APPLICATION PAPER - Michael Manley MGMT 301-102...

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Michael Manley MGMT 301-102 Organizational Management Application paper The situation from a work of fiction that is the most applicable in applying concepts and principles from organizational management is from the movie Office Space. The movie Office Space critiques various organizational management practices in today’s society. The main character in the movie Office Space is Peter. Peter works at Initech, which is a fictional software company in the movie. His job consists of sitting at a small cubicle and crunching meaningless numbers from nine to five, everyday of the week. In the movie Office Space, the film traces the course of his realization that he hates his job and should revolt against Initech. Office space identifies an oppressing, unacceptable view of the working world in an attempt to demonstrate unhealthy and ineffective practices that many real world businesses and organizations employ. While the majority of the concepts and practices are mocked in a ridiculous and embellished way, they still represent the unattractive experiences shared by individuals that have worked in this type of classic office environment. This movie serves as an example of what an organization would want to avoid in order to succeed. Office Space depicts many practices that are connected with the classical approach to organizational behavior. According to Katherine Miller’s Organizational Communication: Approaches and Processes, the classical theory involves specialization, standardization, replaceability, and predictability. The machine metaphor is commonly applied to classical organizations, because the workers “are seen as the ‘cogs’ of the machine, and those cogs are standardized and interchangeable.” Individuals are basically non-existent when operating under a classical organization. Miller examines different theories of classical management and describes classical organizations as having a clearly defined hierarchy, a strict emphasis on rules, and having centralized power. Communication comes from the top-down. Communication is focused on work-related issues, and is generally in the written form. Those at the top of the hierarchy are mainly concerned with only getting the job done. Under the hierarchy, personal employee needs are ignored and determined irrelevant to getting the job done. Employees are encouraged to labor strictly for the goals of the organization rather than for their individual interests. In Office Space, all of these classical elements are in action. Power is extremely centralized at Initech with Bill Lumbergh at the top of the ladder. Lumbergh is a greedy, overbearing authoritarian and abuses his power to the utmost degree. Lumbergh has his own reserved parking spot right in front of the building, he forces Peter to come in to work on the weekends, and he is overly condescending to his employees. Others in the management position at Initech are also condescending. For example, when Peter forgets to put coversheets on his
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