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To complete your replies:
- Read the threads of your classmates and the articles which are referenced (this is why it is imperative that the articles be accessible via working URL links). Expect to spend some time each day reviewing all threads and replies, even those in which you are not involved.
- Write a reply of at least 200 words to at least 3 of your classmates’ threads. You should expect to answer questions posed within each discussion thread. Student interaction is key to success in this course.
3 days ago
DB post: Goal Setting
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Definition: “The process of motivating employees and clarifying their role perceptions by establishing performance objectives” (McShane & Von Glinow, 2015, pg.140)
Summary: The article, Making sure your employees succeed (Gallo, 2011), is directed at managers as an outline on how to help employees set and achieve goals. The outline begins with the suggestion that an employee’s goals should be tied to the company’s goals and that this connection needs to be apparent to the employee. Next, the author suggests that the goals should to be attainable but challenging and these goals must be a part of a written plan for success. The manager needs to monitor the employee and their work to verify if goals are being met. In addition, the supervisor should have plans in place that lists actions to take when goals are met and when they are not. The article ends with a list of do’s and don’ts:
List of “DO” items:
- “Connect individuals’ goals to broader organization objectives
- Show employees that you are a partner in achieving their goals
- Learn about and incorporate employees’ personal interests into their professional goals” (Gallo, 2011)
List of “DON’T” items:
- “Allow employees to set goals alone
- Take a hands-off approach to high performers — they need input and feedback to meet their goals as well
- Ignore failures — be sure people have the opportunity to learn when they don’t achieve go”
Discussion: Goal setting is a process used by many organizations to improve employee performance. When employee performance is improved, then the overall performance of the organization improves. For the process of goal setting to work, the employee must have ownership of the goals and be a part of the creation of the goals. Creating a plan of success for an employee is a joint effort between the employee and the supervisor. “The key is to be [a] hands-on [supervisor] while giving your people the room they need to succeed on their own” (Gallo, 2011) According to McShane & Von Glinow (2015, pg. 140), the “acronym—SMARTER—captures the characteristics of good goal setting fairly well.” S.M.A.R.T.E.R. stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-framed, exciting and reviewed. (McShane & Von Glinow, 2015, pg. 140-141) An employee desires to understand the goals that are being set. For this reason, the goals need to be specific and easy to comprehend. For the supervisor to be able to monitor the progress of the employee, the goals should be measurable. This gives the supervisor the ability to verify if the employee is attaining the set goals. The goals need to be achievable. If they are not, then the employee can get frustrated and this causes productivity to reduce greatly. Two additional aspects of goals are that they be relevant and exciting. This means that the goals set for an employee need to be specific to the job that the employee does daily and are challenging to the employee on a daily basis. The employee can then complete their daily work and strive to do more all within an achievable time frame. And lastly, the goals should be reviewed on a regular basis. There is no reason to set goals if they are not going to be examined later. The employee will not be motivated to strive for goals, if there is not a positive end in doing so. “By establishing and monitoring targets, you can give your employees real-time input on their performance while motivating them to achieve more” (Gallo, 2011).
Every individual wants to feel that they are a part of the whole. In this case, the goals being set are a direct link to the success of the organization that the employee works for. Achieving the goals allows for the employee’s self-image to increase and creates a bond between the employee and employer. In the Bible, it states that:
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:12-14).
It is to be hoped that when a person is striving for goals at work, that they are also striving to match those goals to the word and honor of Jesus Christ. When we are a success on a spiritual plane, we will be a success on a worldly plane also. Do you feel that you are achieving spiritual and worldly goals in your life right now?
Dubois, L. (2010, December 20). How to set goals for new employees. Retrieved from INC.com website: https://www.inc.com/guides/2010/12/how-to-set-goals-for-new-employees.html
Gallo, A. (2011, February 7). Making sure your employees succeed. Retrieved from Harvard Business Review website: https://hbr.org/2011/02/making-sure-your-employees-suc
McShane, S., & Von Glinow, M. (2015). Organizational behavior (7th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill
ORACLE. (2012, June 1). Goal setting a fresh perspective. Retrieved from ORACLE website: http://www.oracle.com/us/media1/goal-setting-fresh-perspective-ee-1679275.pdf
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3 days ago
Submission - Escalation of Commitment
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Escalation of commitment is “the tendency to repeat an apparently bad decision or allocate more resources to a failing course of action” (MchShane & Von Glinow, 2015).
