity of an organization. Many organizations establish their own culture on how members relate to each other and to control discrimination in the work place. A lot of work has been done in the previous decades to prevent discrimination in organizations. This has involved actions like activism, legislation, and human resource programs that counter and promote diversity appreciation (Burkard, Boticki, & Madson, 2002). Despite all this, prejudice and discrimination still exists in in modern organizations.
Prejudice is known as prejudgment and involves feelings and thoughts about a specific group. It refers to inflexible and irrational attitudes held by a person or a group about another group. Organizational prejudice refers to discrimination embedded in the culture, policies or the objectives of the organization. Discrimination arises from various factors. This includes personality dynamics which is affected by the person’s background and upbringing and the culture of the organization.
Contemporary forms of discrimination are more difficult to detect and control. This is because it conceals itself even to the perpetrators. Another reason is people are accustomed to the thought that prejudice against any stereotyped group is alike. Those who practice prejudice and discrimination try to protect themselves by denying others access to opportunities (Nelson, 2009). They believe they do not deserve equal treatment as everyone else.
Prejudices against ethnic and racial minorities continues to flourish despite education and knowledge (Nora & Cabrera, 1996). This is because new forms of discrimination have arose which are less easy to detect in an organizational structure (Quillian, 2006). The traditional laws that were enacted to counter prejudice arose from the negative attitudes and derogatory beliefs about social groups. They are, therefore, not capable to control the new kinds of prejudice that have emerged.
Sources of Prejudice
The structure of modern organizations can create discrimination and prejudice. This includes power, collectiveness and goal orientation (Nelson, 2009). The establishment of supervisory roles and teamwork create a loophole for prejudice and discrimination. Discrimination also results when there are poor or weak organizational policies.
A new form of discrimination is incivility and discourteous behavior. Discrimination can also arise from achievement gap in education. Other roots of discrimination are personality factors such as social dominance orientation and authoritarianism. Humans have the cognitive tendency to think in a categorical manner and this often leads to prejudice. Cognitive processes lead to formation of social groups which creates implications for leadership endorsements and multicultural policy.
Prejudice also develops from unconscious attitudes that try to counter feelings of inadequacy through projecting one to a target group. This involves blaming those without power which makes one find a simple cause for complex problems. Prejudice and discrimination are manifested in many different forms. It is easy to categorize the different forms into organizational culture and personality dynamics.
The culture of organizations is not neutral in the evaluation of employee behavior and values. Leaders may decide to reward employees based on how best they fit their stereotype (Fiske, 1998). Such cultural beliefs may manifest itself in behavioral norms, human resource practices, and physical arrangements. Some organizations promote employees basing on their verbal fluency, lack of disability, and input during meetings. Supervisors make decisions about pay, access to training, and promotions, and this determines the extent to which discrimination exists. Prejudicial attitudes make supervisors reward employees preferentially.
When strategy for advancing diverse employees lacks in an organization, there is a tendency for high discrimination levels. This includes poor recruitment and retention policies which allows discrimination to crop up in this procedures. Hiring of new workers may involve selection of certain preferred candidates basing on certain stereotyped qualities. Prejudiced assumptions are sometimes communicated directly to nontraditional employee through inappropriate jokes. Employers may scorn and ridicule certain employees publicly because they do not fit their personal model making them feel discouraged and humility.
The extent to which members of an organization believe in its culture could also lead to prejudice and discrimination. Weak culture may have contrasting norms and values that allow variability of behavior that may seem appropriate. Members may introduce their own determining behavior that could lead to a free action based on particular ideas or prejudices. This results in discrimination within the organization because each member acts without regard for organizational priorities. If the management fails to punish discriminatory acts, members may make the assumption that such acts are acceptable and continue to perpetuate them.
Extremely strong organizational cultures could also lead to prejudice in the organization. There would result strong situations that require members to behave according to agreed standards for proper behavior. Those who deviate from these standards may suffer punishment through when sanctions are imposed against them. It could result in nontraditional employees conforming to norms of the dominant coalition. They would thus experience discrimination as their diverse approaches to work are undermined and devalued.
The relationship between the boss and subordinate creates a gap between the two parties which could lead to discrimination. This type of discrimination is very difficult to detect. Superiors try to ensure they enlarge the distance between themselves and their subordinates. Opportunities in the organization are sometimes awarded
In the modern world, it is equally possible for females to get employed. While this is true that gender discrimination has declined, a contemporary form gender discrimination has emerged. Discrimination is now based on earnings and remuneration. In some organizations, women earn less that their counterpart males. Gender discrimination is also seen in power allocation in the workplace. It is evident that there are more males in the supervisory roles and other positions than females.
