The organization to be examined is Relief international organization which has played an important role in offering aid and helping people and countries. Therefore, organizational management has offered suggestions and frameworks for providing awareness of the opportunities and activities as well as creating a positive public image of the organization. The values, missions and communication structures, as well as organizational behavior, have been reviewed to create a full strategic plan for implementation guide during the different support and rescue missions.
Relief international team has been involved in rescue efforts for the Tsunami devastation in Indonesia. The mission has involved several hundreds of people from New Zealand, Korea, China, India, and the other four countries. Management of Humanitarian relief has been challenging due to diversity effects as well as organizational strategies and culture. As a product of aid workers’, efforts to cope with organizational behavior arising from the work have been challenging to the management of Relief international team. The paper will be structured by first offering the basic model of the group dynamics in the organization that will be explained step by step, second, motivation and satisfaction factors of aid workers that will be explained through process theories, third communication and conflicts that have existed within the group and finally the strategies to improve mutual understanding and effective communication among the members as well as strategies to solve existing barriers within the group operations.
Background of the team
Relief international team has now relied upon the international community to coordinate their relief operation due to the occurrence of man-made and natural disasters. As one of the humanitarian groups, the group has been working to ensure that they save human suffering from disasters as well as ensuring they offer effective rescue efforts to the individuals. One of the purpose and mission of the organization is to ensure that it has achieved the international cooperation in rebuilding and coordination of relief operations beyond a relief capacity through responses to emergencies. The organization has been able to do this through an inter-Agency committee which has been able to coordinate their emergency relief. The team has a coordinated system that enables a wide approach to the humanitarian relief important in offering assistance more efficiently and quickly as needed.
Organizational behavior is considered as the study of human behavior within a group. This is considered as the multi-disciplinary field that has been devoted to understanding the group and individual behavior as well as the organizational dynamics and interpersonal processes (Miner, 2015). Generally, organizational behavior is considered the study of how people think, behave and feel around organizations. Organizational behavior is essential to all the functions of the management, skills, and roles. The fact that organizations are considered as built up levels, it is essential for leaders and managers to understand the human behavior in order to ensure that they meet the organizational objectives and goals (Miner, 2015). To motivate group/ team members, it is essential to take into consideration the degree at which each of the following exists in a group: challenge, clarity, feedback, commitment, and task complexity.
Group dynamics is a concern with the behavioral and attitudinal characteristic of a group (Pinder, 2014). Relatively, group dynamics are a concern with group form, their process and structure and how they function. In an organizational setting, the study of group dynamics is an essential area of focus on organizational behavior. The group dynamics involve the formation of groups and the structure examined for the group. Ideally, group dynamics are considered as forces that are operating within the group for their social interactions (Pinder, 2014). In this connection, the Hofstede cultural dimensions have influenced the social interactions within the group. Along with group members that act positively, there are other members who contribute negatively affecting the dynamics of the group. The group behaviors within the organization have been influenced by the pattern of relationship among the group members (Pinder,2014).
Group structure and development
Relief humanitarian has been organized as a task group where individuals are able to work together to achieve a common task such as rescue efforts in their main objectives. Member of the group has been brought together to achieve their task within a specified period of time. This can also be referred to as task forces. In this case, the organization has appointed members from different cultures who have been assigned the tasks and goals to be accomplished. The group has had a standing committee and has ensured rotation of members within the group to maintain a long lifespan for the group.
Ideally, the relief humanitarian group is a large group whose effectiveness has been influenced by the group size in terms of satisfaction, motivation, and differences in culture and personality. It is increasingly difficult for the group to ensure maximum satisfaction of their members since it is hard to identify with one another and enhance group cohesiveness.
Group member’s abilities, knowledge, skills, and personality characteristics have influenced the success and failure of the group (Pinder, 2014). These are the resources with which the group members bring with them during the development of the group. Thus the success of the group has been dependent on these resources. Additionally, the group has had group norms that have been created to ensure the survival of the group. The norms define the acceptable standards as well as the boundaries of unacceptable behavior that have been shared by the group members. Ideally, an effective group will create their own norms that will determine the group in its mission. Their work performance as well as enables the group members to conform to the group standards thus reflecting the level of motivation, obligation, and group performance. Large part of the group is obligated to comply with the norms appropriately in order to ensure that the behavior is acceptable.
