Essays on The Scanlon Plan for Organization Development Assignment
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The Scanlon Plan for Organization Development
What are the important factors that results in creation and successful implementation of innovations in organizations?
Specific concerns generated from observation
What is the importance of motivational processes in the innovation process?
What is the importance of information and communication in the innovation process?
On the basis of the concerns some of the important theoretical constructs that can be used are:
Expectancy theory proposes that the tendency to act in a certain way depends upon the strength of an expectation that act will be followed by a given outcome and the importance of that outcome to the individual (Robbins & Judge, 2007). This implies that changes in the beliefs about the consequences of individual involvement in the process of contributing innovations to the organization will result in a change in the individual’s contribution to the innovation system. Among the major varieties of individual involvement, an individual may contribute innovative ideas and a plan to successfully implement them.
Equity theory proposes that there should be a fair balance between an employee’s inputs and his outputs. Disparity between the inputs and outputs will result in de-motivation and reduced effort (MindTools, 2009). The motivation for employees to participate in the innovation systems is dependent on the “equitably rewarding all members of the organization” (Frost, Wakeley & Ruh, 1974). In order to reduce a perceived inequity, individuals will change the level of their involvement in the innovation system. Inequity due to under-rewarding will lead to lower levels of involvement in the innovation system.
There are various concepts in the field of group dynamics that can have an impact on an individual’s involvement in the innovation system. These concepts include: social pressure and the level of Group Communication.
Social normative pressure is the degree to which an individual perceives social pressure or expectations to engage in a particular act and feel motivated to comply with that pressure (Ajzem and Fishbein, 1980). An individual’s involvement in the innovation system can be predicted by Fishbein and Ajzen’s “theory of reasoned action”. It can be expected that a high level of social normative pressure will lead to more involvement in the innovation process.
Individuals with more access to information and are aware of the innovative practices all across the world will be more involved in the innovations systems of an organization. The information flow and the patterns of communication in an innovation system are dependent on the information needs of the system (Katz & Tushman, 1979). Moreover, cooperative group conditions resulted in greater exchange of information and ideas leading to higher innovation quality as compared to competitive group conditions (Tjosvold & McNeely, 2988).
It can be seen that there are sufficient research in all the factors, but most of the research just takes one factor at a time. It is necessary to incorporate all the factors in a model and then identify the appropriate relation amongst factors and involvement in the innovation system. This leads to the formulation of the following research questions
Will higher expectations of benefits from involvement in an innovation system lead to higher involvement in the system?
Will higher level of perceived over-reward inequity lead to higher levels of involvement in the innovation system?
Will higher levels of perceived social pressure to be involved in innovation systems lead to higher individual involvement in the innovation system?
Will higher levels of group communication lead to higher involvement in innovation system?
A possible model
In order to measure the various constructs listed above, we shall use certain measurement indicators. The measurement indicators for all the constructs are:
Expectancy Theory: This can be measured as the degree to which individuals benefit personally when the organization commitments to employees are met?
Equity Theory: This can be measured as the difference in between two variables, the degree to which the employees are benefited when organization commitments to the employees are met and the degree to which the employees should be benefited when organization commitment is met?
Group Communications: This can be measured as the extent employees use group meetings; committee meetings; meetings with other departments and meetings with the boss in meeting company’s commitments to its customers, owners, and employees.
Social pressure can be measured as the extent to which individuals participate in an innovation system as a result of social pressure.
The level of involvement in the innovation system will be measured as a record of the actual number of innovations proposed through the system. This can be accessed through the company logs.
Based on this, a graphical model can be proposed. As can be seen the required relations that need to be checked are:
The effect of each individual factor on the Innovation levels.
The effect of each individual factor on the other factors.
The researcher will make use of longitudinal study and the various factors will be analyzed over a period of time. As a result of this, it is necessary to measure the effect of a variable’s autoregressive and moving average history on itself.
The graphical model will look like this:
Figure 1: The Graphical Model for the research
A Hypothesis is a proposition created by the researcher as a speculation of the outcome of a research or experiment (Experiment-Resources, 2009). The hypotheses for the desired research area are:
H1: Over a period of time, increased expectancy of benefits from involvement in innovation process will lead to higher involvement in the system
H2: Over a period of time, higher level of perceived over-reward will lead to higher level of involvement in the innovation system
H3: Over a period of time, increased perceived social pressure will result in higher levels of involvement in the innovation system
H4: Over time, higher level of group communication will lead to increased employee involvement in the innovation system.
This research model assumes that everybody in the organization takes part in the innovation process. This makes it necessary that the organizations that are researched have a sound system of participative management. One such system is the Scanlon system which focuses on productivity improvement through the generation of innovations to solve organizational problems (Monge and Cozzens, 1986).
Other than this, the use of time-series technique has some issues relating to it. It assumes that the variables are measured at many points in time. This results in focus on the variation across time and not variation across individuals. This may limit the general application of the findings to cases where individual innovation is to be measured.
Moreover, this study aggregates the data for an organization rather than individual level employees. This once again limits the applicability of the study to only aggregate organizational innovation.
Moreover, it should be noted that the formulation of the theory in the research is made by cross-sectional studies of organizational innovation, yet is it necessary to incorporate dynamic causal models of organizational innovation.
To conclude the exercise, gave me a basis for finding empirical evidence that explains the organizational innovation system. The various factors that may have an affect on the innovation involvement of the employees include expectancy, equity, social pressure and the level of communication. The extent of dependence of each factor will be known only after the research is done.
Some of the other theories that I would like to cover in this course are: attitude theories, personality theories, change management theories, decision making theories, emotions theory and so on. This is just an indicative list and I would like to explore further areas in the field of Organizational Behavior.
AJzen, I. and M. Fishbein (1980), Understanding Attiludes and Predicting Social Behavior Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Experiment-Resources, 2009. RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS. [Online]. Last updated on 13th July, 2009. Available at: http://www.experiment-resources.com/research-hypothesis.html. [Accessed on 16th September 2009].
Frost, C.H., J. H. Wakeley and R. A. Ruh (1974). The Scanlon Plan for Organization Development: Identity,Participation, and Equity. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press.
Katz, R and M. Tushman (1979). "Communication Patterns. Project Performance, and Task Characteristics: An Empirical Evaluation and Integration in an R & D Setting," Organizational Behavior and Human Performance. 23, 139-162.
MindTools, 2009. Adams' Equity Theory. [Online]. Last updated on 5th August, 2009. Available at: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_96.htm. [Accessed on 15th September, 2009].
Monge, P.R. and M. D. Cozzens (1986). "Innovation through Participatory Management: The Case for the Scanlon Process." In D. O. Gray, T. Solomon, and W. Hetzner (Eds.). Technological Innovation: Strategies for a New Partnership. North-Holland: Elsevier. 319-329.
Robbins, S.P. & Judge, T.A. 2007. Organizational Behavior, 12th ed. New Jersey: Prentice Hall Inc.
Tjosvold, D. and L. T. McNeely (1988), "Innovation through Communication in an Educational Bureaucracy," Communication Research, 15, 568-581.
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