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Friday, November 18, 2011

How to Acquire Managerial Power?

 Acquiring Managerial Power

A considerable portion of any manager's time is directed toward power-oriented behavior. Power-oriented behavior is action directed at developing or using relationships in which other people are willing to defer wholly or partially to one's wishes. 

There are three dimensions of managerial power and influence: downward is when the manager’s power influence and support coming from the subordinates, which is the people occupying the lower level of positions in the organizations. On the other hand, upward dimension is when the manager builds power and gains the support from the people occupying the higher level of positions in the organization. While lateral, is when the manager builds power by acquiring support and gaining influence towards people that occupies the same level of position in relation to him.

An effective manager builds and maintains position power and personal power to exercise downward, upward, and lateral influence. To build position power, it can be done by increasing centrality and criticality in the organization. Managers must establish a broad network of interpersonal contacts and get involved in the important information flows within them. Managers must avoid being isolated. To gain power, managers must take good care of others who are dependent on them. They should take care to support them exceptionally well by doing things that add value to the work setting. Visibility is also important; it helps to become known as influential in the organization. Good managers don’t hesitate to make formal presentation, participates in key task forces or committees and pursue special assignments that can display their leadership talents and capabilities.

Other additional tactics for acquiring and using power and influence includes; using coalitions and networks to alter the flow of information and the analytical context. Controlling, or at least influencing, decision premises, making ones own goals and needs clear. Bargaining effectively regarding one’s preferred goals and needs.

Common Techniques for Turning Power into Rational Influence

1. Reason. Using persuasion to influence others.

2. Friendliness.  Being friendly is a great advantage towards people in the workplace.

3. Coalition. An alliance among individuals and groups, during which they cooperate in joint action, each in his own interest, joining forces together for a common cause, maybe temporary or a matter of convenience.

4. Bargaining. A simple form of negotiation process that is both competitive and positional; an exchange of proposals.

5. Assertiveness. Defined as boldly self-assured; aggressively confident for asking what one wants or acting to get one wants in a way that respects the right and feelings of others.

6.Sanctions. Action designed to control the conduct of individual, usually take the form of a threat; a coercive measure intended to ensure compliance.

    Thursday, November 17, 2011

    Rewards and Incentives

    What is Reward?

    The term reward is defined as “something that increases the frequency of an employee action“. That is assuming that it guaranteed a positive reinforcement to the employees that will make them acts as desired by the organizations goals and objectives. To achieve desired goals, reward systems should be closely aligned to organizational strategies. Sharing on the idea of most business experts that “the only way employees will fulfill your dream is to share in the dream”. This can be done when the employees and employer are committed to fulfill one dream and that is to make the organization to develop.

    Critics on reward system contend that rewards succeed at securing one thing only and that is temporary compliance. Further, it does not create an enduring commitment to any value or actions. It does not motivate, they punished; they rupture relationships, they ignore reasons, they discourage risk taking, they even undermine interests. The more desirable the reward the more demoralizing it is to miss out.

    What is Incentives?

    Incentive is a positive motivational influence that can sometimes be equated or synonymously called as bonus: which is an additional payment (or other remuneration) to employees as a means of increasing output
    Incentive Pay Systems

    Incentive pay systems include incentive plans that provide financial or non-financial rewards to employees who make substantial contributions to organizational effectiveness. Some plans tie rewards to the output of individual employees, others reward the productivity of groups but, still others are based on the overall profitability of the organization.

    Purpose of Incentives

    Incentive pay systems are designed to encourage employees to achieve specific organizational goals, such as increasing profits, lowering costs, raising productivity, improving product quality. Some organizations have two or more incentive plans operating simultaneously, such as an individual bonus scheme plus an organization-wide-profit-sharing plan

    Types of Incentive Plans

    1. Individual incentive plans
    2. Group incentive plans
    3. Productivity gain sharing plans
    4. Profit-sharing plans

    These types of Incentive Plans are all variable pay in which it is a compensation, other than base wages or salaries, in which payment fluctuates according to some standard.  However just to give distinction merit pay is not variable in the sense that merit increases are simply added to an employee’s base pay and remain a permanent part of the person’s regular compensation. Individual Incentive Plans are reward systems tied to the performance of individual employees that takes into several forms, depending on the category of workers for which they are designed.

    Incentives for Production Workers

    Individual incentive plans for production workers typically offer additional financial compensation to those employees who produce work over and above a specified quantity and/or quality. This type of incentive plan when properly designed, it can contribute to organizational efficiency by raising worker productivity and lowering the production cost of each unit. Such plans are intended to assist in increasing efficiency, however, not to accomplish it alone.  In manufacturing, for example, incentive plans are often designed in conjunction with acceptable changes in work methods to sustain efficiencies gained through time-and-motion studies or through work simplification.  In other words, some job-design strategies can be used to organize tasks more efficiently or to simplify them, and the incentive system is designed to motivate the worker to use the more efficient methods.