Diversity effects on group behavior
The impacts of cultural difference have been evident in the operations due to key societal behaviors within the group behaviors. The culture of a given country in which the organization operates has influenced the way the aid workers are motivated. Ideally, Relief humanitarian has involved individuals from different countries which means uncertainty in relationships and cooperation in their operations. With the access to aid workers working for the same organization, Hofstede has acknowledged certain discrete cultural dimensions that have been accounted for differences between the cultures of diverse people from diverse countries which structural management has to handle well in order to ensure that there is a peaceful co-existence within the group (Bakir, Blodgett, Vitell and Rose, 2015). It is evident that organizations tend to be culturally bound and have identified work-related cultural scopes that impact work-related cultural motivations of different countries. The five cultural dimensions have been regarded as difficult areas that different societies in diverse ways and also define the relations and behaviors of employees that have diverse cultural backgrounds within a group.
Power distance is associated with the degree to which organizations are connected to the difference in power and status in different cultures and how varying people accept and perceive power distance (Favaretto, Dihl, Barreto and Musse, 2016). Some nations tend to accept high differences in power and status between the member of a various social class or varying occupational levels while other nations have low power distances. Power distance refers to the extent to which acceptable and existing inequality among employees with power and those without power. The existence of high power distance within an organization leadership contributes to the unequal distribution of power within the society. It is evident that within different countries, the power distance among people varies. Thus, within the organization, the existence of different cultures and their understanding of power distance will influence the motivation and morale of the group members. Nationalities with low power distances mean that then supervisees and supervisors regard each other as equal while societies with low power distance imply dispersion of power thus leading to flatter organizations. For instance, China has a high power distance while New Zealand has a low power distance. Thus, these cultural differences have affected organizational behavior.
Individualism Vs Collectivism
Individualism has also influenced the organizational behavior in terms of the connection between the individuals within the organizations. Individualism refers to the level of connection between individuals of their community (Favaretto, Dihl, Barreto and Musse, 2016). Ideally, increased individualism negatively influences connection with people and little sharing among the member of the society. On the other hand, individuals in a society that has low individualism tend to have increased harmony and honesty where they tend to work in organizations effectively rather than having individual good. In cultures that have been oriented towards individualism, people tend to emphasize their personal needs more than the interests of others. Countries with high collectivism such as the Asian countries have high interactions between individuals of the same group thus increasing efficiencies. Collectivism and individualism with Relief humanitarian which is a multicultural organization have to influence interactions between members. In collectivist societies such as China people belong to groups that enhance cooperation and harmony. ON the other hand, New Zealand has high scores of individualism thus leading to the country having an individualistic culture. The diversity between the members of the mission group has impacted their relationship which needs to be managed for effective operations.
Uncertainty avoidance is considered as the existent to which the society feels insecure in a situation where they have been confronted (Favaretto, Diehl, Barreto and Musse, 2016. Ideally, high uncertainty avoidance society has fear of the unfamiliar and thus avoid uncertainty at all times. They are controlled by rules where they tend to seek collective truth. Relatively, low uncertainty avoidance society tends to enjoy the unfamiliar and has value for variances. Thus, differences in the level of uncertainty avoidance within different countries have led to different behavioral practices within group members that have been involved in the mission. New Zealand and India have recorded low uncertainty avoidance which states that there is much equality among cultures of various members of the group. This means most of the members are ready to take risks within the mission with fewer emotions hence facilitating the success of the mission. There is a great willingness among most of the members of the society to get involved in trying out something new.
Long-term orientation refers to the degree to which the society is concerned about the future benefits as compared to the benefits. This means the comparison between what is in it for now as compared to what will be there in years to come. A society that has a high long-term orientation have strong work ethics and place value in training while those that have low long-term orientation seek self-actualization. This dimension has reflected the culture view about the future. For instance, there is a variance between New Zealand and Asian countries in terms of long-term orientation. New Zealand has low long-term orientation while the Asian countries have high long-term oriented. This has affected the success of the mission in terms of participation of members with much motivation and persistence.
This is considered as the extent to which the society maintains and values traditional female and male roles. The existence of high masculinity means that men are more productive as compared to women while low masculinity means that roles have been blurred since both women and men have obligations to perform equal tasks. This dimension has influenced the role of women and men within the mission hence affecting the relationship and performance of members within the mission. New Zealand and the Asian countries China and Korea have recorded a high masculinity score hence a masculine society. All are proud of their achievements with a masculine culture that is characterized by assertiveness, material success, and competitiveness. This is essential in the success of the mission as most of the members of the groups are aimed at being successful at their achievements.
Satisfaction and motivation of members
Satisfaction and motivation of members can be considered as the effective response from the team members to the characteristics and functions of the mission. Despite the organization being organized essentially to achieve the task results, their ability to meet the social and emotional needs of their members is extremely significant since it affects the functioning of the organization (Brandler and Roman, 2015). Knowing how to motivate and how to motivate is an important leadership skill that is essential for managing organizational behavior. Motivation and satisfaction are considered as a set of forces that lead people to select certain behaviors from among many alternatives that are open to them for selection (Luthans, 2015). Ideally, team member’s performance is typically influenced by ability, motivation and their working environment.
