مدیریت مشارکتی

مديريت مدرن و مشاركت سازمانی

نویسنده: فرشید مردانی

نقش عامل انساني در پيروزي و شكست برنامه‌ها و اهداف سازماني نقشي حياتي است. بنابراين بايد اساس كار را بر روي نيروي انساني آموزش‌ديده، باتجربه، كارآمد متعهد و مخلص بنا نمود. نيروي انساني به عنوان مهم‌ترين سرمايه در سازمان‌ها تلقي مي‌گردد كه مديران جهت حفظ صيانت جايگاه اين سرمايه عظيم مسئوليتي سنگين بر عهده دارند.

مشاركت كاركنان
يكي از مهم‌ترين وظايف هر مدير، حفظ كاركنان خود در حدي مطلوب و به‌روز نمودن آنان مي‌باشد كه اين با ارتقاء علمي و اجرايي كاركنان به واسطه آموزش و بهبود وضعيت كاركنان تحقق مي‌يابد.
يك مدير پس از معرفي كاركنان جهت آموزش دوره‌هاي لازم و شناخت توانايي‌ها و استعدادهاي آنان بايد با بهره‌مندي از زمان، مكان و جايگاه مناسب، پرسنل توانمند را انتخاب نمايد، تا بتواند به وسيله آنان اهداف سازمان را به نتيجه مطلوب برساند.

مدير، با تفويض اختيار و مشورت كردن با كاركنان خود، آنان را در امور اجرايي دخيل مي‌نمايد كه اين مشاركت باعث ايجاد انگيزه در ميان پرسنل شده و كارها به صورت منظم و دقيق و مطلوب پيشرفت مي‌كند.
مشاركت كاركنان به مدير اين امكان را مي‌دهد كه به راحتي از هوش‌، ذكاوت و تجربه كاري پرسنل خود استفاده مناسب را ببرد، تا كارها سريع‌تر انجام شود.
مدير مدرن بايد جهت رفع مشكلات سازماني از تفكرات و نظرات كاركنان خود به نحو احسن استفاده نمايد‌ و در تصميم‌گيري‌ها به نحوي عمل كند كه مشخص شود از نظرات آنان استفاده شده است. اين روش باعث مي‌گردد كاركنان خود را در انجام امور سهيم دانسته و كارها را با انگيزه‌اي بيشتر دنبال نمايند.

مزاياي مشاركت كاركنان

مديريت مشاركتي پديده‌اي است ذهني و فرهنگي كه باعث مي‌شود كاركنان بي‌انگيزه و نظاره‌گر، به كارهاي گروهي  كشيده شوند و احساس مسئوليت نمايند. اين شيوه باعث ارتقاي ميزان بهره‌وري، ابتكار، انضباط، تقليل تنش‌ها و شكايات، افزايش تحرك، اجتناب از جزئي‌نگري، تصميم‌گيري جمعي، انعطاف‌پذيري، جلوگيري از خودبيني و خودكامگي، مردم‌سالاري، رشد شخصيت و… مي‌گردد.

تمامي اين نكات در صورتي عملي است كه اهداف سازمان روشن باشد، ‌تقسيم كار انجام شود، از مهارت‌ها و تجربه‌هاي كاركنان به صورت مناسب استفاده شود، آموزش‌هاي مناسب به كاركنان داده شود، امنيت شغلي وجود داشته باشد، جو اعتماد برقرار باشد،‌ عوامل تشويقي به صورت بي‌طرفانه اجرا گردد، وضعيت كاري و معيشتي كاركنان مطلوب باشد، كاركنان به بلوغ كاري و رواني رسيده باشند، زمان مناسب و مكان مناسب و شغل مناسب در دسترس باشد، سازمان بتواند از نظر مالي هزينه كاركردهاي موجود را تقبل و اجرا نمايد.