    Piece-rate plan (or piecework plan)

    This type of plan gives compensation to employees based on the number of units produced.  In most piece-rate plans, the worker is guaranteed a base rate, or minimum hourly wage that assumes a certain rate of production, and is paid extra for production above that rate. One form of this type is the straight piece-rate plans, in which the worker is paid an additional set amount for each unit produced above the standard.  Another form is differential piece-rate plans, in which the worker who exceeds standard production is compensated at a higher rate for all work than workers who satisfy only the minimum standard. For either type of plan, base rates are often determined through job evaluation and wage surveys, whereas production standards are frequently established by time-and-motion studies.

    Production-Bonus Incentive Systems

    In this type of incentive system the workers who surpass minimum production standards are given a bonus payment based on cost savings associated with higher productivity. One form of this incentive system is called, standard-hour plan, under which there is called “standard time” for completing a particular job or task is established. The worker is paid the standard rate even when he or she completes the job in less than standard time. For example, if the standard time for a particular job is nine hours, and an employee completes it in six hours, the employee’s earnings are still nine times the hourly rate.
    Another is measured day-rate plan. Under this plan, employees are rated every two or three months on several factors, such as productivity, quality of work, dependability, and versatility. If rated high, they may make as much as 20 percent above the current pay rate. This merit rating fixes the wage until the next merit rating, when the individual’s pay may be raised or lowered. This plan differs from typical merit-rating plan in that it gives significantly greater weight to productivity, and wages can be reduced if the rating falls.

    Incentives for Sales Personnel

    One form of incentive for sales personnel is called, Sales-pay plans that feature commissions, or other bonuses based on the number of items or dollar volume sold by the employee. This form also is considered as individual incentive plans. One of the advantages of commission payments is that they tend to be tied to revenues and profits of the company. Therefore, if the economy experienced recessions the company is saved by the idea that the firm can’t be forced by the employee to give bonuses because if the economy suffers then there is little sales it would also mean that there is no bonus to be paid for the employees. In short, when a firm is faced with a recession, a commission system automatically allows it to lower its costs. However, the main disadvantage is to employees because on a straight commission, of course, their standard of living is less secure than if they were paid base salary.

    Incentives for Managerial and Professional Employees

    Performance bonuses of some kind are the most frequently used incentive plans for management and exempt employees. The details vary greatly from company to company.  For example, bonuses may be allocated on the basis of an overall judgment about a manager’s or a professional’s contribution, or end-of-year bonuses may be allocated on the basis of the extent to which the person attains the objectives agreed on at the beginning of the year.

    One form of this is the spot bonuses which are cash awards for extraordinary achievement or performance. This means that this form of incentives for managerial employees qualify any person as long as he is spotted doing well in his job. Since this type of incentive is not regular, they are given on a more spontaneous basis and are usually intended to award individual performance that is not regularly recognized other ways.
    In one study of 191 companies, 26 percent used spot bonuses. Unlike more traditional bonus plans that focus on managerial and professional employees, workers in most categories tend to be eligible for awards under spot-bonus plans.

    Another is bonuses as one-time payments rather than as additions to the base salary. In which, are known to be gradually gaining acceptance in the business world. One advantage of such bonuses is that they do not further inflate a salary structure if it is decided that the structure is too high.  A disadvantage, quickly seen by employees, is that bonuses do not increase benefits such as pensions and insurance, which are usually tied to salary level.


    In paying bonuses several options are available to firms that would help them design an effective reinforcement system that will fit on the nature of firm they have. Firms can pay bonuses by weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually.

    Frequent vs. Infrequent Payouts

    Adherents of frequent payout system of bonuses argue that, since bonuses are designed to reinforce behaviors of the employees that are desirable to the company therefore the more frequent the payout system the more effective it is to reinforce desired behavior for the employee. The major purpose of variable pay system is to encourage employee involvement and teamwork in pursuit of continuous improvement. It is believed that the moment there is a need to reinforce certain behaviors reinforcement incentives are viewed to be more effective when it is in the right time. However, on the other side are the infrequent payout adherents. Their arguments are the following. First, infrequent payout tends to have a big effect on the substance of the reward in short it will make larger payouts. A 600 dollar a month is better than a 50 dollar a month. Second is that it provide a “smoothing effect” which means that if the firm incurs loss, the firm will not carry the burden of paying bonuses to those employees who have excellent performance on the months that the company is incurring the loss. Paying a bonus at the end of the year might give the company enough time to recover the losses incurred over the months. Therefore it gives a good position to the company to afford. Lastly, is that infrequent payout system tend to lower administrative costs, the more frequent the reward or incentive system the more time the administration needs to prepare for administering it. While infrequent payout system would at least need less time to prepare it.

