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Emerging Disciplines in Analyzing The University Workplace - Research Paper Example

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This research will begin with the statement that the traditional contributing disciplines of organizational behavior are fairly obvious in what they bring to the table. To understand how an organization works, one needs to understand how people work…
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Emerging Disciplines in Analyzing The University Workplace
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Download file to see previous pages The researcher states that industrial engineering and economics play to the nitty-gritty, the practical, the numbers, the devils in the details. They help to quantify how organizations work, what transactions are at play, and what hierarchies are formalized and how that operates. Yet there are emerging disciplines that have begun to change the analysis of organizations irrevocably. Women's studies reminds researchers and analysts of the role of kinship, gender and sexual relations in determining how institutions work: They submit that, without understanding gender roles and inequalities, it is impossible to understand everything from the glass ceiling in corporate America to the mommy track to the second shift. Communications as a discipline informs researchers and analysts that the way that organizations communicate internally and externally, with individuals and with organizations, formally and informally, all are vital to determine how the organization behaves and fares in terms of survival and managing change. It is impossible, for example, to understand a media institution without knowing how information is communicated up the ladder to the top then disseminated to other institutions like households and businesses. Information systems try to analyze both the usage of computers within institutions and institutions themselves as computational arrangements. And marketing looks at how institutions market their culture internally and externally. Understanding all these disciplines is essential to understanding the operation of the University of Pittsburgh. Psychology of organizations focus on factors like threat rigidity. Threat-rigidity is the tendency of institutions and people like to respond to threats or changes by falling back on established habits that worked in the past. The problem is, like the famous Chinese joke of the farmer who saw a rabbit break its neck on a stump and thereafter waited for another rabbit to do so in order to get a meal again, that patterns change and past practice is not always applicable. Sometimes, weathering the storm by sticking to one's guns and using prior effective practices is the right strategy. But other times, rigidity is a problem, and dynamic and creative responses are necessary. Staw et al analyzed, using both sociological and psychological mechanisms, the tendency of institutions to behave like people and freeze up in the face of danger, sticking to the most rigid and subconscious patterns until disaster struck. “The Penn Central Railroad, for example, continued paying dividends until cash flow dried up completely ...Chrysler Corporation, when faced with the oil crisis and rising gasoline prices, continued large (but efficient) production runs on its largest and most fuel-inefficient cars until inventories overflowed”. Universities like my workplace, the University of Pittsburgh, seem to be particularly vulnerable to this, and the reasons why are helpful to the rigidity hypothesis in general. The university is faced with a major change, say the increasing obsolescence of a particular academic department. It is hard to tell prima facie if this will be a temporary or a permanent phenomenon. Tenure prevents the department from being easily cut or repurposed. In any respect, it makes no sense to remove a vital discipline from the field. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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