همچنين شناسايي نيروهاي بااستعداد، ايجاد فضاي اخلاص و تعهد، سهيم شدن كاركنان در بهره‌وري، ايجاد انگيزه با عوامل تشويقي و تنبيهي، برقراري ارتباطات سالم سازماني، انجام امور اداري و ديواني در اسرع وقت با رايانه‌اي نمودن امور جاري (اتوماسيون)، جزء پيش‌نيازهاي مشاركت بوده و لازم است استانداردهاي بنيادين براي اجراي امور كاري تعريف گردد. ضرورت دارد كه سلسله مراتب اداري از مديريت عالي به مديريت مياني و پرسنل رعايت گردد و ارتباطات از فرد به فرد و از گروه به گروه تحول يابد.

يكي از پيش‌شرط‌هاي اجراي امور سازمان به صورت مشاركتي، شناسايي و تعريف ساختار مشخص سازماني است، تا بر اساس آن بتوان اقدام به پياده نمودن اهداف سازماني نمود.
نحوه طرز برخورد و تلقي كاركنان عامل اصلي رسيدن به اهداف سازماني است، پس مديران بايد طوري برخورد نمايند كه كاركنان خود را شريك در كارها بدانند و آرام و بي‌دغدغه و البته مبتكرانه به بالا بردن كيفيت كار بينديشند.

مهم‌ترين عنصر بالا بردن فرآيند كارها تشويق و تنبيه به موقع كاركنان، استفاده مناسب از نظرات آنان در خصوص ايجاد شعار نوين براي بهبود كيفيت كارهاست.
دخالت كمتر مديريت در امور جاري، اجازه دادن به كاركنان در انجام امور با اعتماد به آنها، ايجاد تعهد در ميان پرسنل جهت انجام كارها و سهيم نمودن كاركنان در منافع سازمان، موجب تسريع در رسيدن به اهداف سازمان مي‌گردد.
مدير مدرن مي‌تواند با آموزش دادن مستمر و فراگير، مميزي روند امور، اطلاع‌رساني به موقع، و فرهنگ‌سازي مناسب جهت كاركنان خود، به موفقيت در رسيدن به اهداف اساسي سازمان اميدوار باشد.
در ضمن بايد زيرساخت‌هاي سازمان طوري طراحي شود تا باعث دگرگوني مثبت در سازمان شده و از وضعيت موجود به وضعيت مطلوب مبدل شود.
بنابراين در مديريت مدرن، مشاركت كاركنان يعني سهيم نمودن آنان در منافع و اهداف سازماني كه زمينه‌ساز هوشياري و فعاليتِ با طيب خاطر پرسنل جهت نيل به اهداف مي‌گردد.

The biggest organizational blind spot

Participative design basics

Let’s be honest. There are some things we know to be true without needing someone to prove it to us.

  • Did you ever really doubt that cigarette smoking is hazardous to your health?
  • Do you need proof that talking on a cell phone while driving a car increases risk of accident?
  • Does anyone really question that abused children are more likely to be abusive adults?

We have a sort of collective consensus about these things. We know other people will agree with us. We even feel safe talking about these topics in social situations because they pose low risk of disagreement.

OK, here’s another one:

  • Do you really think bureaucracy is the best way to get things done?

I’ll bet my collective consensus most of you agree that bureaucracy is a badly flawed system we grudgingly make the most of. So why, then, do organizations continue to function in ways most acknowledge to be frustratingly ineffective?

We all have blind spots; areas of behavior or personality that are outside of our awareness. Blind spots cause problems when they contradict our intended purpose. Smiling while apologizing to someone, for instance, sends a very confusing mixed message. Organizations have their own blind spots. One such blind spot that is the root of many problems and missed opportunities is the bureaucratic organizational design.

Company leaders devote considerable resources and talent hoping to achieve great accomplishments and success. They search for ways to empower employees, dreaming of high levels of cooperation, creativity, and initiative. They implement programs, training, change initiatives, and new technology to reach these ends. Yet, in the long run, too many of these efforts fail to deliver expected results. What’s wrong with this picture?

Much like a blind spot, organizational design is overlooked as a key to organizational breakthrough. Indeed, the design structure underlying the vast majority of companies and organizations has remained unchanged for over 200 years (Emery and Purser, 1996, p. 50). That design is the command and control hierarchy.