    Another type of incentive is called royalty compensation which may be a particularly effective incentive for scientists and inventors. Under a royalty compensation plan, key development and research people can participate in the commercial success of the products they create.

    Employee Stock Ownership Plans

    Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP’s) allow employees at any level to buy company stock. Purchases are made through payroll deduction or made by the company through a profit-sharing plan. Generally, employees are eligible to sell the stock or withdraw dividends only on retirement or termination of employment, when they must pay taxes on those assets.

    One form of the ESOP is the stock option plan. Under such a plan, the executive, manager, or professional, and more recently the rank-and-file employee is granted the right to buy a certain number of shares of the company’s stock at a given price by a specified date. If the value of the stock goes up substantially over the predetermined price, the person makes a significant profit when the option is exercised. If the stock price goes down, the option is not exercised. The number of shares allocated is determined by an appraisal of the person’s performance, or as a general bonus to celebrate the firm’s profitability, or as a way to add to the motivation of employees.

    One version of the sock option takes the form of stock appreciation rights (SARs). Under a SAR plan, an executive can relinquish the right to purchase the stock and receive an amount equal to the increased value of the stock from the date the stock option was granted.

    Team Incentive Plans

    Because jobs can be interdependent, it is sometimes difficult to isolate and evaluate individual performance. In these instances, it is often wise to establish incentives based on group or team performance. For example, an assembly-line operator must work at the speed of the line. Thus, everyone working on the line is dependent on everyone else. With team incentive plans, all team members receive incentive pay based on performance of the entire team. Depending on the specific situation, the team may be as large as the entire organizational work force or as small as three or four members of a work team. Many team incentive plans are based on such factors as profits or reduction in costs of operations.

    Organizational Incentives

    Reward members based on the performance of the entire organization. With such plans, the size of the reward usually depends on the salary of the individual. Most organization wide incentive plans are based on establishing cooperative relationships among all levels of employees.

    Productivity Gain-sharing Programs

    Different companies know gain-sharing by different names, such as profit sharing, performance sharing, or productivity incentives. These programs generally refer to incentive plans that involve employees in a common effort to improve organizational performance and then reward employees immediately when their performance improves. Gain-sharing is based on the concept that employees and the company share the resulting incremental economic gains. While many variants of gain-sharing exist, they are all based on the same principles.

    First, the company must be able to measure its output; Then, when employees reduce labor costs by increasing productivity, they share in the savings. For example, if it is determined that 25 percent of net production costs should be attributable to labor costs, any improvement below this target would be put into a bonus pool to be shared with employees.


    One of the newest and most popular productivity-gain (PG) plans is deeveloped by Mitchell Fein which focuses on the number of hours saved for a given number of units produced by subtracting from the hours allotted for those units the hours it actually took to produce them. The savings realized by producing the units in a shorter than expected time are then shared by the firm and the worker. It differs from most PG plans in that participative procedures such as production committees and consideration of employee suggestions for improving efficiency are optional. For this reason, executives and union officials who place less value on employee participation but are nevertheless interested in increasing efficiency may find improshare an appropriate incentive system.

    The Scanlon Plan

    A well-known gainsharing plan that not only allows but also requires extensive participation which is based on a ratio of labor costs to productivity. When labor costs decline in relation to productivity, the employees are entitled to a share of the savings through bonus payments. When labor costs do not go down, of course, there are no savings to share. Ordinarily, all employees benefit from cost savings, including production, clerical, sales and supervisory personnel. The Scanlon plan is distinguished by its emphasis on union-management cooperation and committee participation by employees at all levels.

    Spot gainsharing (SGS) plans are productivity gainsharing plans with a fixed time frame and are adapted to solving specific problems. SGS plans have been used, for example, to solve serious backlog problems without adding employees. Once the backlog problem has been solved, or the expiration date reached, the plan is terminated.

    Non-Monetary Rewards

    Non-monetary rewards should form one important part of a complete employee recognition program along with monetary rewards. Each motivates employees differently. Just like monetary rewards, non-monetary rewards can be used for either individual or team rewards. Managers must know when to use these rewards. Some other employees may see motivating others with money as vulgar, and are disincented by such offers. This second group of employees is more likely to be motivated to improve their performance through the use of nonmonetary rewards such as being thanked publicly at a departmental function, having lunch with the head of the organization, or receiving an extra day off. The desired outcome of rewards and recognition programs is to improve performance. Non-monetary recognition can be very motivating, helping to build feelings of confidence and satisfaction. An American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) report on employee retention research identified consistent employee recognition as a key factor in retaining top-performing workers.