In the article Anger, fear, and escalation of commitment, Ming-Hong Tsai and Maia J. Young discuss the effect discrete emotions have on escalation of commitment. In two similar studies, Tsai and Young focus on anger and fear, and how these two emotions effect escalation of commitment in decision-making. Based on previous research, it is determined in the article that these two emotions are most important in relation to escalation of commitment because “anger is one of the most commonly experienced emotions and fear is one of the most critical emotions in economic decisions” (Tsai & Young, 2010, p. 963). It is hypothesized that those experiencing anger will perceive lower risk in initial decision-making, while those experiencing fear will perceive greater risk and this results in different levels of escalation of commitment (Tsai & Young, 2010, p. 963).
In the first study conducted, participants are asked to write about an event that made them either angry or fearful. Next, the participants play the role of a senior sales manager and are tasked to hiring personnel. The participants are given the potential new employees their past performance information, asked to make a hiring decision, and then evaluate the risk perceived by the choice made. Then the participants were told to assume five years had passed and receive the new performance information, which is always opposite of what they originally predicted based on their hiring choice (the person they chose would always demonstrate poorer performance). The were then asked to conduct performance evaluations of the person they originally chose. The study found that the participants in the anger condition reported a lower perception of risk and a higher degree of escalation of commitment than those in the fear condition.
In the second study conducted, these trends remained the same. The second study focused on investing money into one of two divisions, consumer or industrial products. After seeing negative results from their initial decision, participants were then asked to invest additional funds into either the original division or the other division. As also found in the first study, anger resulted in a lower perception of risk and a higher degree of escalation of commitment.
Tsai and Young draw the conclusion from these two studies that “situationally induced anger and fear could affect an individual’s propensity to escalate commitment” and leaders might “predict or even influence subordinates’ escalation tendencies by noticing their emotional tendencies and possibly advocating emotion-control training” (Tsai & Young, 2010, p. 969). It is also discussed that escalation of commitment may influence a leader’s decision who to promote, even if that person has lower performance. Because of these tendencies it is important for managers and leaders in businesses and organizations to recognize and manage escalation of commitment in decision-making.
Escalation of commitment can result in significant loss in a business or company, and it is effected by four main influences according to the textbook Organizational Behavior. These influences include self-justification effect, self-enhancement effect, prospect theory effect, and sunk costs effect (McShane & Von Glinow, 2015, p. 200). In the article summarized above it is also recognized how anger and fear play into decision-making and the degree of escalation of commitment. While escalation of commitment tends to produce negative results, there may be some advantages, such as the gaining of new information about the effectiveness of funds used and valuable feedback regarding a project’s future success (McShane & Von Glinow, 2015, p. 201).
To prevent escalation of commitment occurring, it is, as mentioned in the summarized article, an option to teach skills to employees that reduce anger and/or fear. Because of the variety of scenarios escalation of commitment can be found in, “managers should pay attention to all potential escalation situations” (Tsai & Young, 2010, p. 969). In addition to training employees on emotion-coping skills, another effective way to reduce escalation of commitment is to “ensure that the people who made the original decision are not the same people who later evaluate that decision” (McShane & Von Glinow, 2015, p. 201). It appears that the more neutral and objective a perspective, (absent of discrete emotions and another individual’s evaluation) the more effective the decision-making.
When making business decisions it is always beneficial to have multiple people advising or assisting in the decision-making process. As already mentioned, having another individual evaluate a decision that has been made can help in the accurate evaluation of that decision and help leaders and managers know what to decide next. Proverbs 15:22 supports this claim by explaining that “without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed” (ESV). The counsel of others can help to reduce or eliminate escalation of commitment and help the manager or leader to make the best decision possible.
McShane, S., & Von Glinow, M. (2015). Organizational behavior (7th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.
Tsai, M. & Young, M.J. (2010). Anger, fear, and escalation of commitment. Cognition and Emotion, 24(6), 962-973. Retrieved from http://p2048-search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu.ezproxy.liberty.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=53155590&site=ehost-live&scope=site
Articles for Additional Reading
Lee, J.S., Keil, M., & Wong, K.F.E. (April 2015). The effect of goal difficulty on escalation of commitment. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 28(2), 114-129. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu/doi/10.1002/bdm.1835/abstract
Markovitch, D.G., Huang, D., Peters, L., Phani, B.V., Philip, D., & Tracy, W. (2014). Escalation of commitment in entrepreneurship-minded groups. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 20(4), 302-323. Retrieved from http://www.emeraldinsight.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu/doi/full/10.1108/IJEBR-08-2013-0127
1 day ago
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Discussion Board Forum 2 (Modules 3 and 4)
Definition: McShane and Von Glinow (2008) define autonomy as “the degree to which a job gives employees the freedom, independence, and discretion to schedule their work and determine the procedures used in completing it” (p. 170).