Bye bye bureaucracy

Basically, there are two ways to structure an organization. One is a command and control structure where responsibility for coordination and control of work occurs one level above where the work is being done. This is called Design Principle 1 (DP1), and it typifies the familiar bureaucratic organizations in which we’ve all worked. The other is an organizational structure where coordination and control of work tasks is done by those actually doing the work. This is called Design Principle 2 (DP2) and it is the structure necessary for truly self-managing organizations. (Emery and Purser, pp. 102-109)


Most organizations are still command and control structures (DP1). This design made sense back in the industrial age, but not any more. In those days, employees were viewed as replaceable cogs in the organizational wheel. Easily replaceable, they needed the guidance and expertise of supervisors to oversee their performance. The DP1 structure worked well with a vast untrained workforce in a predictable environment. Many of us have prospered in just such organizations.

In today’s turbulent environment, however, the DP1 structure is no longer adaptive. Managers and supervisors can’t be experts in every facet of the complex workplace, and employees no longer tolerate being treated like cogs in a wheel who need to be told what to do. Increasingly, the workforce consists of knowledge workers, who are capable of managing their own work and need to do so to maximize creativity.

Research conducted by Fred Emery and other social scientists identified a litany of problems with bureaucracy. The following are just a few they found (Cabana, 1995, p.221):

  • Bureaucracy stifles creativity, learning, and enthusiasm.
  • The bureaucratic workplace reinforces competition rather than cooperation.
  • People withhold valuable information that might give another internal person or group a competitive advantage.
  • Those at the top rarely have an idea of what is really happening below them because subordinates distort and filter information as it travels up the hierarchy.

Bureaucratic organizations create a vicious cycle. They assume employees need to be told what to do and get exactly that ­­ employees who wait for guidance and don’t take responsibility. When employees behave this way, organizations often “get tough” and respond with more control. Improvement programs like TQM, empowerment, and re-engineering eventually bog down because they still retain centralized control and fail to alter the organization’s underlying structure.

Say hello to self-management

Although new to the United States, participative, or self-managed, organizational designs are being widely adopted in other countries (Emery, 1993, p.16). Self-managing organizations have competitive advantages because they extend the skills and functions of their employees and reassign responsibility for control and coordination of work to the level where it is performed.

Self-managing organizations are based on the DP2 structure, wherein team members can decide among themselves how to manage their work activities. Self-management is radically different from the command and control structure to which we’ve grown accustomed. It is so far off the radar of many organizations that they don’t even see it. Even when they do see it, the decision to shift to a self-managing approach is an enormous one that affects every aspect of an organization. It not only changes how work gets done, but it also transforms the values and culture of an organization.

The pathway to redesign requires that business strategy, organizational architecture, support systems, and human resources systems all be re-aligned with one another. When these components are aligned to support self-management, organizations are more effective, flexible, and adaptive. The prospect of designing a self-managing organization is challenging, but the rewards are substantial.

What’s In It For Me?

So why would an organization decide to cast aside it’s cherished relationship with bureaucracy in favor of the uncharted waters of self-management?

  • Self-managing organizations are cheaper to run, they have lower overhead.
  • Self-managing organizations are more productive.
  • The self-managing organization is a more effective way to get things done.
  • Employees display higher levels of involvement, responsibility, and commitment.
  • Employees take more initiative and demonstrate more creativity than their counterparts in command and control organizations.
  • Compared to their command and control counterparts, self-managing organizations are more flexible. They anticipate and adapt more quickly to changes in the marketplace and surrounding environment.

Been There Done That

A barrier to self-management in the United States is the belief among many companies that they’ve already tried it. Many organizations implement programs under the guise of self-management, such as self-managed teams and employee empowerment. Unfortunately, most of these programs are just window dressing because the underlying organizational structure remains DP1. The trend in the U.S. is “to pretend you can have a self-managing group, with a supervisor who is re-labeled as a trainer, leader, or coach when in truth responsibility hasn’t really been shifted to the team (Emery, p. 8)”. Changing a supervisor’s title doesn’t reap the benefits of self-management unless the organizational structure is changed to DP2.

Cosmetic changes that don’t address the organizational structure eventually fail, leaving both management and employees sick of terms like self-management and empowerment. Cosmetic changes that don’t work also leave the organization vulnerable to grabbing the next hot management tool-of-the-month that inevitably comes along. No wonder employees groan when they hear about another new organizational initiative. They know it, too, will be gone before long, so there is little incentive to pay much attention.