    Cafeteria Plans

    Cafeteria plans are fringe-benefit plans that allow employees to choose the benefits they want from their employer, including cash in lieu of other benefits. Employees may choose among a variety of taxable benefits, such as cash, or nontaxable benefits, such as health coverage. The basic requirements of cafeteria plans are that they be in writing, give employees choices among cash and other benefits, and not discriminate in favor of highly paid employees. A plan must offer at least one taxable benefit and at least one nontaxable benefit. One advantage of this type of plans is that both employer and employee receive certain tax advantages (which may not be as important for nonprofit organizations as for for-profit companies). Another is that employees have the freedom to choose cash instead of unwanted or unneeded benefits. By offering a cafeteria plan, it may be easier to shift more of the cost of employee benefits to the employees. An association can provide its employees with a mechanism to avoid taxation of the employer-provided benefits.

    Taxable Benefits

    Even under a cafeteria plan, certain benefits may be taxable to the employee. Cash is taxable. But so are other benefits that are treated like cash - for example, vacation pay, group term life insurance coverage in excess of $50,000. (Note: This section cited the plan on the US settings since this types of plans originates in the United States).

    Nontaxable Benefits 

    To be nontaxable, the benefit must be a "qualified" benefit under Section 125. Such qualified benefits include accident or health plans, disability benefits, accidental death and dismemberment benefits, the first $50,000 of group term life insurance, a group dependent care assistance plan, and a group legal services plan.
    If a nontaxable benefit is chosen
    The employee and the association avoid social security taxes and the employee avoids income taxes. If the employee takes cash, the employee and the association are subject to social security taxes. The employee also has to pay income tax on the cash.

    Excluded Benefits

    Some employee benefits cannot be included in a cafeteria plan. These include scholarships, employee discounts, and no-additional-cost services, such as free registration at the associations own events. In most cases, a cafeteria plan cannot offer a benefit that defers compensation, although it can offer employees the opportunity to make elective contributions to a 401 (k) plan.

    Three Types of Cafeteria Plans

    Benefits under a cafeteria plan are usually offered in one of the following three forms:

    1.      Flexible spending account
    2.      Full flex
    3.      Premium conversion

    Flexible Spending Account

    In this version, employees typically reduce their salaries by a uniform amount during a 12-month period and set up accounts. Money is then taken from these accounts to pay for medical expenses not covered, such as deductibles and coinsurance. Account reimbursements are tax-free. In other words, the employee is reimbursed from his or her account for qualified expenses after they have been incurred, and this reimbursement is not taxed.

    Full flex (also called "core" or "buffet")

    Full flex is the most complex plan, giving employees the greatest amount of choice. A full flex plan carries risk for the association, if benefits are not properly priced. Full flex is also the costliest and most time-consuming type of cafeteria plan in terms of design, administration, maintenance, and implementation.

    Premium Conversion 

    The simplest form of flexible, wherein the employee elects to have his or her salary reduced, and the amount of the reduction is used to pay for one or more nontaxable benefits. By contributing on a pretax basis, the employee saves federal and state income taxes in most states. The employee and employer save on social security taxes (except for life insurance).

    A cafeteria plan also gives the employee greater choice in determining how the employer's dollars are spent on his or her behalf. Introducing wider choice and more options can satisfy the diverse needs of employees, perhaps without increasing employer costs.

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    Wage and Salaray Administration

    Basically, what I knew about the word compensation before is that it is a payment when you render a service or job to a certain employer. However, after enrolling the course the first thing I learned is about the reality of the word compensation. Now, I know that compensations are not simply a payment for labor or services to a worker, but it is the remuneration on an hourly, daily or weekly basis or by the piece of work you are able to produce in a day. It can be a form of direct and an indirect monetary and non-monetary compensation. The word compensation is an umbrella term for salary and wages which also include the benefits, the incentives and rewards to make up the total compensation package for an employee.

    There quite a number of theories have been used as a basis for paying employees and these includes the Subsistence Theory which postulates that is paying the workers the minimum wage to sustain the their lives. However critics said that it is no longer appropriate to pay subsistence wage at present, because certain factors influence it like technology and some other factors that caused the demand for labor to increase faster. Another theory is the Wage Fund Theory which pays the employees according to the sum of amount of funds available to employer each year. This theory simply means that if the employer has no enough money at the end of the year, then it pay less to the employees, while if the employee has a lot of money at the end of the year then employees can get more. Of all these theories has been formulated but non from all of them that guaranteed an optimum solution to the problem of how should wages are determined and what should really be the basis for paying employees. However, each of them has lead for the employer to develop an effective way of paying their people. In other words based on these theories companies formulated strategies on how they could pay their people. Some pay their people by qualification, others pay their employees based on performance, while some others pay their employees according to the skills and knowledge he is to used in his job and some others used the combination of these.

