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Changes that are made in the organizations best

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Unformatted text preview: ent can be seen in three main areas:68 ■ Changes in the nature of employees’ commitment to the organization. Changes in the workplace can have an impact on all three types of organizational commitment. Depending on the nature of the changes and how they are managed, employees’ levels of affective, continuance, and normative commitment can increase or decrease. Whatever the case, the commitment profiles of employees following a change will be different from what they were prior to the change, and maintaining high levels of affective commitment will be particularly challenging. Changes that are made in the organization’s best interest but that are detrimental to employees’ well being are most likely to damage affective commitment. General Electric www.ge.com 126 Individual Behaviour ■ ■ Part Two Changes in the focus of employees’ commitment. As mentioned earlier, the focus of the three types of commitment can include entities other than the organization. Thus, employees generally have multiple commitments. In particular, employee commitment can be directed to others within the organization, such as subunits or divisions, teams, the “new” organization, as well as entities outside the organization, such as one’s occupation, career, and union. Therefore, it should not be surprising that changes in the workplace might alter the focus of employees’ commitments both within and outside of the organization. For example, as organizations increase in size following mergers and acquisitions, employees are likely to shift their commitment to smaller organizational units, such as their particular division, branch, or team. As well, changes that threaten employees’ future in the organization might result in a shift in commitment to entities outside the organization, such as one’s profession, occupation, or personal career. The multiplicity of employer–employee relationships within organizations. As organizations attempt to cope and adapt to rapid change, they need to be flexible enough to shrink and expand their workforce, and at the same time, they need a workforce that is flexible enough to get any job done. This creates a potential conflict as employees who do not have a guarantee of job security may be unwilling to be as flexible as the organization would like or to have a strong affective commitment toward the organization. A potential solution to this problem is for organizations to have different relationships with employees and employee groups. For example, an organization might have a group of core employees who perform the key operations required for organizational success. It would be important for this group of employees to have a high level of affective organizational commitment. Other employee groups would consist of those with contractual arrangements or individuals hired on a temporary basis who do not perform the core tasks and whose commitment to the organization is not as important. The idea of a multiplicity of employee–organization relationships enables organizations to have a flexible workforce and at the same time foster a high level of affective commitment among a core group of employees. In summary, changes in the workplace are having an impact on the nature of employee commitment and employee–employer relationships. It is therefore important that organizations understand how changes in the workplace can change the profile and focus of employees’ commitment and the impact this can have on employee behaviour and organizational success. Chapter 4 the manager’s Values, Attitudes, and Work Behaviour 127 RAC’s Call Centres Notebook 1. Call centres represent a difficult work setting for several reasons. While the actual work can vary from one call centre to the next, tasks in call centres are generally highly scripted and closely monitored. Furthermore, tasks are repetitive and workers have little control over the pace of the work. Although some have made comparisons between call centres and assembly lines, it is important to note that call centre work often involves contact with customers who may have complaints or be hostile during the interaction; as such, although monotonous and repetitive, call centre work can also be very emotional and stressful. Furthermore, given the high turnover rates, the frequent use of temporary employees, and the solitary nature of the work, long-lasting friendships and pleasant social interactions with co-workers can be difficult to achieve. Finally, pay is generally low and opportunities for advancement are extremely limited. In sum, job satisfaction in call centres is at risk because of the lack of mentally challenging work, the lack of social interaction with colleagues, and the low pay and close supervision that can be seen as threats to distributive and procedural fairness. 2. RAC used a bundle of human resource initiatives to enhance employee satisfaction and improve performance. First, greater emphasis was placed on people, and concerted attempts were made to relieve the pressure and routine of call centre w...
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