Organizations have an invisible barrier that prevents women and other racial minorities from promotion to senior positions. The groups are usually underrepresented in managerial positions which further perpetuates itself when it comes to hiring. The people in senior positions have a tendency to hire and promote individuals who are like themselves. This results in fewer opportunities for people who are different from those in power. Lack of representation also makes the organization develop a monolithic culture that is defined by discrimination.
Labor specialization and lengthy command chains in large organizations also allow proliferation of segregation. It is also possible groups evolve and practices of a minority group discouraged especially if it deviates from those of the majority group. Sometimes views about occupations are attached to racial discrimination. Esteemed and prestigious occupations may belong to a chosen group while the minority are associated with less prestigious roles (Plous, 2003). This creates division between different groups in the organization, and the minority will feel discriminated against.
Policies and of an organization influences discrimination to a large extent. Many organization base their interest upon the view of their stakeholders. Pressure from key stakeholders leads the organization to partake in actions that please them which may include discrimination. The degree to which diverse workers are integrated may also be influenced by industry based norms and practices of peer organizations.
Some organizations are influenced by their economy and performance. Economic conditions may hinder an organization’s devotion to combating discrimination. When downsizing or during economic recession, an organization may rely on a limited number of well learned and habituated behavioral scripts. The institution may decide to keep the few while the rest lose their jobs. Although such acts are based on survival instincts, it discriminates against those who are less qualified and those who are new in the institution.
Diversity initiatives fail when there is lack of commitment to the leadership of the organization. The management should determine how diversity is implemented and recognize potential prejudice and discrimination. Lack of priority in managing or eliminating prejudice in an organization gives the discriminated the view that they are not valued. In such situations, discriminatory practices are unlikely to be eradicated. This could create low self-esteem and make the target group open to prejudice. Discrimination is likely to arise if the management fails to emphasize on inclusiveness and implement systems of accountability.
Abusive supervision arises from negative subordinate outcome. It manifests itself from personal factors, or it could be situational. It occurs when subordinate sustain derogatory verbal utterances and hostile nonverbal behaviors. Supervisors could directly ridicule their employees or give them silent treatment. Some employees are reminded of their past failures which is used as a basis to judge their current performance. Supervisors carry out such actions because they perceive to have total control over their employees. They view it as their responsibility to ensure employees perform their duties. Some supervisors abuse their roles and use their position to discriminate their subordinates.
Social undermining arises from expression of negative emotions targeted to a particular person. Social undermining is a direct result of abusive supervision. Actions that evaluate the target negatively involve criticism of efforts and attributes of the person. Social undermining in the work place is aimed at hindering the worker's ability to establish and maintain a successful reputation. The success of an upcoming employee may make a person in higher authority feel threatened. They undermine the worker to make them look bad and, therefore, protect their current positions.
Social undermining also results from envy. The supervisor may envy the qualifications and reputation of subordinates. Some subordinates are possibly more qualified than their bosses. Some supervisors could be aware of that they lack these qualities and strive to protect their integrity and positions. This leads to belittling and withholding of important information that may lead to promotion of the subordinate. The employee suffers prejudice resulting from their knowledge and qualifications.
Unequal status usually breeds prejudice. This is because members with high status in an organization use prejudice to maintain their status quo. They feel threatened to use prejudice to ensure other parties feel inferior to them and, therefore, maintain their status. Other people may use prejudice to acquire status. They discriminate to put others down which boosts their own ego.
Distinctiveness often captures attention among members, and this distorts judgment. Each person possesses their own distinctive qualities and characteristics. Such qualities are either good or bad. A person may use vivid or extremes occurrences to judge the group they belong to. The single person is used to generalize the entire group of people who have obvious dimension with that individual. This sometimes breeds stereotypes.
Discrimination also arises from intolerance of others. Some members in the organization may have rigid ideas about themselves. They would therefore not tolerate other members especially if their actions have a direct effect on them. They may discriminate against others believing that they are always right, and they are not subject to correction. Some members may blame external causes arising from hatred and racial intolerance to promote self and group image.
Some people are prone to stereotypical thinking based on fears (Russell & Russell, 2011). They are said to have an authoritarian personality. They rigidly submit to their superiors without question. They, therefore, reject others whom they consider inferior and express intolerable opinions. This type of personality usually results from unloving parents. Others were harshly disciplined when they were children and learnt to control their anxieties through conformity and expression of rigid attitudes. Authoritarian personality also leads submission to one's own authority which results in oppression of one's subordinates.