    Citing those theories above organizations devised some methods of delivering compensations which is called the compensation system. This system to be effective, it should be secure, balance, cost-effective, and acceptable to employees. Its common that most employers pay different rates to employees performing the same job since every employee have different experience, skills and performance, while others still considers seniority as a factor in determining the employees pay. Employees are paid for the time they work as mentioned in this paper, while they can also be paid according to the output they produce, the skills they possessed, their knowledge, competencies or a combinations of these. When paying an employee based on performance, normally performance is variable as for an instance, a high performer of this month may not be the high performer for the next month, therefore; with variable pay system, a percentage of an employee’s paycheck is at risk which means that from the example I cited, the high performer at this month when he perform low next month will not get the same compensation, if she gets P20,000.00 of this month then next month he might get less, lets say P15,000.00. However variable pay is only a component of the total compensation which aside from variable pays it includes the base pay, and the indirect pay. Variable pay helps manage labor costs however it does not guarantee equitable treatment of employees it may lead to productivity decline since financial security on the employees side is not secure. This may serve as a non-motivating factor.

    Aside from the base pay, variable pay, there is what we call benefits. Benefits are group membership rewards that provide security for employees and their family members. These benefits are used to safeguard the employee and their families against problems due to sickness, accidents, or retirement. It is believed that it is a powerful tool for recruiting. There are legally required benefits such as health insurance, retirement; insurance and etc. there are also To make benefits to be effective it should be aligned to the organizations compensation strategy by considering what benefit mix to be used, the amount of the benefit and the flexibility of the benefits. Recently more and more organizations offered the cafeteria plans.

     Cafeteria plans are fringe-benefit plans that allow employees to choose the benefits they want from their employer, including cash in lieu of other benefits. Employees may choose among a variety of taxable benefits, such as cash, or nontaxable benefits, such as health coverage. The basic requirements of cafeteria plans are that they be in writing, give employees choices among cash and other benefits, and not discriminate in favor of highly paid employees. A plan must offer at least one taxable benefit and at least one nontaxable benefit. One advantage of this type of plans is that both employer and employee receive certain tax advantages (which may not be as important for nonprofit organizations as for for-profit companies). Another is that employees have the freedom to choose cash instead of unwanted or unneeded benefits. By offering a cafeteria plan, it may be easier to shift more of the cost of employee benefits to the employees.

     On the other hand, there is what we call rewards and incentives which are positive motivational influence that can sometimes be equated or synonymously called as bonus: which is an additional payment (or other remuneration) to employees as a means of increasing output. Incentive pay systems include incentive plans that provide financial or non-financial rewards to employees who make substantial contributions to organizational effectiveness. Some plans tie rewards to the output of individual employees, others reward the productivity of groups but, still others are based on the overall profitability of the organization.  They are designed to encourage employees to achieve specific organizational goals, such as increasing profits, lowering costs, raising productivity, improving product quality. Some organizations have two or more incentive plans operating simultaneously, such as an individual bonus scheme plus an organizational wide profit sharing plan.
    Not to mention my report on job analysis provides me insights that it is not the person or the employee being analyzed when doing a job analysis. Instead it is the job which is being analyzed by collecting data about the job using the information from the current position holder, maybe by interview or a structured questionnaire. Job analysis helps to uncover facts about the job, about the training needed by the employees, on how much an employee must be paid performing the job being analyzed, or it can be used in job screening activities. By doing job analysis, the manager can determine what skills are needed to fill the vacant positions. It is also useful in performance review, because by job analysis, job performance can be set. Any performance fall below the standard or the expected performance may lead to knowing that the position holder is not doing well with the job.

    Another thing I learned in this course was the making of my own Performance Appraisal Form which was for me a very stressing activity. This is because even though I know the facts about appraisal systems but applying those facts and theories into making one is a very difficult task. I am so glad I made one.

    The course really provides me knowledge on the necessary things I should learn being a student of Masters in Business Management. I believe everything I learned from the class cannot be contained in a five sheets of paper. There are more to tell and to relate. However, I am patience enough to reserve this learning and eager enough to practice it when due time comes.

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011

    Job Analysis

    What is Job Analysis?

    Job analysis is the process used to collect information about the duties, responsibilities, necessary skills, outcomes, and work environment of a particular job. Some experts consider it as a process to identify and determine in detail the particular job duties and requirements and the relative importance of these duties for a given job. While some others define this as a process where judgments are made about data collected on a job.

