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Individuals in organizations

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Individuals in Organizations (based on the case study of FMC Green River and FMC Aberdeen) 2007 The major challenges of organizational behavior and management for both FMC locations
It is important to stress, above all, that the challenges that FMC Green River and FMC Aberdeen are likely to change can be caused by both internal and external environment, and therefore these should be envisaged when introducing changes into the structure and culture of the facilities. In the external environment of the companies, the heated market competition is perhaps the main challenge to be taken into account, and it had already cased certain changes in the structure of FMC Green River as its manager Ken Dailey introduced several positions of mangers (1) for the ash and soda business, 2) for three constructions; 3) to look after the services) instead of the previously existing system of having two managers, one of which was responsible for the mine plants and other – for the surface plants.
1. 1. Organization commitment
The degree of employees’ commitment in FMC Aberdeen is much higher than in other FMC facilities, including Green River. The ways for the managers to ensure personnel’s commitment are encouraging their creativity, training staff, and regarding failures as a way to learn new things and succeed in future (Sonnenberg 1993) The facility seems to be a ” family” for every worker, and the approach used by the managers makes people believe they are truly valued. Team work is of particular importance for FMC Aberdeen, and this also makes the staff more committed. Important factors are also bonuses and rewards introduced by the companies.
Yet, the challenges both locations are likely to face are worth considering, and as far as commitment of people to their organisation goes, it is vital to pay attention to the problem of loss of motivation even by the most committed employees. In order to retain staff, its motivation should be constantly maintained and enhanced. In the Green River, it would hardly be possible to use all models of HR management offered by Aberdeen, because of its much bigger size and larger number of employees – this makes it difficult to introduce a very beneficial system of flatten hierarchy, and consequently the ” spirit of the family” concept is not going to work there.
The positive effect of FMC Aberdeen’s ” creative teams” is obvious as people who are given high degree of responsibility feel their significance and thus become more committed. Though the size of the Aberdeen facility offers more opportunities for empowerment staff members, at Green River the managers should aim at encouraging people to introduce as much creativity and individuality as possible into their everyday work.
1. 2. Job satisfaction
At both FMC facilities, the managers use rather effective methods of personnel motivation which ensures high degree of their job satisfaction. At Aberdeen, specific attention is paid to the staff’s initiative and creativity, and this makes people feel a part of the team. Using non-material compensation methods is a good way of stimulating the staff. At Green River, however, the motivation is boosted mainly by paying higher salaries. Green River managers should therefore not underestimate non-material methods of motivation which are thought to be as effective as material ones, and result in higher degree of job satisfaction and general commitment to the organisation. Especially effective is empowerment as it allows people feel their own significance, and boosts their self-esteem.
2. Employee motivation
All in all, at both FMC Aberdeen and FMC Green River, the level of staff’s motivation is quite high. However, motivation being quite a fragile thing, it should be maintained and enhanced continuously, using a systematic and complex approach. FMC Green River managers could be recommended to use more non-material methods of motivating staff, such as bonuses, promotion, flexible working schedule, empowerment, etc. The company’s managers should try to encourage people be more creative and take up more responsibility. Introducing corporate events might also be very beneficial.
The advice to Green River’s managers might be to introduce more interactivity into their managerial style and ensure that all people working for the company are well informed of what is going on there. Also, it is crucial to make the employees of all levels involved into the process of decision making – this helps the company develop and at the same time boosts commitment. (Argenti 1994, 158; Covey 1990, 260 – 261)
3. Face-to-face and virtual teams
Face-to-face teams consist of people who work together on a more or less constant basis, and the result of their work is some common project or product. Whereas such a team often combines people of different professions and levels of skills, they all work together as a single whole. In contrast to that, a virtual team is created for a certain, an normally quite a short one, period of time, and exists until some particular task has been conducted. (Hammer & Champy 1993) There is one more view on the concept of virtual teams whose adherents claim that it denotes a group of people living far from each other geographically – as a rule, the researchers agree that such teams cannot be really called ” teams” because of the lack of team spirit. (How to create a team spirit 2005)
In virtual teams, the main way to encourage people to work is, as a rule, material remuneration, whereas for motivating the employees working in face-to-face teams other factors are more important, and above all – communication within the company. That is why I would say that FMC Aberdeen would hardly be able to benefit from introducing virtual teams. As for applying the FMC Aberdeen’s model to the companies whose employees are working in virtual teams, some elements of the company’s strategy, such as, e. g. skill-based payment system or introducing higher degree of responsibility, might actually work. In the spheres of leadership and communication, however, the Aberdeen model would be a complete failure for the companies relying upon virtual teams as it is crucial for Aberdeen that people choose their leaders themselves (which is utterly impossible for virtual teams).
1. Argenti, P. A. (1994), Corporate communication, Irwin McGraw-Hill, Boston.
2. Covey, Stephen R. (1990), Principle-centered leadership: teaching people how to fish. The institute for principle-centered leadership, Provo, Utah.
3. Hammer, M. & Champy, J. (1993), Reengineering the Corporation: A Manifesto for Business Revolution. Harper Collins Inc., New York.
4. ” How to create a team spirit in a company” (2005) Die Akademie, 4 (46). Retrieved on March 19, 2007 from: http://www. akmr. ru/articles/msg/74. shtml
5. Sonnenberg, F. K. (1993), Managing with a conscience: how to improve performance through integrity, trust, and commitment, McGraw-Hill, Inc., New York.

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