Prejudice may also arise form conformity and belonging. Some members of the organization may use discrimination to bring support from others. This gives them a sense of belonging. In such instances, rejecting prejudices may lead to loss of social support. The pressure to conform to views of other associates could be strong.
Some members of the organization may display tendencies to evaluate culture of others basing on their own cultural values and beliefs. This category of prejudice is referred to as ethnocentrism. It is often considered as natural quality of human, but it generally applied with a negative connotation. It includes judging others especially with concern for behavior, language, religion, and customs. It often leads to pride and belief that one's own group is superior to others. Such people usually express contempt of others and leads to discrimination within the organization.
Humans sometimes discriminate on the sole basis of language they use. Personal speech and accent may lead to segregation in an organization. Sometimes it is based on the ability or even the inability to speak a certain language. This creates a form of linguistic discrimination in the workplace. People who share a common language will tend to stick together and segregate those who speak different languages. This form of discrimination usually creates unequal division of power and resources between the groups are defined on the basis of language.
Prejudice and discrimination can also arise from religious inclinations. Some members of certain religion may expose hostility and discriminate against those of different faith. Studies have shown religion has a direct effect on prejudice. The differences between organizational members may result from different religious practices and interpretations amongst the individuals. Some people practice institutionalized religion which affects their social and political aspects and are, therefore, more prone to prejudice.
Attribution refers perceiving causes and motives. Humans have a tendency of creating our own impressions of others fairly quickly. Motives are therefore assigned to explain other people’s behavior. One might use disposition to determine another’s personality or intellectual characteristics. This quality is susceptible to perceptual biases as basic cues are used to evaluate a person while variations are ignored.
Racism can also lead to prejudice. People who perceive other races as inferior may exercise discriminatory acts against other members. Some organizational members may have an intolerance of weakness. They believe in perfectionism and actions done flawlessly. Such people may discriminate upon those who make mistakes. Lack of sharing a common goal and contact between different groups makes certain people perceive others as weak and discriminate against them.
Human nature makes people form groups. It is quick to form judgments of a social group especially if little is known about them. Attribution may suggest the external environment in which a target person exists is responsible for the development of their behavior. Since the person is involved in a certain group, it is possible to give the whole members of the group the same qualities as the person.
Prejudice can also arise from group closure. Formation of groups creates a distinctive gap and group members tend to stay clear from boundaries that form between them. Privileged groups may hold onto their social status, power, and invest in seeing no competition for resources from minority groups. They may even resort to extreme acts of violence against other to protect their interests. Therefore, members of underprivileged groups may retaliate in an attempt to improve their situation.
Discrimination and prejudice have always existed throughout human history and manifest themselves in different forms in modern organizations. Prejudice is basically related to low self-esteem, and the perpetrators do so to enhance their importance and self-worth. Prejudice is not limited to a few individuals but it grows out of normal human functioning, and any person is susceptible. It is possible that unprejudiced organizations to become prejudiced under harsh conditions such economic depressions.
Organizational culture is the strongest factor which influences discrimination and prejudice in an organization. This is because even personality is influenced when exposed to culture that promotes prejudice. People who are unprejudiced may display prejudices in extreme organizational culture that threaten their existence
Discriminatory behaviors are the primary outcomes of self-interest. At the organizational level, it creates expensive and serious consequences. Institutions need to establish strong policies to protect their members from discrimination and promote diversification. They should also employ collaborative interactions to reduce hostility between conflicting groups.
Burkard, A. W., Boticki, M. A., & Madson, M. B. (2002). Workplace Discrimination, Prejudice, and Diversity Measurement: A Review of Instrumentation. Journal of Career Assessment.
Fiske, S. T. (1998). Stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. In Handbook of social psychology (Vol. 2, pp. 357–411). Retrieved from http://search.epnet.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=cookie,ip,url,uid&db=psyh&an=1998-07091-025
Nelson, T. D. (2009). Handbook of prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination. Handbook of prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination.
Nora, A., & Cabrera, A. F. (1996). The Role of Perceptions of Prejudice and Discrimination on the Adjustment of Minority Students to College. The Journal of Higher Education, 67, 119–148.
Plous, S. (2003). The psychology of prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination: An overview. In Understanding Prejudice and Discrimination (pp. 3–48).
Quillian, L. (2006). New Approaches to Understanding Racial Prejudice and Discrimination. Annual Review of Sociology.
Russell, C. A., & Russell, D. W. (2011). prejudice and discrimination. National Institute of Health, 21, 413–425.
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