    In job analysis it is important to note that it is the job; not the person is being analyzed. Therefore an important concept of Job Analysis is that the analysis is conducted of the Job, not the person. While Job Analysis data may be collected from incumbents or the present position holder, through interviews or questionnaires, the product of the analysis is a description or specifications of the job, not a description of the person.

    The Purpose of Job Analysis

    The purpose of job analysis is to establish and document the 'job relatedness' of employment procedures such as training, selection, compensation, and performance appraisal.

    1.      Determining Training Needs 

    Job Analysis can be used in training/"needs assessment" to identify or develop the training content; this would help determine or identify as what training should be given to the employees that will fit to their current needs. Secondly, assessment tests to measure effectiveness. When trainings are conducted controlling is needed. Job analysis serves as test to assess its effectiveness. Job analysis would also help determine what equipment to be used in delivering the training whether it will used computer, or other equipment deemed to be effective for delivering the training. Finally, job analysis aide’s trainer to determine what methods of training (i.e., small group, computer-based, video, classroom...) are going to be employed.

    2. Compensation

    On the other hand job analysis can be used in compensation to identify or determine the skill levels of the employees in the firm, whether they are highly skilled or lack of skills. Another is to identify the compensable job factors like education which pertains to the minimum level of formal education, specialized training, and professional licensing and certification required to perform the work, work experience which measures the minimum amount of job-related experience, whether gained inside or outside the University, in order to be hired or promoted into the position. Another factor is leadership and supervisory responsibilities, which is a factor that measures the degree of responsibility for other employees and direct control over the quantity and quality of others work. 

    Next is the personal and organizational contact, which is a factor that measures the scope, frequency, and purpose of relationships with others, internal and external. Then, the factor that measures the required skill level and frequency of customer service relationships which is called customer service relationships. Another is the factor that measures the variety, difficulty, and magnitude of tasks and responsibilities necessary to complete the work which is known as work complexity and budget authority. Another important factor is the independent judgment and decision making factor which measures the extent of independent authority for making decisions and recommendations that affect policies, procedures, and practices. Finally is the factor that measures the unavoidable physical demands, environmental elements and safety/hazardous conditions under which the work is performed called working environment conditions.

    3. Selection Procedures

    Job Analysis can be used in selection procedures to identify or develop the job duties that should be included in advertisements of vacant positions, the appropriate salary level for the position to help determine what salary should be offered to a candidate, the minimum requirements (education and/or experience) for screening applicants, the interview questions to be administered to the applicants, the selection tests/instruments (e.g., written tests; oral tests; job simulations); the applicant appraisal/evaluation forms; and finally the orientation materials for applicants/new hires.

    4.       Performance Review 

    Job Analysis can be used in performance review to identify or develop the goals and objectives of the employee for the next year’s performance in which will serve as the setting of the performance standards of the employee for the next year. It will also help to determine the evaluation criteria which will be used after the year. The length of probationary periods will also be determined when job analysis are conducted.

    By doing job analysis the management could determine if the new hired employee is doing very well or not; therefore the management will decide whether to fire or make the new hire as a regular employee from being on probation status in the company. Lastly, it will help determine the duties to be evaluated. By setting the goals and objectives, it is easy to determine what duties should be evaluated.


    A typical method of Job Analysis would be to give the incumbent a simple questionnaire to identify job duties, responsibilities, equipment used, work relationships, and work environment. The completed questionnaire would then be used to assist the Job Analyst who would then conduct an interview of the incumbent(s).

    A draft of the identified job duties, responsibilities, equipment, relationships, and work environment would be reviewed with the supervisor for accuracy. The Job Analyst would then prepare a job description and/or job specifications. The method that you may use in Job Analysis will depend on practical concerns such as type of job, number of jobs, number of incumbents, and location of jobs.

    Several methods exist that may be used individually or in combination. These include, the review of job classification system in which it matches jobs and workers, the public employment service system requires that a uniform occupational language be used in all of its local job service offices. Occupational analysts collect data provided to job interviewers to systematically compare and match the specifications of employer job openings with the qualifications of applicants who are seeking jobs through its facilities. The job analyst may interview the incumbent, in order to know the nature of the job.

    Then if possible the supervisor shall be interviewed also so that the information gathered from interviewing the incumbent will be validated by the supervisor. The analysis can be carried out also through structured questionnaires in which the incumbent and the supervisor maybe given a questionnaire which is purposely structured by the analyst in order to get the information needed for the analysis.

    A most effective method includes interview method that is viewed to allow the incumbent to describe tasks and duties that are not observable. However, the disadvantage is that the incumbent may exaggerate or omit tasks and duties.

    Two types of interview method are structured and unstructured. Unstructured interview is a conversation with no prepared questions or predetermined line of investigation. However, the interviewer should explain the purpose of the study and the particular focus of the interview. Then the roles and the purposes of the interview will give structure, since the interviewer generally uses a questioning strategy to explore the work the job holder performs.