 

Participative design basics

If you’ve hung in there this far, you’re probably ready for some “how to”. The remainder of this article provides an overview of the participative design process for creating a self-managing organization. A word of caution though, don’t go out and try this on your own. Bring in a knowledgeable consultant with advanced training in participative design theory and methods.

Participative design (PD) is the basic building block for creating a self-managing organization. It is a method for moving from a bureaucratic model to one in which people restructure their own workplace ­ no design is imposed. It is unique because the responsibility for coordination and control of work moves away from supervisors to the people actually doing the work.

The vehicle for implementing the self-managing design is a one or two day event called the participative design workshop (PDW). Before any workshops are conducted, however, considerable planning and education are required.

Think And Talk Time

The transition from a DP1 to a DP2 is a profound change that requires absolute commitment from leadership and extensive education throughout the organization. It is critical that executives, managers, supervisors and team members have conceptual understanding of participative design principles. Team boundaries must be negotiated within the overall vision and mission of the organization. The roles of managers and supervisors must be carefully redesigned, and support must be provided to help them make the adjustments.

Like any good initiative, the participative design process begins with an organization-wide communication and education process. This phase is more important than usual, however, because the result of the participative design process is a fundamentally new organization in terms of structure, culture and values. The outcome of this journey is heavily influenced by how clearly employees understand the design principles and concepts of self-management. Take time to make sure this happens.

Education and planning varies from organization to organization, but should always begin with senior management. Union involvement should also begin at this point where applicable. Educational workshops, presentations and discussion groups help managers understand the differences between bureaucratic and participative structures, and how their outcomes differ. One way to educate managers is to conduct an abbreviated PDW to give them a chance to experience the process directly and assess its applicability. (Purser and Cabana, pp. 209-211)

After working with management, facilitators conduct educational forums throughout the organization. Employees at all levels need time to assimilate the new concepts and learn about participative design. It is useful to distribute and discuss a Q&A booklet that addressees many of the typical concerns and questions employees will have.

The Vision Thing

Before embarking on a participative design process, the organization needs a clearly defined and compelling vision. Employees need to know where they are headed and why it is important. Ideally, the vision is established in a participatory process as well, so that widespread commitment and responsibility are achieved. The best method for accomplishing this, also developed by Fred and Merrelyn Emery (Emery and Purser, 1996), is called the search conference. Search conference is a participative process that enables a large group to collectively create a plan for the future that its members themselves will implement.

OK, Some Rules Are Necessary

The final step before conducting PDW’s is the creation of minimum critical specifications against which all designs are developed and measured. Management must spell out specific written boundaries within which teams must work. Examples might include “no increase in staff” or “maintain the same level of customer satisfaction”. Minimum specifications might also include required outputs or quality levels from teams. Management must balance the need for guidance with the risk of creating too many “rules” that smother the creative process. During the PDW’s these minimum specifications will be posted for all to see. These minimum specifications create boundaries within which teams are free to be responsible for the control and coordination of their own work.

How Many, How Long?

The PDW is a flexible process that can be adapted to fit organizational needs. Depending on the size and complexity of the organization, a PDW can last one or two days. The PDW usually consists of 20-35 people from the organization working in small groups. The process requires one or two facilitators who have been trained in the PDW approach. Sufficient space for group movement, and plenty of flip charts for reports are needed.

Where To Start?

The participative design process usually starts at the bottom, among naturally occurring sections of the organization, such as teams, work units or departments. “Change the design principle first amongst people who collectively know their section of the organization and can readily get on with the work (Emery, M., 1995, p.141).” Once lower levels are redesigned and functioning, the higher organizational levels can be redesigned. Before starting a participative design process, it is absolutely necessary to have a written binding agreement for some reasonable time that the design will be DP2 rather than DP1. Without such an agreement, teams and departments will lack the “legal” basis for being self-managed and people will invariably slip back into DP1 behavior. The agreement provides teams with the protection and freedom they need to manage their own work.

Who Attends?