Effects of Process-based approaches to motivation
The process-based approaches are considered as theories of motivation that are concerned with how motivation takes place within an organization (Miner, 2015). These focus on why people choose certain behavioral alternatives to satisfy their needs and how they evaluate their satisfaction after they are able to attain their goals. The equity theory and expectancy theory have influenced motivation among the aid workers within the team (Miner, 2015). The expectancy theory has suggested that motivation is reliant on how much one needs something and how they likely they think they will achieve to get it.
The expectancy theory
The expectancy theory has been important in the decision-making process that evaluates the outcomes for efforts. The expectancy theory has proposed that individuals will choose to act in a convinced way because they have been motivated to choose a specific behavior due to their levels of expectations and the result of their expected behavior. Thus, the motivation of the behavior is evaluated by the appeal of the outcome. At the fundamental of this theory, the cognitive process of how the individuals process different motivational elements within the mission is solely determined by the factor of making decisions of how they will behave to meet the objectives of the mission.
Equity theory proposes that once an individual has selected an action that they are expected to satisfy their needs, the individual need to assess their fairness or equity of the outcome (Miner, 2015). Equity is considered as the individual believes that they are being treated fairly as compared to others. It is evident that there are three attitudes that are possible; an individual may feel over-rewarded, unrewarded or equitably rewarded. The motivation of workers in a humanitarian aid organization is essential to reduce inequity (Miner, 2015). Ideally, individuals tend to constantly assess their level of performance and effort against their fellow group members and the rewards they acquire for their efforts.
Communication barriers and conflicts
In a multicultural organization such as Relief humanitarian, it is evident that cultural barriers to communications are bound. Besides the difficulty in trying to understand the people whose languages vary as well as varying culture, there are many more factors that contribute to communication conflicts and barriers. This impacts their efforts to try and work harmoniously and with due to different backgrounds among the individuals. People or team members that have come from different parts of the world have different reference frame and tend to display different behaviors.
Religious diversity among individuals is an intrinsic element that implicitly affects how individuals communicate (Miner, 2015). Religious diversity has led to challenges of collaboration and has added to the challenge of overcoming communication conflicts and barriers among organizations. In Relief humanitarian, it is evident that the success of the mission will be influenced by religious beliefs and their unique perspectives based on their religious background. This is challenging to the organization in managing the organizational behavior since people within the group are from diverse religious backgrounds and have to be integrated to the various levels of the organization to lend a broader perspective in achieving the goals of the mission.
The existence of members from different countries means that there exist language barriers due to the fact that they use different languages. Language difficulties among individuals of different countries have led to communication barriers. Language barriers have made it difficult for individuals to communicate thus barriers of cross-cultural communication have impacted the achievement of organizational goals. Ideally, language is a complex thing due to the fact that communication between people speaking varying languages leads to difficulty in communication.
Cultural diversity among the members of the group has led to difficulties in managing organizational behavior due to the fact that people have different mindset due to different cultures, religion, linguistic affiliation, and ethnicity. The members of the group belong to different cultures thus have been influenced by cultural differences from various levels that have led to differences among the individuals in terms of individual perceptions thus leading to barriers in communication as well as the organizational communication in general. Behavioral differences are bound to be evident due to the fact that there is a difference in culture that will lead to misunderstanding (Greenberg, 2014). Ideally, every culture tends to have their guidelines about what is the most appropriate behavior. These barriers can have led to ineffective communication thus barriers to successful mission efforts not achieved.
Hostile and inaccurate stereotypes people from other places can be a barrier to communication within the group members. Stereotypes are considered as assumptions that people make about the characteristics of members of a certain group. For instance, a stereotype Asian is thought to be an arrogant band impatient as well as tolerant and friendly. The threats of entertaining stereotypes are that an individual is thought to have certain characteristics that are shared to the group. Ideally, prejudging a person can constitute barriers to communication and misconceptions (Tran, 2016). On the other hand, emotion tends to differ from one culture to another. In some countries, there are people that display frustration, fear, and frustration between members of a group.
Overcoming communication barriers
Ensuring clear and polite language
Polite and clear communication lowers the chances of crises, surprises, and confrontation. All members of the group should take the cultural difference and take diversity into account while drafting communication material. This can include the use of simple language and words and the use of visual methods to communicate. Due to the fact, clear communication is essential for effective functioning of the mission, it is essential to understand the simple language to facilitate communication (Tran, 2016).
Learning about different cultures
The members of different cultures should ensure that they learn about other cultures and express their willingness to learn about other people’s background. This is important in fostering creating of an effective relationship. It is essential to create a culture that is aimed towards understanding norms and beliefs of different cultures among the members of the group. This an important way of lowering communication conflicts due to ensuring the group is more inclusive.
Diversity recruiting means that the group will be more productive and will be able to meet the objectives and goals of the group. The ability to share cultural knowledge contributes to cultural inclusion and results in collaboration. Diversity training fosters teamwork, work for culture and leadership thereby building a positive culture. This training is essential for employees to embrace and understand cultural differences to embrace each other.
Developing interpersonal skills
The ability to communicate and emotionally connect with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures in order to understand their expression of needs and understand their customs is essential. This encompasses the ability to motivate and build international teams and understand different dynamics within. The ability to foster, form and improve relationships within members of varying cultures is important in improving and shaping people ‘behavior, emotions and processes that focus on cross-cultural communication.
Strategies to improve mutual understanding and effective communication
Acknowledging and respecting cultural differences
The first step is recognizing the presence of varied cultural backgrounds then the requisite of crossing those alterations in order to enhance group performance within the team. Cultural diversity may mark itself in many ways: culture, language, behavioral alterations as a result of values and norms, plus even diverse meaning close to ideas, words or actions (Tjosvold, 2017). Therefore, it’s essential to study those differences because how we interact with others is told by our cultural backgrounds.
A suitable model for considering cultural differences is Geert Hofstede’s cultural dimension model. The model points out six extents of value viewpoint between nationwide cultures: Uncertainty Avoidance, Power Distance, Masculinity vs. Femininity, Individualism vs. Collectivism and Long-Term vs. Short-Term Orientation (Tjosvold, 2017). The model offers a significant preliminary idea for accepting what motivates people from diverse cultures, and they can be able to become accustomed to communication and working styles that to work well collectively in a multicultural group.
One essential way of encouraging this consideration of cultural diversity is to elaborate on cultural variances in a group meeting where every individual is allowed to share their own cultural beliefs and background as well as the expectations about their working and communication style
Establishing norms for the team
Once the cultural differences have been understood and the expectations of each individual have been laid down, it is import to set the norms for the group. This is key to getting everyone that is involved in the team contributing to the formation of the norms. Once the team’s norms are established, the team may be able to improve their performance due to collaboration and clear communication frequency and operating procedures for the team.
Developing a team identity and outlining the roles and responsibilities.
Ideally, in any group, it is essential that everybody is aware of whatever they are functioning towards. This is doubly significant for the multicultural team. Through having a communal vision and a mutual goal on how they will complete and give the team uniqueness that can be able to promote and unite the performance of the team. Breaking down the group’s common goal will be essential in outlining individual responsibilities and roles thus lowering the chances of misunderstanding.
Development of a team individuality is also essential in discovering commonalities among the group members thus inspiring the team to know each other under a communal context. Personal connections among the team members will greatly promote performance and make it easier for team members to work together.
Cultivate open communication
Creating a culture within the organization that fosters open communication is important in inspiring excellent performance and improving the member’s morale thus facilitating the success of the mission (Ting-Toomey and Dorjee, 2018). This enables improve openness and trust among the members that will enable the crucial success of the mission. Managing more effective communication among the group and understanding how people communicate among each other is an essential way of ensuring long-term commitment and promote a unified effort. Collaboration through open communication is important since it emphasizes common interests rather than the differences that exist among the individuals of the group. This will enable the team members to create a community and become more culturally diverse with similar interests thus boosting the success of the mission.
The motivation of team members
Motivation is considered as an underlying drive of individuals to accomplish goals and tasks. The performance and participation of a member of the group are influenced by a number of factors such as motivation, ability and the working environment. To enable the group, accomplish their mission effectively, it is important to motivate the aid workers through rewards for the achievements and recognize their abilities. Motivation is set to cause people to choose certain behaviors to value each other. Ideally, this is important in the management of organizational behavior in that everyone has the moral to perform their tasks for the success of the mission.
The study of how people interact with a team or group has been critically analyzed above to understand how individuals of different culture behave within an organization. Based on the study of organizational behavior, the paper has presented the effects of group diversity as well as the management of organizational behavior within Relief humanitarian during their mission to the Tsunami devastation in Indonesia. This has enabled investigations into the impacts of individuals, group behavior and structure have on the behavior of organizations. Strategies to improve effective communication and mutual understanding have been highlighted to enable effective management of the multi-cultural group. Generally, research on organizational behavior and management of individual behavior within groups has been discussed to enable understanding of the models and nature of organizational behavior and its implications.
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