    Listening and taking notes are very important; these enable follow up questions to be posed. The questions and responses - with summaries enable the interview to be controlled. The conversation takes on a structure with areas being considered, explored, related to each other and revisited to secure the depth of information required in job analysis. It involves questions and responses and may be free flowing but it becomes structured in the sense that the interviewer has a purpose and needs skill to establish a relationship. The important thing is that the interviewer should ask well-structured questions to generate a conversational flow in which the interviewee offers information - factual, opinion, subjective and objective about aspects of the job. To ensure information received is heard and understood - listening, clarifying and reflective summarizing

    Structured Interviews on the other hand may assume a definite format involving charting a job-holder's sequence of activities in performance and an inventory or questionnaire may be used. Care is needed to set up such interactions.  A specialist analyst is not involved and participants need to know what they are doing, why and what is expected as a result. Notes and records may be needed for subsequent analysis.

    The interview outcomes generate descriptive data and enable job-holders to interpret their activities. It is said that a good interviewer can probe sensitive areas in more depth. But structured questionnaires cannot easily do this. Jobholders can give overviews of their work and offer their perceptions and feelings about their job and the environment. Rigid questionnaires tend to be less effective where the more affective aspects of work are concerned.

    However information from different interviews can be hard to bring together. Also there is a potential for interviewer bias, and certain areas of the work may fail to be picked up. An interview may stress one area and neglect others. There might be some problems in interpretation and analysis with the possibility of distorted impressions and most especially the subjectivity of the data captured needs to be considered.

    Another method is observation in which it involves a direct observation of incumbents performing their jobs that enables the trained job analyst to obtain first-hand knowledge and information about the job being analyzed. The observation method is suited for jobs in which the work behaviors are observable involving some degree of movement on the part of the incumbent, or job tasks are short in duration allowing for many observations to be made in a short period of time or a significant part of the job can be observed in a short period of time, or jobs in which the job analyst can learn information about the job through observation.

    Some advantages of observation are that the trained job analyst can obtain first-hand knowledge and information about the job being analyzed. Further it allows the job analyst to see (and in some cases experience) the work environment, tools and equipment used, interrelationships with other workers, and complexity of the job. Since, the job analysis may be of limited value if the job analyst has not seen the incumbent perform the job. In other words, relying solely on the incumbent's description of their job may not withstand scrutiny in a court of law.

    However there are also some disadvantages, one of it is that the presence of an observer may affect the incumbent causing the incumbent to alter their normal work behavior. It is important for the analyst to be unobtrusive in their observations. Incumbents may alter their work behavior if they know they are being observed. It is known that this method is not appropriate for jobs that involve significant amounts of time spent in concentration or mental effort.

    Another way of doing job analysis is through task inventories, which are structured job analysis questionnaires used to gather information about job components. The typical task inventory consists of task statements which are rated by job incumbents and/or their supervisors using one or more rating scales, and a background information section requesting such information as worker/supervisor identification, work experience, education, sex, race, wage/salary, job satisfaction, physical demands, equipment usage, management information, and any other dimension which may add depth to the analytical process. Typically, a task is defined as a collection of more elemental activities directed toward the achievement of a specific objective. An example of a task statement for an accountant job might be: communicates with clients by letter or telephone in order to gather information for tax returns. A thorough job analysis will typically identify from 30 to 100 tasks of this type for a job.

    Next is using check list, a method based on an inventory of job elements. Two types of checklist are checklist for incumbent in which a worker or supervisor check items on a standardized task inventory that applies to the job. It can be a custom-made or purchased from an outside vendor. Another type of checklist is the checklist for an analyst which is used to review all the data before issuing a job description. Its components should include appropriate questions base on post. Its advantage is that it is easy to administer and inexpensive. However, the disadvantage of it is that it may not include important parts of work.
    Outcome of Job Analysis

    The outcome of job analysis is job description. Job Description are based on objective information obtained through job analysis, an understanding of the competencies and skills required to accomplish needed tasks, and the needs of the organization to produce work. It clearly identifies and spells out the responsibilities of a specific job. This also  include information about working conditions, tools, equipment used, knowledge and skills needed, and relationships with other positions. The best job descriptions are living, breathing documents that are updated as responsibilities change. The best job descriptions do not limit employees, but rather, cause them to stretch their experience, grow their skills, and develop their ability to contribute within their organization.

    This article is my learning while studying my Staffing, Training and Development Class.

