Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

O'Connor Psychology and sustainability ~ NZPsS 2010


Published on

Published in: Business, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

O'Connor Psychology and sustainability ~ NZPsS 2010

  1. 1. WHAT CAN WE DO WHEN THE SCIENCE SAYS "X“ AND PEOPLE STILL SAY "WHY?" Frank OConnor Consulting Director, Moa Resources Wellington, New Zealand ©O’Connor I/O PsycSoc Conf 2003 RAP p 1Created with Print2PDF. To remove this line, buy a license at:
  2. 2. WHAT DO WE KNOW We have learned a lot about social change • in organisations large or small, formal or not • knowing what needs to be done does not determine success The origin of success lies in confident action Confidence follows leadership • a social (not textual) phenomenon • frequently reinforcing the small actions • individual and small group behaviour add up We don’t make the change as a whole ©O’Connor I/O PsycSoc Conf 2003 RAP p 2Created with Print2PDF. To remove this line, buy a license at:
  3. 3. FURTHER EVIDENCE SHOWS … Major change runs in the face of what we believe • challenge to prevailing belief systems may include those that are seen to underpin science‘ We do change ingrained habits • using emotional information as well as thoughts • accepting that, sometimes, leaps of faith are required and made The process of engaging the not-yet-committed can be predictable, intuitive and simple … and inadequately informed ©O’Connor I/O PsycSoc Conf 2003 RAP p 3Created with Print2PDF. To remove this line, buy a license at:
  4. 4. BESTSELLING JOHN KOTTER 1947 – “There are four reasons that certain people are resisting change” Kotter and Schlesinger, 1979 • Parochial self-interest – some people are concerned with how change may affect their own interests, rather than considering the effects for the whole • Misunderstanding – communication problems; inadequate information • Low tolerance to change – certain people are very keen on security and stability in their work • Different assessments of the situation – some employees may disagree on the reasons for the change and on the advantages and disadvantages of the change process ©O’Connor I/O PsycSoc Conf 2003 RAP p 4Created with Print2PDF. To remove this line, buy a license at:
  5. 5. SIX APPROACHES TO COMBAT RESISTANCE TO CHANGE - 1 • Education and Communication – people lack information – Educate people beforehand. Up-front communication reduces unfounded rumours concerning the change • Participation and Involvement – we don’t have all we need planned yet and others have considerable power to resist – Involve employees in the change effort - they are more likely to buy in and help • Facilitation and Support - resistance from adjustment problems – Head-off potential resistance supporting employees deal with fear and anxiety about detrimental effects of change – special training, counselling, time off work. ©O’Connor I/O PsycSoc Conf 2003 RAP p 5Created with Print2PDF. To remove this line, buy a license at:
  6. 6. SIX APPROACHES TO COMBAT RESISTANCE TO CHANGE - 2 • Negotiation and Agreement – some may lose out and have considerable power to resist – by offering incentives to employees not to resist change, to veto elements of change, or to offer early buyouts or retirements – … where those resisting change are in a position of power • Manipulation and Co-option where other tactics will not work or are too expensive – Involve leaders of the resistance in the change effort, but if feel they are only symbolic, they may resistance even further • Explicit and Implicit Coercion – if speed essential, at last resort – force acceptance by making clear that resisting change will lead to losing jobs, firing, transferring or not promoting employees. ©O’Connor I/O PsycSoc Conf 2003 RAP p 6Created with Print2PDF. To remove this line, buy a license at:
  7. 7. AN OCTOPUS HAS “THE FACTS” Meet Paul … • ‘predicted’ the outcome of games involving the German World Cup football team this year Does the press really think Paul can predict the outcome of a soccer game? • Or is it a real misunderstanding of the nature of probability… ©O’Connor I/O PsycSoc Conf 2003 RAP p 7Created with Print2PDF. To remove this line, buy a license at:
  8. 8. SURELY THIS IS MORE THAN LUCK Offered 2 flag-bearing boxes, each containing a mussel, Paul chooses one of them • For the matches involving the German team, Paul ‘selected’ the winner of each game • After the game that saw Germany lose to Spain, Paul appeared to select the victor through to the final ©O’Connor I/O PsycSoc Conf 2003 RAP p 8Created with Print2PDF. To remove this line, buy a license at:
  9. 9. WELL, NO Toss a coin & record whether it comes up heads or tails • Over dozens of tosses you’ll see ‘runs’ of several heads or several tails But each time you toss, there’s a 1 in 2 chance of coming up heads • Regardless of what’s gone before So the octopus is sometimes right, sometimes wrong; for one or a run of ‘choices’ – Alison Campbell’s BioBlog Jul 09 ©O’Connor I/O PsycSoc Conf 2003 RAP p 9Created with Print2PDF. To remove this line, buy a license at:
  10. 10. WE LIKE A GOOD STORY! Humans are pattern-seeking creatures • We seem very happy to imbue mere coincidence with far more meaning than it actually has So we need to go carefully On with the stories … ©O’Connor I/O PsycSoc Conf 2003 RAP p 10Created with Print2PDF. To remove this line, buy a license at:
  11. 11. KURT LEWIN 1890 - 1947 • Moved from studying behaviour to engineering its change, particularly in relation to racial and religious conflicts • Invented sensitivity training, for making people more aware of the effect they have on others An early three-stage change process • The first stage he called "unfreezing“ – overcoming inertia and dismantling the existing "mind set“ – Defense mechanisms have to be bypassed • In the second stage the change occurs – a period of confusion and transition – We are aware that the old ways are being challenged but we do not have a clear picture as to what we are replacing them with yet • The third and final stage he called "freezing“ – The new mindset is crystallizing and ones comfort level is returning to previous levels … this is often misquoted as "refreezing" ©O’Connor I/O PsycSoc Conf 2003 RAP p 11Created with Print2PDF. To remove this line, buy a license at:
  12. 12. ERIC TRIST 1909 – 1993 • For the last two years of the World War II, Trist was chief psychologist to the civil resettlements units for repatriated prisoners of war … – “probably the most exciting single experience of my professional life” Trist and the Tavistock Institute: • industrial and military projects on change and reintegration • the Family Discussion Group • John Bowlby’s studies on mother-child separation • the establishment of Family Systems Therapy • the Socio-technical Systems approach with Fred Emery Toward a Social Ecology, 1972 ©O’Connor I/O PsycSoc Conf 2003 RAP p 12Created with Print2PDF. To remove this line, buy a license at:
  13. 13. LEON FESTINGER 1919–1989 • Theory of Cognitive Dissonance – inconsistency among beliefs and behaviours will cause an uncomfortable psychological tension – people change their beliefs to fit their actual behaviour, rather than the other way around, as popular wisdom suggests • Social Comparison Theory – how people evaluate their own opinions and desires by comparing themselves with others – how groups exert pressures on individuals to conform with group norms and goals • Social Network Theory – showed how the formation of social ties among college freshmen was predicted by the physical proximity between people, and not just by similar tastes or beliefs, as laymen tend to believe. People tend to befriend their neighbours ©O’Connor I/O PsycSoc Conf 2003 RAP p 13Created with Print2PDF. To remove this line, buy a license at:
  14. 14. DONALD SCHÖN 1930-1997 • A lifetime of interest in the subtle processes whereby technological and other change is absorbed (or not) by social systems • “Generative metaphor” – figurative descriptions of social situations, usually implicit and even semi-conscious but that shape the way problems are tackled, for example seeing a troubled inner-city neighbourhood as urban "blight" and, hence, taking steps rooted in the idea of disease • "Learning systems“ – exploring the possibility of learning at the supra-individual level • Reflective practice inquiry – the role of technical knowledge versus "artistry" in developing professional excellence … see The Reflective Practitioner 1983 • “Reflective frames” – of social problems which are otherwise taken for granted and can be critically reconstructed in a shared way to solve “intractable policy controversies” … see Frame Reflection with Martin Rein, 1994 ©O’Connor I/O PsycSoc Conf 2003 RAP p 14Created with Print2PDF. To remove this line, buy a license at:
  15. 15. EDGAR SCHEIN 1928 – • "Corporate culture“ – “basic tacit assumptions about how the world is and ought to be … that a group of people share and that determines their perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and their overt behavior" - Schein, 1996 “Even with rigorous study, we can only make statements about elements of culture, not culture in its entirety” • Artefacts – dress code, furniture, office jokes are surface aspects which are easily discerned, being tangible or verbally identifiable, yet may be hard to decipher • Espoused Values – desired and stated cultural elements are examples of conscious justifications, strategies, goals and philosophies below artefacts • Basic Assumptions and Values – difficult to discern because they exist at a largely unconscious level, yet they provide the key to understanding why things happen the way they do – motives, aspirations, fears and other beliefs are hard to recognize from within ©O’Connor I/O PsycSoc Conf 2003 RAP p 15Created with Print2PDF. To remove this line, buy a license at:
  16. 16. MARTIN SELIGMAN 1942 – • Learned helplessness is a “condition … manifested by a complete lack of incentive to do anything about one’s external circumstances” Seligman, Helplessness, Freeman, New York, 1992 • Learned helplessness – a psychological condition in which a human being or an animal has learned to act or behave helplessly in a particular situation – usually after experiencing some inability to avoid adverse situations – even if it actually has power to change its unpleasant circumstance • The same mechanism may mediate in individuals and groups – the expectation of response ineffectiveness contributing to individual and organisational ‘depression’ and inaction ©O’Connor I/O PsycSoc Conf 2003 RAP p 16Created with Print2PDF. To remove this line, buy a license at:
  17. 17. PEOPLE GENERATE CHANGE BY CREATING THE BELIEF THAT CHANGE CAN SUCCEED Anger Support Denial Arousal Bargaining Testing Depression/ Acceptance TimeCreated with ©O’Connor I/O PsycSoc Conf 2003 RAP p 17 Print2PDF. To remove this line, buy a license at:
  18. 18. CHRIS ARGYRIS 1923 – Individual and organizational learning • the extent to which human reasoning (not just behaviour) can become the basis for diagnosis and action with Donald Schön Key concepts • Ladder of Inference • Double-Loop Learning Argyris & Schön 1974 • Theory of Action / Espoused Theory / Theory-in-use • High Advocacy/High Inquiry dialogue • Actionable Knowledge ©O’Connor I/O PsycSoc Conf 2003 RAP p 18Created with Print2PDF. To remove this line, buy a license at:
  19. 19. Model 1 Theory-In-Use Governing Define goals and try to Maximize winning Minimize generating or Be rational Variables achieve them and minimize losing expressing negative feelings Action Design and manage the Own and control the Unilaterally protect yourself Unilaterally protect Strategies environment unilaterally (be task (claim (speak with inferred categories others from being persuasive, appeal to larger ownership of the accompanied by little or no hurt (withhold goals) task, be guardian of directly observable behaviour, be information, create definition and blind to impact on others and to rules to censor execution of task) the incongruity between rhetoric information and and behaviour, reduce behaviour, hold incongruity by defensive actions private meetings) such as blaming, stereotyping, suppressing feelings, intellectualizing) Consequences Actor seen as defensive, Defensive Defensive norms (mistrust, lack Little freedom of for the inconsistent, incongruent, interpersonal and of risk taking, conformitment, choice, internal Behavioral competitive, controlling, group relationship emphasis on diplomacy, power- commitment, or risk World fearful of being vulnerable, (dependence upon centred competition, and rivalry) taking manipulative, withholding of actor, little additivity, feelings, overly concerned little helping of about self and others or under others) concerned about others Consequences Self-sealing Single-loop learning Little testing of theories publicly, for Learning much testing of theories privately Effectiveness Decreased effectiveness Argyris, Putnam & Smith, 1985, Action Science, Ch. 3 ©O’Connor I/O PsycSoc Conf 2003 RAP p 19Created with Print2PDF. To remove this line, buy a license at:
  20. 20. Model 2 Theory-In-Use Governing Valid information Free and informed Internal commitment to the choice Variables choice and constant monitoring of its implementation Action Design situations or Tasks are controlled Protection of self is a joint Bilateral Strategies environments where participants jointly enterprise and oriented toward protection of can be origins and can growth (speak in directly others experience high personal observable categories, seek to causation (psychological reduce blindness about own success, confirmation, inconsistency and incongruity) essentiality) Consequences Actor experienced as minimally Minimally defensive Learning-oriented norms (trust, for the defensive (facilitator, interpersonal relations individuality, open confrontation Behavioral collaborator, choice creator) and group dynamics on difficult issues) World Consequences Disconfirmable processes Double-loop learning Public testing of theories for Learning Consequences Quality of life will be more Effectiveness of for Quality of positive than negative (high problem solving and Life authenticity and high freedom of decision making will be choice) great, especially for difficult problems Effectiveness Increase long-run effectiveness Argyris, Putnam & Smith, 1985, Action Science, Ch. 3 ©O’Connor I/O PsycSoc Conf 2003 RAP p 20Created with Print2PDF. To remove this line, buy a license at:
  21. 21. MARVIN WEISBORD 193x – Renewal Contentment Confusion Denial ©O’Connor I/O PsycSoc Conf 2003 RAP p 21Created with Print2PDF. To remove this line, buy a license at:
  22. 22. FUTURE SEARCH • A 3-day planning meeting process which enables people to cooperate in complex situations, high conflict and uncertainty Four Principles • Getting the “whole system in the room” • Exploring all aspects of a system before trying to fix any part • Putting common ground and future action front and centre – treating problems and conflicts as information, not action items • Having people accept responsibility for their own work, conclusions, and action plans ©O’Connor I/O PsycSoc Conf 2003 RAP p 22Created with Print2PDF. To remove this line, buy a license at:
  23. 23. BEYOND PRODUCTIVE WORKPLACES • Future Search typically involves groups of 40 to 80 people in one room and as many as 300 in parallel conferences – People from diverse backgrounds use Future Searches to make systemic improvements in their communities and organizations, working entirely from their own experience • Used with many social, technological and economic issues – organize the demobilization child soldiers in Southern Sudan – Integrate an economic development plan in Northern Ireland – work with a Hawaiian community to reconnect with traditional values – determine the future of urban mobility in Salt Lake City, Utah • People achieve four outputs from one meeting – shared values – a plan for the future – concrete goals – an implementation strategy ©O’Connor I/O PsycSoc Conf 2003 RAP p 23Created with Print2PDF. To remove this line, buy a license at:
  24. 24. HOW CAN WE BUILD IN ENDURING, CONSTRUCTIVE NORMS AND PROCESSES? • How can anybody be sure the plans people make are actually carried out? I have pondered that question for many years. I doubt that anybody can “build in” a technical insurance policy for ongoing success that trumps people’s willingness to keep revisiting worthy goals and to stay connected with each other. The key leadership policy I advocate is involving those who do the work in planning the work. The best methods for doing that tend to be simple. Productive Workplaces Revisited: Dignity, Meaning and Community in the 21st Century, Marvin Weisbord; Jossey-Bass/Wiley, 2004 ©O’Connor I/O PsycSoc Conf 2003 RAP p 24Created with Print2PDF. To remove this line, buy a license at:
  25. 25. WHAT’S IN OUR TOOLBOX? As psychologists, we have evidence that people dont change behaviour just because they are rationally convinced • They change instinctively because it is more convenient, more acceptable, more safe and more expedient • They change intellectually because they believe it will be better for them, in their subjective and diverse meanings of better‘ Where can we apply this insight to assist action in the interest of sustaining the planet on which we live? ©O’Connor I/O PsycSoc Conf 2003 RAP p 25Created with Print2PDF. To remove this line, buy a license at: