While the individual worker is generally responsible for his or her own Biological Requirements in terms of food, water, shelter, etc, it is clear from the case study that Aussieco fails to provide its employees with an adequate environment so that their need for safety and security can be met. The workshops have ‘no doors’, are ‘cluttered’, and ‘filthy’ (p. 81). The roofs are not insulated and leak when it rains, providing a poor and dilapidated working environment.
Furthermore, the 600 employees are housed in buildings owned by the company, but used as collateral for business loans. This is a huge risk on the part of Aussieco, and one which has the potential to backfire should the company default on its loans and the property be repossessed. The uncertainty and lack of security this must create for its employees is undeniable, considering that their homes are not necessarily guaranteed. Following on from this, a second major concept of Organizational Behaviour is that of managing expectations and goals.
With Aussieco, there is a minimum amount of internal promotion and no references upon leaving. There is no ostensible reward for meeting targets, with Christmas bonuses not always given out and employees asked to leave if they fail to meet their targets (p. 83). As the Porter-Lawler model of work motivation (1968) shows, the individual must feel that the marginal effort required to increase productivity must match up to the expectation that he/she will be rewarded, not to mention, that the value of the reward must actually be worthwhile.
This idea links well with Locke’s Goal-setting theory, that goals must be ‘challenging, specific, participated in’ and that the individual must gain feedback to help them improve their performance (Huczynski and Buchanan, 2007, p. 255). In the case of Aussieco, the Assembly-line workers lack clear goals, and as such are allowed to indulge in what Latane et al (1979) describe as ‘social loafing’ within the group, dropping their output during the day so that they can work overtime and increase their pay.
Aussieco creates such a fear driven and unchallenging environment that its staff find little to be proud of (p. 84). A key idea in the study of Organizational Behaviour is the way in which managers and leaders are able to match individuals to appropriate roles within an organisation. This can be done by considering which traits, skills and personality individuals have according to McRae’s ‘Five Factor Model’ (1992) of ‘Emotional Stability, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness’ and thus finding a suitable position.
Yet with Aussieco this has not been the case, not only with Management positions as mentioned earlier, but in other instances, such as the Secretary for the drawing office who had never seen drawings before, the programmer with no experience of the relevant program, and assembly workers who cannot read or speak English. These are described as ‘Personnel clangers’ in the case study and are a prime example of an organization that has not taken the time or effort to consider individual differences and skills with regard to putting people in appropriate roles (p.82).
Failure to consider and act upon individual differences is also evident in the extract in terms of the issue of Equity Theory, or in the case of Aussieco, ‘inequity’, by which workers are made to feel a sense of injustice which results in them feeling motivated to alter the situation, either by working harder or by lowering their production according to their situation (Adams, 1965).
Employees and lower management arrive at work early at 7.30am, while Middle and Senior management arrive much later between 9. 00 and 10. 00am. Further divide is highlighted by the fact that Sales staff and Senior Management have their own individual dining rooms where ‘unlimited alcohol’ is served, while lower level staff are made to eat in the canteen and are not allowed to drink in the workplace (p. 81). The owner of the company is paid $AUS one million in salary a year, while other Managers earn just enough to meet expenses and payroll.
Yet this ‘inequity’ seems not to motivate the staff of Aussieco to work harder, it rather has the opposite effect. The reasoning behind this can be explained by once again considering the Porter-Lawler model of work motivation (1968) and the managing of expectations; if staff don’t believe that increasing their output will lead to rewards then they simply won’t be motivated to do so.