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Improving Organizational Performance

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Week 3 Individual Assignment
“Improving Organizational Performance” Simulation Summary
Diana Salisbury
PSY/428
November 8, 2010
University of Phoenix
Adinah Johnson
CERTIFICATE OF ORIGINALITY: I certify that the attached paper, which was produced for the class identified above, is my original work and has not previously been submitted by me or by anyone else for any class. I further declare that I have cited all sources from which I used language, ideas and information, whether quoted verbatim or paraphrased, and that any and all assistance of any kind, which I received while producing this paper, has been acknowledged in the References section. This paper includes no trademarked material, logos, or images from the Internet, which I do not have written permission to include. I further agree that my name typed on the line below is intended to have, and shall have the same validity as my handwritten signature. Student's signature (name typed here is equivalent to a signature): Diana Salisbury
Abstract
The “Improving Organizational Performance” Simulation was based on a fictitious professional aerial stunt company called Airdevils Incorporated in Salt Lake City, Utah. A female airborne aerobatic performer, Celsey Evans, founded the company in 1995. At first, she was the only employee but quickly signed up four of her colleagues in 1996. By 2007, the company had grown to 115 employees. The company won numerous national and international awards almost every year since its inception due to their dramatic and darning aerial stunts. Their revenues came from their dedicated customer base. However, in the last couple of years, the company they have not won any rewards. Customers are expressing their dissatisfaction with the quality of the stunts and key personnel have left the company. The combination of all of this has affected the employee job satisfaction levels. Employees are concerned about their salaries being lower than freelancers. They are also upset that their stunts are routine and would like to do and learn more thrilling stunts. Being concerned about her employees’ job satisfaction levels, Celsey has hired Dream Teamworks, an organizational psychology consulting firm, to help her address the issue.
Improving Organizational Performance The simulation is broken down into four phases. The first phase is to determine the primary cause for the low job satisfaction of the stunt performers. According to Airdevils’ job profile, 75% of the workforce is comprised of 75 stunt performers. Celsey administer Job Description Index (JDI) and Job in General (JIG) surveys to all of the Airdevils’ employees. The results of the survey showed low job satisfaction levels among the stunt performers. The underlying causes for the low levels of job satisfaction were that management did not listen to the stunt performers’ suggestions and their stunts were not challenging enough. The second phase of the simulation was intervention with the stunt performers. Celsey decided to change this perception with a set of interventions. The interventions included training the stunt performers for other stunts, improve job design, rotation in industry meets, and allowing participation in open competitions. The interventions worked to increase job satisfaction and the company performance increased as well. Since the invention worked so well, Celsey was able to move forward phase three – forming a stunt consultancy group. She felt was the real future of the business would be stunt consultancy. To test her idea, three people out of seven employees were picked to form an informal group. The group would prepare innovative stunt plans for some of their current customers. If the customers liked the plans and were willing to pay extra for stunts consultation, Celsey would see to it that Airdevils would create a separate stunts consultancy division. The division would mean added revenue for the company. The three individuals picked for the group shared similar attitudes and a low level of inter-personal conflict. The group had a good mixture and varied experience, elevated skill levels, and high emotional stability. The fourth phase was to figure out why the support crewmembers were experiencing high levels of absenteeism and a diminishing moral. 20% of Airdevils workforce was the support crewmembers. Celsey asked Hans Evans, the Crew Manager for an explanation. Hans prepared a report for Celsey that outline the main reasons for the crewmember absenteeism was the high stress levels of the team. Crewmembers worked rigid, inflexible schedules. They also feared layoffs due to lack of knowledge of the new computer system. The interventions suggested by the simulation were to allow more flexible work schedules, offer stress-inoculation training, conduct more training on the new computer system, modify the team structure, move temporary employees to permanent positions, establish a code of conduct, and add company transportation for the night shifts. The team’s variety of experience and high skill levels can be pair together to make the team more effective. My results were not exactly the recommend interventions the Dream Teamworks recommended. I thought the expenditures for the different interventions were way too costly. In today’s workplace, you rarely hear of a company offering so many different types of interventions. One that really got to me was the company transportation. Unless one of the stunt performers was hurt, there is really no reason for the company to offer the performers transportation. Most employment applications ask if the applicant if they have reliable transportation. However, I think that main cause for the low job satisfaction was because management did not ask the employees what the company could do to may their jobs more desirable and challenging. Nowhere in the simulation does it say that Celsey talked to her employees about anything. She spied on their blog to find out what was going on.
Conclusion
McClellan’s theory of needs was used in the “Improving Organizational Performance” Simulation as motivation to increase productivity. McClellan’s theory identifies a high need for achievement with moderate levels of risk and the desire for results. The cause of the stunt performers low job satisfaction was the need for more challenging stunts. More challenging stunts (performance goal) tend to raise the levels of risk. The result of achieving these goals is the customer’s satisfaction (performance feedback) with the new stunts (Jex & Britt, 2008). In the simulation, it went through the selecting of an informal group for the stunt consultancy team. The three picked for the team had low levels of inter-personal conflict and shared similar attitudes. This knowledge of human behavior, cognition, and affect can be used by the group to enhance their relationships within the company because they have an idea of how each of them will react to each other or to specific situations (Ganly, 2010). Companies can may the workplace less stressful by listening to their employees. Management should not only listen, they should also try to provide solutions to lower the stress levels. Providing more training in areas where the employee is having problems, setting goals, and establishing policies can help lower stress levels. Celsey had not listened to her employees until job satisfaction levels were really low. Had she of listen to them all along, the company might not have gotten to the state it was in. Instead, she had to spend money on an organizational psychology consulting firm to help her find the cause and fix the problems. The interventions that the firm came up with were expensive as well. Most of the spending was to fix problems that management basically ignored until it got really bad. This takes away from the revenue of the company and in turn can affect raises and promotions for the employees. It sounded like Celsey had the physical skills but not the management skills need to run a progressive company.

References
Ganly, S. (2010, October 28). Organizational Psychology Concepts in Business []. Message posted to http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5917570/organizational_psychology_concepts.html?cat=3
Jex, S. M., & Britt, T. W. (2008). Organizational Psychology. A Scientific-Practitioner Approach (2nd ed.).

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