    Monday, November 14, 2011

    Power and Politics in the Workplace

    Possessing the core leadership competencies won't necessarily produce a leader. Managers must have power in order to obtain compliance from followers. Managers and leaders can influence other people through their use of power. Power is broadly defined as "the capacity to bring about change." It takes many forms, comes from many places, and is measured in many ways. Understanding all the varieties of power is essential if one is to understand who has it, who doesn't, and how those who don't have it can get it. Research recognizes that a need for power is essential to executive success. But, this need for power is not a desire to control for the sake of personal satisfaction; it is a desire to influence and control others for the good of the group or organization as a whole.

    What is Power?

    Power is the ability to get someone to do something you want done, or make things happen in the way you want. It is also the ability to influence the behavior of others. On the other hand influence is what you have when you exercise power.

    In exercising power, it creates dependency. The General Dependency Theory postulates that “The greater B’s dependency on A, the greater the power A has over B.”  Dependency occurs when the resources that the power wielder (A) is important and when it is non-substitutable (Schermerhorn, 2002).

    Critics on Power

    A critical view on power suggests that; it blurs the distinction between rationality and rationalization; rationality is when evidence and reason are considered in order to come out a decisions. On the other hand rationalization is the attempt to make a decision to appear rational. Further, it contends that; power has a way of defining reality in which the superiors define what counts. Subordinates were not included in the decision-making. Whatever the result of their decisions the superior or the principals spin the truth to defend their decisions. Power trumps knowledge because rationalization masquerades as truth.  Truth is the first casualty in a power conflict. Knowledge is power, but power is knowledge and it sometimes corrupts reality.

    Types of Power

    The types of power used by a leader reveal a great deal about why others follow that individual. Schermerhorn (2002), identified two types of power; the position power and personal power. Position power includes; Reward power, coercive power, legitimate power, process power, information power, representative power.

    Reward Power. (Control over Rewards) The influence stemming from a leader’s ability to satisfy followers needs. Employees follow their supervisor’s requests in the belief that their behaviors will be rewarded. Such as favorable job assignments, preferred vacation schedules, promotions, and/or raises.

    Coercive Power. (Control over Punishments) The ability of the leader to obtain compliance through fear or punishment, in which it may take in the form of official reprimands, less desirable work assignments, pay cuts, demotions, suspensions, or even termination. It is viewed as less effective than reward power because a punishment has a limited effect as a motivator.

    Legitimate Power. (Authority) The influence is based on the leader’s formal positions in the organizations hierarchy. It is the ability to influence through authority-the right by virtue of ones organizational position or status to exercise control over persons in subordinate positions. On the other hand when legitimacy is lost the authority will not be accepted by subordinates. In a certain company, the manager has greater legitimate power than a supervisor, thus, the manager has the authority to allocate funds for expenditures rather than the supervisor.

    Process Power. The ability of the leader to control over the methods of productions and analysis, that is controlling the analytical process used to make choice. It is when an individual is placed in the position of influencing how inputs are transformed into outputs.

    Information Power. It is possessed by individual or leader which has access to/or control over information’s. Some people may protect information to increase their power.

    Representative Power. It is when a formal right conferred by the firm to an individual to speak as a representative for a potentially important group composed of individuals across departments or outside the firm. It is viewed as to help complex organizations deal with a variety of organizations.

    On the other hand, personal power includes; expert power, rational persuasion, and referent power.

    Expert Power.  (Expertise) A leader’s specialized knowledge grants that person expert power. It is the ability to control another person’s behavior through the possession of knowledge, experience, or judgment that the other person needs but does not have. This is developed by acquiring relevant skills or competencies or by gaining central position in relevant information networks.

    Rational Persuasion. Is the ability to control another person’s behavior by convincing the other person of the desirability of a goal and a reasonable way of achieving it.

    Referent Power. (Appealing Personal Characteristics. It is the ability of a leader to control another’s behavior because the person wants to identify with the power source or wielder. It can be enhanced by linking to morality and ethics and long-term vision. The followers are apt to like, admire, and want to emulate the leader and is usually possessed by the leaders who have admirable personal characteristics, charisma, and/or excellent reputations.

    Important Practical Issues in the Exercise of Power and Formal Authority

    Why should subordinates respond to a manager’s authority (or “right to command”)? Given that subordinates are willing to obey, what determines the limits of obedience? Stanley Milgram's original obedience study is, perhaps, the best known product of experimental social psychology. Milgram's study was actually one in a series of experiments designed to "examine the situational variables responsible for the elicitation of obedience. A constant feature of these studies was the use of a shock generator containing 30 switches, each ostensibly delivering 15 more volts of shock than the one before. All subjects were instructed to deliver the next in the gradated series of shocks whenever the learner made an error. This arrangement was chosen in part because it allowed a quantitative measure of the dependent variables 30-point response scale in which "maximum level of shock delivered" was taken as a measure of the construct "level of obedience."