Hard Work and Efficient Management = Success? LO28415

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@postino.up.ac.za)
Date: 05/06/02

Replying to LO28367 --

Dear Organlearners,

Alan Cotterell <acotrel@cnl.com.au> writes:

>Dear AM, never let anyone turn you into a robot.

Greetings dear Alan,

Thanks for the advice. That is what rote learning in particular and rote
mental behaviour in general is about -- allowing onself to be programmed
and act like a robot.

>A manager who experiences a lot of sickies' (lost time
>stress related absences) amongst the employees he/she
>supervises, is probably ineffective, and incompetent. The
>stress aspect of work can be greatly exacerbated when
>managers are disorganised, or manipulative and
>hypocritical in their dealings with people around them.

I thought hard about this one. People in South Africa the last dozen of
years (eight of them having a new inclusive democracy) have been subjected
to vast changes in every walk of live. Such changes caused much stress.
Thus the organisation which I wrote about had been subjected to them just
as almost every other organisation in South Africa. I think members of the
organisation, from top to bottom, failed to help each other to overcome
these stresses inflicted by a society changing at large.

I did not think that managers at various levels of the organisation are
"disorganised, or manipulative and hypocritical". I tried to look for such
symptoms, but failed to find any significant ones. But then I decided to
ask a dear lady of that organisation whether she is aware of any stresses
in the organisation caused by some facets in the organisation. I have
found through the years that women are more sensitive to such entropic
forces than men who usually create them. Woman have to bear them.

She began to talk and I listened in amasement to her. For example, the
organogram of the organisation was too rigid. Any new develop- ment had to
be accomodated within the existing organogram. This often caused a
conflict of interests. People felt as if what they had to do, was of
secondary importance.

Another strange thing she told me is what the hirarchial structure is
causing. Those further away from the centralised decision making meetings
felt themselves increasingly not cared for. They felt like add-on's rather
than integral parts of the organisation. Almost every manager tells them
what they must do, but few managers listen to them what they want.

So, dear Alan, your "disorganised" does seem to apply to the communication
channels in the organistion. Likewise it seems that your "manipulative"
also applies to the organisation of tasks by the hirarchial organogram.

She also told me that the majority of managers in all levels criticise
very easily, but that few of them give constructive advice and praise.
This I am aware of, but that it caused so much stress I was less aware of.
In fact many think that managers may err as the right of being a manager,
but when their subordinates err, it is sin. Thus even your "hypocritical"
seems to apply.

This organisation will have to go deeper into the stresses which are
caused between its members. That stresses or entropic forces use up free
energy as soon as tasks are done in addition to that used up by the tasks.
(In the task entropic fluxes occur which, when together with the entropic
forces -- stresses -- produces entropy.) This is evident in the paralysis
of the organisation -- its lack to to grow in difficult times.

>There are two major aspects related to stress --
>powerlessness and control. The issue with workplace
>stress is democracy and control in the workplace. A
>worker who has control over his/her work and is
>empowered to make decisions related to it is generally
>less stressed than others.

How right you are. In my own pending collaboration with the organisation I
put only one condition to its management team -- never again will I ask to
do something of character (true, good, right and beautiful). They found it
strange, but agreed to it. After several years I am beginning to
understand how too much control from above in that organisation strangles
the growth of character of the subordinates. To do a task and knowing that
others have to control and evaluate that task damages the perception of
character immensely.

I use the term "subordinates" to indicate how the managers seem to think.
I wish I could have used the term "collaborators". Someone has to take the
responsibility for a decision made, but every one has to be involved in
the preceding decicion making process. Somehow a hirarchial organogram
destroys this "up-flowing" so that only the "down-flowing" remains.

Thank you once again Alan for your input. As I have said, knowing just how
importance stresses are as entropic forces in organisations in general, I
thought it to be of minor importance in that organisation itself. That
dear lady opened my eyes to see what goes on beneath the surface.

With care and best wishes,


At de Lange <amdelange@gold.up.ac.za> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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