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Week 1- The contemporary workplace.docx

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Monash University
Dr Tui Mc Keown

Week 1-The contemporary workplace Working in today’s economy Working in today’s economy likely involves the following elements: Intellectual capital The ultimate foundations of an organisation’s success are its people-what they know, what they learn and what they do with it. They carry not only just the corporate memory but the firm’s intellectual capital. In turn, this is valuable intellectual capital is known as knowledge worker. Intellectual capital is defined as the collective brain power or shared knowledge of a workforce that can be used to create value. Knowledge worker is defined as someone whose mind is an important asset to employers and who adds the intellectual capital of the organisation. Globalisation In a globalised world, countries and people are increasingly interconnected through the news, travel, lifestyles, in labour markets, employment patterns and business dealings. Globalisation is the worldwide interdependence of resource flows, product markets and business competition. Technology In today’s society, we are now technology driven and are dominated by interactive technologies offer the user conveniences. Technology is now a mandatory requirement in the contemporary workplace. It allows organisations to do the following:  Speed transactions  Improve decision making  Checking inventory  Making sales tractions  Ordering supplies  Analysing customer preferences Diversity Workplace diversity describes differences among workers in gender, race, age, ethnic, culture, able- bodiedness, religious, affiliation and sexual orientation. The importance of diversity:  can tap a rich talent pool and help people work to their full potential.  ‘consciously creating an environment where everyone has an equal shot at contributing, participating, and most of all advancing However there are problems in diversity as meeting social responsibilities to truly value diversity is hard to always accomplish  The nature of relationships people have with organisations will continue to change  Flexible employment to increase, but differences in approaches to pay, conditions of employment and opportunities for development are ready examples of the inequality this can involve  Diversity bias can occur Furthermore three important issues that arise in diversity in workplaces:  Prejudice is the holding of negative, irrational opinions and attitudes regarding members of diverse populations  Discrimination occurs when someone is denied a job or a job assignment for reasons not job – relevant. It actively disadvantages people by treating them unfairly and denying them the full benefits of organisational membership. Discrimination can take form into something called glass ceiling effect. Glass ceiling effect is the existence of an invisible barrier or ‘ceiling’ that prevents women and minority groups from rising above a certain level of organisational responsibility. Ethics Ethics is a moral principle that governs person’s or group behaviour The importance of ethics Internal External  Equal employment opportunity  Involves all aspects of organisations, the  Equity of compensation and benefits behaviour of their members and their  Participation and employee involvement impact on society  plays the role of keeping customers  Privacy and due process  Job security  sustainable development and protection of  Occupational health and safety the natural environment  Freedom from sexual harassment  protection of consumers through product safety and fair practices  protection of human rights in all aspects of society, including employment Careers The career implications of the new employment patterns characteristic of this dynamic environment are extremely significant There are shamrock three leaves which discuss a different career implication:  core workers – these fulltime employees pursue traditional career paths. These employees hold critical skills which can advance within the organisation and remain employed for a long time  contract workers- sell skill or service to employers. Thus, perform specific tasks as needed by the organisation and are compensated on a contract or fee-for services basis rather than a continuing wage or salary.  Casual and part time workers- who are hired only as needed and only for a set number of hours. Important notes of prospering shamrock three leaves:  The typical career is not uniformly full time and limited to a single large employer  A career is likely to unfold opportunistically and involve several employment options over time. Thus, you must be prepared to change jobs and employers over time. However, still have skills that are portable and of current value in the employment markets. Skills are not gained once and then forgotten- they must be carefully maintained and upgraded all the time. Organisations An organisation is a collection of people working together with a division of labour to achieve a common purpose. Thus, people meet to work together for agreed purposes. It is a social phenomenon that enables its members to perform tasks far beyond the reach of individual accomplishment.  Purpose: providing useful goods and services  Purpose that is tied to ‘quality of products’ and ‘customer satisfaction’ is increasingly viewed as a source or organisational strength and performance advantage  Belief is a strong and organisational purpose is one of the reasons given by employees for remaining very loyal to their employers Furthermore organisations can be seen as systems with subsystems, composed of interrelated parts that function together to achieve a common purpose. In essence are viewed as open systems. Open systems that interact with their environments in the continual process of transforming resource inputs into product outputs in the form of finished goods and/or services  The external environment is important- as supplier of resources and source of customers has its significant impact on operations and outcomes.  Feedback from the environment tells an organisation how well it’s doing  The ultimate test for any organisation rests with the market-place- once people use a product, the question becomes will they do so again and will they recommend that others do the same? A system contains the following:  Input (raw, materials, effort ideas and so on)  Transformation processes  Product outputs finished products and services which operate its own internal environment of culture and history What makes an organisation successful and performing at its best? The notion of value creation is very important in this context. If operations add value to the original cost of resource inputs, then a business organisation can earn a profit-that is, sell a product for more than the cost of making it. Value is only created when an organisation’s resources are used in the right way at the right time and at minimum cost to create high-quality goods and services. There are two critical elements in open-systems view of organisations:  Resources- must be good to use  Customers- be able to serve customers well and ensure they are satisfied What indicators are used to measure organisational performance? There are three types of indicators:  Productivity- is the quantity and quality of work performance with resource use considered. Example: measure individual and group level quality performance  Performance effectiveness- is the output measure of task or goal accomplishment Example: meeting a daily production target in terms of quantity and quality of making keyboards  Performance efficiency- is a measure of resource cost associated with goal and accomplishment. Note that the most efficient organisation, is one that uses minimum cost in materials and labour. Example: Cost of labour, equipment use, facilities maintenance and returns on capital investment. The changing nature of organisations. As organisations are undergoing dramatic changes today, the important organisational transitions to be aware of include:  pre-eminence of technology,  demise of command and control,  focus on speed,  embrace networking,  belief in empowerment,  emphasis on teamwork,  new workforce expectations and  concern for work-life balance. Total quality management (TQM) – managing with commitment to continuous improvement, product quality and customer satisfaction. Managers Managers are people in organisations who are responsible and directly support and help activate the work efforts and performance accomplishments of others. The manager determines whether our social institutions serve us well or whether they squander our talents and resources.  Responsible not just for his or her own work, but for the overall performance accomplishments of a team, work group, department, or even the organisation as a whole  People apart of an organisation represent the real work of the organisation  Those people working with and reporting to managers are, in short, the critical human capital upon whose intellects and efforts the performance of any organisation is ultimately built.  How well the manager performs in supporting them makes a critical difference in their performance and that of organisation  Every manager has a key responsibility to help other people achieve high performance What are they key managerial performance elements?  Accountability- is the requirement of one person to answer to a higher authority for performance results achieved in his or her area of work responsibility. These results are typically measured in terms of team work unit productivity, including the accomplishment of both performance effectiveness and performance efficiency  Quality of work life (QWL)-issues as an indicator of the overall quality of human experiences in the workplace. A high QWL represents a true respect for people at work by offering such things as fair pay, safe working conditions, opportunities to learn and
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