Summary: The article entitled “How to Give Employees a Sense of Autonomy (When You Are Really Calling the Shots)” written by Heidi Grant Halvorson (2015), distinguishes using intrinsic motivation to spur on feelings of autonomy. Grant Halvorson (2015) goes on to write about how allowing associates to make choices, even seemingly trivial choices, lead to the associate feeling as though they are allowed and able to make decisions that impact the business. Three things that managers can do to give associates the feeling of choice are to help associates understand why assigned goals have value, to allow associates to give input on how the goal will be reached, and ask the associate to determine decisions surrounding the peripheral aspects of the goal (Grant Halvorson, 2015).
Discussion: Autonomy, originally formed from the Greek words for self-governance, has become one of the most sought-after aspects in a career. Employers need to be careful that autonomy is reached in differing stages so that a company does not allow this type of independence to adversely affect the company’s goals and profitability. Initial autonomy can be allowing an associate to set their own hours, or perhaps once out of training, to choose to work from home a day or two a week. Once the employee is trained, autonomy could be given to associates in forms of deciding the order in which to complete their tasks or in which tasks they associate more priority to. Autonomy for an associate who is well trained and has been in their role for a year or more would include options of issuing refunds, without needing approval from a manager, when under a certain amount set by management.
The article by Grant Halvorson (2015) relates to this term in an opposing fashion to what the textbook connects autonomy to. The textbook takes a direct approach looking at what companies can do to provide autonomous situations for employees whereas the article describes how managers can create a feeling of autonomy in roles where the manager makes the decisions (McShane & Von Glinow, 2013, p. 170). I like to slowly introduce autonomy to my associates by providing items that I have tasked to myself, however recognize that may not the best use of my time. As the Executive Operations Manager for my company, when I give one of my tasks to an associate, I take the time to personally train the associate, giving the employee an increased sense of self-worth and pride showing them that I trust and believe in their ability to take on the work. I also create boundaries, within established procedures, to provide autonomy by ensuring all team members complete tasks in the same manner however in the order that works for their schedule. What specific areas do you provide autonomy for your associates? Or, what items are given to you by your company to grant autonomy? Can you tell the difference between autonomy versus the feeling a company can give you to imply autonomy? Do you care which option your company offers you?
The Bible provides positive and negative connotation for autonomous situations. In Numbers 16:9-10 Moses points out to Korah that the want for autonomy apart from God is negative and rebellious (NASB). In 1Samuel 8, the Israelites demand a king so that they can be autonomous from God, allowing them to be more like the people of this earth (NASB). While these two verses show an adverse side of autonomy there are multiple verses that recognize there are constructive outcomes of autonomy. The greatest form of autonomy that God gave to us was His instruction for us to go out and make disciples (Matthew 28:19, NASB). He provided teaching and guidance but did not outline step-by-step instructions for us to complete this great task. Along with Matthew 28:19, 2Timothy 3:16 provides us amazing God-given autonomy by providing God breathed scripture to teach us, provide reproof, give correction, and allow us to train others in His righteousness (NASB).
Grant Halvorson, H. (2011). How to Give Employees a Sense of Autonomy (When You Are Really Calling the Shots). Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/heidigranthalvorson/2011/09/15/how-to-give-employees-a-sense-of-autonomy-when-you-are-really-calling-the-shots/#63d8f0f077c6
Lawson, S. (2017). Empowering Autonomy in The Workplace. TTM Associates. Retrieved from http://www.ttmassociates.com/resources/empowering-autonomy-in-the-workplace/
McShane, S., & Von Glinow, M. (2013). Organizational Behavior (6th ed.). New York, New York: McGraw-Hill.
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Worker Autonomy Can Lead to Greater Productivity, Satisfaction. Psych Central. Retrieved from https://psychcentral.com/news/2011/01/25/worker-autonomy-can-lead-to-greater-productivity-satisfaction/22885.html
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