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Caring Organization
 

Caring Organization

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    Caring Organization Caring Organization Document Transcript

    • LESSON 26: CARING ORGANIZATION Today we are going to learn about Caring Organization. • Institutionalize psychological/spiritual support at all stages for assignments (prior to, during and after) Points to be covered in this lesson: • Provide education and support for home office staff to Concept and Characteristics of Caring provide quality services Organization What is a company that cares? According to Marci Koblenz, a • Provide support to immediate family members founder of Companies That Care, “A company that cares is one We have so far looked at organizations as having two that sees creating a positive work environment for employees, and aspects: being an active corporate citizen, as integral components of their • First, we have considered organizations as hierarchical identity. Their day-to-day business practices clearly reflect those collections of autonomous individuals who are connected to priorities.” each other and to the organization by contractual agree- The Center for Companies That Care acknowledges the ments. The employee signs a contract agreeing to carry out the leadership of organizations that take social responsibility for tasks spelled out in the “job description” in return for a wage their internal and external communities seriously. “A company that the employer agrees to pay him or her. Employees take that cares embraces social responsibility as a duty, but is also their orders from ranked tiers of managers arranged in a quick to acknowledge that the caring they demonstrate is returned hierarchy of authority, at the top of which sit the CEO and to them many times over in the form of greater employee his or her top management staff, and at the bottom of commitment and better business results. In this way, ethics and which stand the workers who perform the actual labor of the economics drive Companies That Care because both are required organization. The whole organization pur-sues the goal of for a sustainable future,” adds Koblenz. profit. We have called this aspect of the organization the “ra- tional” organization. 10 Characteristics of Caring Organizations Those Companies who have deep commitment to elevating the • Crisscrossing the rational organization’s formal lines of quality of the work environment for their employees and the authority is a second system of power, which we have called quality of life for people in the broader community. By definition the “political” organization. The political elements of the a “Company That Cares,” organization consist of the network of power relationships, coalitions, and informal lines of communication through 1. Sustains a work environment founded on dignity and respect which individuals seek to achieve their personal goals and for all employees seek to get others to help them achieve their personal goals 2. Makes employees feel their jobs are important through the exercise of power. 3. Cultivates the full potential of all employees • It is possible to conceive of organizations as consisting of 4. Encourages individual pursuit of work/life balance yet another quite different set of relationships. Recent 5. Enables the well-being of individuals and their families thinkers have suggested that orga-nizations can and should through compensation, benefits, policies and practices be thought of also as networks of relationships in which “connected selves” form webs of on-going personal 6. Develops great bosses who excel at managing people as well relationships with other “connected selves.” as results 7. Appreciates and recognize the contributions of people who In this aspect of the organization the focus of em-ployees is not work there on the pursuit of profit, nor on the pursuit of personal goals, but on caring for those particular individuals who make up the 8. Establishes and communicate standards for ethical behavior organization and those with whom the organization interacts. and integrity We encounter this aspect of the organization when we make 9. Gets involved in community endeavors and/or public policy friends with the people with whom we work, come to care for 10. Considers the human toll when making business decisions. them, look out for their well being, and seek to deepen and preserve these caring relationships. Employers, too, may grow Organizational Practices that Promote Care close to their employees, deepening their relationships with • Change the culture - talk about these issues without being employees, and coming to seek ways of caring for the particular worried about being a cry-baby needs of these particular individuals and of develop- ing their • Address risk management issues in a proactive, timely and full potential. thorough way When a fire destroyed the main plant of Malden Mills, for • Aggressively promote good self-care behaviours example, the CEO, Aaron Feuerstein, refused to layoff the idled • Aggressively address safety and security concerns of staff workers but continued to pay them from his own pocket even though they were not working, saying that they were “part of 74 11.292
    • the enterprise, not a cost cen-ter to be cut. They’ve been with me creating value for particular customers and remaining tuned to for a long time. We’ve been good to each other, and there’s a deep their evolving needs. Such a focus on know-ing and serving the realization of that.” The members of an organization may customer, it is argued, enables the company to continually adapt befriend even their clients and customers, truly caring for them and to the rapid changes that characterize most markets today. gen-uinely seeking to develop and improve the well being Moreover, the caring that gives rise to a focus on the customer, of those particular cus-tomers whom they encounter. Such caring can also inspire and motivate employees to excel in a way that for the well being of customers is most evident, perhaps, in contractual and power relations do not. Bartlett and Ghoshal, organizations of professionals that provide services for their for example, argue: clients, such as hospitals, law firms, and consulting firms that “But . . . contractually based relationships do not inspire the have on-going relationships with their clients, as well as of extraordinary effort and sustained commitment required to pharmaceutical compa-nies that provide life-saving medicines deliver consistently superior performance. For that, companies for people. Merck, Inc., a very suc-cessful pharmaceutical need employees who care, who have a strong emotional link company, for example, developed and gave away at no charge a with the organization.” cure for river blindness that it saw one group of customers There may be few, perhaps even no organizations that perfectly desper-ately needed but could not afford. em-body the caring organization. But some well-known firms This aspect of organizational life is not adequately described by come close. W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., for example, the the con-tractual model that underlies the “rational” organiza- extremely successful company that invented and now manufac- tion, nor by the power no-tions that underlie the “political” tures the well-known “GORE-TEX” line of fab-rics is an organization. It is, perhaps, best described as “the caring organization, which has no managers, no titles, and no organization” in which the dominant moral concepts are those hierarchy. that arise from an ethic of care. In-stead, every employee is left free to decide for him or herself Jeanne M. Liedtka describes the caring organiza-tion as that what job each will voluntarily commit to do according to where organization, or part of the organization, in which caring is: a. each feels he or she can make the best contribution. Leaders Focused entirely on persons, not “quality,” “profits,” or any of emerge when employees are willing to follow them because they are convinced the leader has a worthwhile idea or project. Every the other kinds of ideas that much of today’s “care-talk” employee has one or more “sponsors” who work closely as seems to revolve around; coaches to help the employee develop to his or her full poten- b. Undertaken as an end in and of itself, and not merely a tial, and who serve as the employee’s “advocates” when a means toward achieving quality, profits, etc. “compensation team” (consist-ing of fellow employees) reviews c. Essentially personal, in that it ultimately involves particular the contribution the employee has made in order to decide what individuals engrossed, at a subjective level, in caring for other compensation the employee should receive the follow-ing year. particular individuals; Company units are kept small (under 200 people) so that d. Growth-enhancing for the cared-for, in that it moves them everyone can get to know everyone else and so that all towards the use and development of their full capacities, communications are open, di-rect, and person-to- person. In within the context of their self-defined needs and such an unstructured and unmanaged organi-zation, all work aspirations. done within the organization must ultimately rely on the relationships that employees form with each other. And, over It has been argued that business organizations in which such time, employ-ees come to care for each other and for the caring rela-tionships flourish will exhibit better economic customers for whom they are try-ing to create value. performance than the organiza-tion which restricts itself to the contractual and power relationships of the rational and political Although organizations like W. L. Gore are rare, still most organization. In the caring organization trust flourishes because organizations, to a greater or lesser extent, have aspects of the “one needs to be trusting if one sees oneself as interdependent caring organization. In some organizations, such as W. L. Gore, and connected.” Because trust flourishes in the caring organiza- the caring organization dominates the ra-tional and political tion, the organi-zation does not have to invest resources in aspects of the organization. In most others, however, the monitoring its employees and try-ing to make sure that they do contractual and political aspects are more prominent. Yet in not violate their contractual agreements. many, there are at least some employees and managers who respond to the demands of caring by nurturing the relation- Thus, caring lowers the costs of running an organization and ships they have with each other and by attending to the concrete reduces the “costs of disciplinary actions, theft, absenteeism, poor and particular needs of each other and of their customers. morale and motivation.” (In the genuinely caring organi- zation, of course, caring is not motivated by the desire to reduce such In the contractual model, the key ethical issues arise from the costs but is pursued for its own sake.) It has also been argued that potential for violations of the contractual relation. In the business organizations in which caring flourishes develop a political model, the key ethi-cal issues arise from the potential concern for serving the customer and for creating customer value for the misuse of power. that in turn enables such organizations to achieve a competitive advantage over other organizations. For in such a business organization the focus is not on producing differentiated or low cost products for growing markets, but on 11.292 75
    • What are the key ethical issues from the perspective of the caring organization? There are two: the potential for caring too much and the potential for not caring enough. 1. The moral problems of caring too much. The needs of those for whom we care can demand a response from us that can overwhelm us, leading, eventually to “bum out.” Here the conflict is between the needs of others and the needs of the self. Several writers have argued that the ethic of care requires achievement of a mature balance between caring for the needs of others and caring for one’s own needs. Others have argued that “burnout” occurs not because people are over-whelmed by the needs of others, but because organizations place bureaucratic bur-dens on caregivers and limit their autonomy and influence in decision-making. In addition to conflicts between the needs of the self and the needs of others, the demands of caring can lead to a different kind of conflict: the needs of those for whom we care can demand a response that conflicts with what we may feel we owe others. This is the problem of balancing partiality toward those for whom we care, with the impartial demands of other moral considerations, such as the impartial de-mands of fairness or of moral rights. A person, for example, may be tom be-tween caring for a friend who is violating company policy, and fairness toward the company that requires that such violations be reported. Which demand should be satisfied: the demands of caring partiality or the demands of impartial morality? 2. The moral problems of not caring enough. More pressing, however, are failures to live up to the demands of caring. This may happen on a personal basis or on an organizational level. We may personally see a fellow employee or a customer in need, but fatigue, self-interest, or simply disinterest, may lead us to ignore that need. Or, on a broader organizational level, the entire organization may system- atically drive out caring, through indiscriminate layoffs, through the creation of large impersonalized bureaucracies, through the use of managerial styles that see employees as disposable costs, or through the use of reward systems that dis-courage caring and reward competitiveness. How should these kinds of moral issues be resolved? At this time, un-fortunately, the answers are not clear. Research and thinking on the caring or-ganization and caring in organizations is so recent that no clear consensus has emerged on how issues such as these should be resolved. We have come here to the very edges of current thinking in ethics. Overview • “A company that cares is one that sees creating a positive work environment for employees, and being an active corporate citizen, as integral components of their identity. Their day-to-day business practices clearly reflect those priorities.” ~ Marci Koblenz Activity What are the characteristics of Caring Organization? What are the organizational practices that promote care?
    • For useful Documents like this and Lots of more Educational and Technological Stuff... Visit... www.thecodexpert.com 76 11.292