Group size is an important PDW consideration. If the work group or unit is small (between 4-12 people), it is best if everybody works together on the design. When a larger section of the organization is being redesigned, it is necessary to get wide participation that reflects a deep slice of the organization. Mixed teams from the same department or unit can work in parallel during the workshop and then integrate their designs. Or, with larger units, teams can participate in separate workshops and integrate their designs later.

Participative design workshop

First: Analyze

The PDW begins with introductions and an overview of the agenda. Top management meets with the group briefly to review organizational purpose and the minimum critical specifications, that remain posted throughout the PDW.

Before the analytical work begins, the facilitator introduces the six critical human requirements for motivated work (Emery and Thorsrud, 1969) and explains how the designs of traditional work systems fail to satisfy these requirements. These six criteria must be designed into the work structure for people to be fully responsible and committed to their work. The group creates a matrix that rates the extent to which their current jobs meet these six critical requirements.

The facilitator also introduces the matrix for mapping team skills. The group creates a chart that compares the essential skills required by their work function to the existence of those skills among team members. Then, groups report their findings on both matrices and will use this information during the redesign phase to diagnose where gaps exist.

Second: Redesign

At the outset of the redesign phase, the facilitator presents the democratic design principle and explains how DP2 influences the six criteria for motivated work and how it relates to skill levels. Participants are now ready to focus on redesigning their structure.

Groups start by drawing up rough outlines of their existing work flows and structure. These charts show how decisions are currently made and how closely the current structure resembles either bureaucratic or participative designs.

Next, groups are ready to redesign their own structure to produce the best possible design for everyone. Their new designs will be measured against whether they enhance people’s critical psychological requirements, build flexibility through skill redundancy, and reduce bottlenecks in the work flow system.

During a plenary session, groups present and compare their initial design options. Other groups give feedback and suggestions for improvements. The facilitator then provides a briefing on implementation practicalities and issues that must be taken into account in final designs. Based on this input, teams make additional adjustments to their designs.

Third: Implement

During this phase, groups develop a comprehensive and measurable set of goals and targets for their unit. Teams must develop their own full range of goals, addressing operational, business, human resources, and technical areas. The goals must be clear, realistic, and challenging. Psychology 101 tells us that employees will commit with more enthusiasm to goals they develop.

Initial team goals will still require negotiation with middle management to ensure targets are consistent with and support the overall organizational vision and goals. This is a key role for middle managers in self-managing organizations.

Teams also will determine training requirements based on careful analysis of their skill matrices. In this fashion, teams develop their own training plans rather than having them imposed from above. They identify the training they will need to function as a self-managed team.
At this point, teams specify additional organizational arrangements that will be required to become self-managing. These might include feedback mechanisms, equipment, job rotation procedures, support needed from other groups, and staffing needs.

There’s more – organizational support

The PDW is just part of the ongoing redesign process. Other organizational systems must be adjusted to provide support for new participative work structure. Communication systems have to be aligned with the new work teams to insure essential information and data is readily available to teams. This may require new data gathering and distribution systems.

Self-managed teams and groups might need additional equipment or meeting space to fill their expanded functions. In some cases people may have to be moved to new locations to work more closely with newly configured teams.

Human resources systems will need modification to fit the new organizational structure. Individual-based performance evaluation no longer fits in the team environment. New evaluation methods that hold teams accountable for outcome performance will have to be developed. Selection, orientation, and training issues will also need considerable attention. Finally, training support will be needed to help teams develop the skills and capacities to assume greater responsibilities.

Mid-level managers and supervisors will need considerable training and support to help them adapt to their changing responsibilities in the new environment. Often, this group is most resistant to self-management, because it stands the most to lose in terms of status, authority and job clarity.

New career paths often accompany or follow the transition to self-management. In a self-managing organization, economic gains must be shared equitably with those responsible for performance improvements. Self-managing teams work hard to achieve their goals, and they expect their achievements to be compensated.

One approach is a “pay for skills system in which employees are awarded points for skills they possess. When people reach a certain number of points, they move up a band in the compensation system (Purser & Cabana, p 232)”. In a self-managing system, the compensation system may also be adjusted to support group accountability for performance goals that cut across the organization. Gain-sharing should be spread across the whole organization.

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