MODULE: ADVANCED ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR

1.1 Explain the difference between being a member of an in-group and being a member of an out-group                                                                                                     (7 marks)

An in-group refers to the group that individuals feel they belong to, and they believe it is an integral part of who they are. On the contrary, an out-group is a group to which someone doesn’t belong. For example, someone might be a member of a sports group, and in this case, it would be considered an in-group. A non-member would perceive the same as an out-group. By defining others as “not like us” and inferior, an in-group can end up becoming racist or egocentric. It can also form within a workplace. A workplace can have cliques of employees, such as executives who play volleyball together or web developers who write code unitedly. Eventually, members may exclude others as a form of gaining status within the group. A member of an in-group enjoys several advantages because you are often the priority in everything concerning the status. You may consider yourself privileged and end up neglecting the needs of others. As a member of the out-group, you may feel alienated, neglected, outcompeted, and possibly satisfaction in joining an activity, for instance, within the workplace, may be diminished. People may harm those they perceive to be in an out-group in ways that they would not for in-group members. When an in-group member misbehaves, the natural reaction is often to dismiss the behavior as no big deal. But out-group are judged much more harshly.

1.2. Explain how you felt being a member of an in-group compared to how it felt to be a member of an out-group.                                                                                          (7 marks)

Whenever I was in the in-group, I tended to be ethnocentric. I considered my group as superior to other groups, for instance, in inter-school discussions. Unsurprisingly, I also felt a sense of unity, low, sympathy, and fellow-feeling. We often regarded ourselves as one and united.

The feelings of being a member of an out-group are much unpleasant, unlike in an in-group. For instance, whenever I regarded myself as an out-group, I experienced negative attitudes from the in-group members. Because my difference from the rest was clear, it seemed understandable that most in-group members expressed a feeling of antagonism towards me.

If a subordinate came to you and said that they felt the company’s new diversity hiring initiative was unfair and would compromise their well-deserved opportunities for advancement.

1.3 How would you respond?                                                                            (6 marks)

I would start by appreciating their coming out as it would eventually help ensure everyone gets heard. However, I would insist that the company ensure that all qualified job candidates are identified but with a diversity consideration. The workforce needs to be diverse to enjoy a competitive advantage in the modern business world. For this reason, a candidate might be qualified, but because the company cannot hire from only one background, the other candidates with diverse backgrounds might get selected. Then, I would point out that the diversity initiative focuses on practices that ensure fairness, promotes awareness of how different groups communicate, and ensure fairness in assessment and promotion processes. Finally, I would explain that the initiative could not impede advancement opportunities for any employee because there will always be a chance for everyone.

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QUESTION 2

CASE STUDY

Read the case studies and answer the questions that follow

Case Study – MTN South Africa: One Group, One Band
In 1998, the MTN brand started a process of expanding into other countries in Africa. However, as it grew its presence on the continent, each country’s operations began to develop a regional character. It is a worry for MTN, which risked losing its unified and robust brand identity. The company felt that it was essential to convey a single feel through its branding, as this would ensure that all customers received the same treatment and could access the same services in all the group’s markets across Africa. The brand needed to ensure consistency. To help the company achieve this, it recruited Santie Botha to develop global identity. As group executive director of Absa, Botha had managed the transformation of the bank from four separate banks into a unified entity. She appreciated the difficulty of her mandate at MTN, given the differences in world views in the various countries in which MTN operated. She would need charisma to foster the development of a single, inclusive identity throughout MTN. Botha recognized that MTN’s employees and customers needed to get behind the idea of MTN’s having one identity. They needed to realize that this identity would accommodate and benefit everyone. It may have taken a year to roll out, but the new global brand identity was successfully launched, uniting everyone involved in the group’s operations across borders. Bick, G., Luiz, J. & Townsend, S. (2011). MTN South Africa: One group, one vision, one brand. Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, 1(1), 1-17.

2.1 Explain how Santie Botha could exhibit a transformational leadership style in her role in the organization.                                                                                   (20 marks)

Santie Botha could exhibit a transformational leadership style in her role in the organization through four key things; individualized consideration, inspirational motivation, idealized influence, and intellectual stimulation. On individualized consideration, she needed to act as a mentor or coach to the employees. She could do this by listening to the concerns and needs of employees and providing support and being empathic for their situation and background. The intent of this is to understand that the new global brand could impact some more than others. Using inspirational motivation, she could then create an appealing vision that inspires and motivates everyone at MTN. As a transformational leader, she could motivate the employees to have a clear purpose to drive the new strategy forward. Then, she needed an idealized influence by upholding very high standards of moral and ethical conduct to command the respect of employees and give them a sense of vision and mission. Finally, she needed to use intellectual stimulation to challenge assumptions, take risks and solicit ideas from other employees. As a transformational leader, she needed to support and collaborate with the rest of management and other employees in trying new approaches and developing innovative ways of dealing with organizational issues.

2.2. If you were Santie Botha, how might you use the information at your disposal to enhance MTN diversity?                                                                               (10 marks)

First, I would center on diversity and inclusion in the business strategy. The championing of the global brand without incorporating workplace diversity could backfire. Showing all customers that the brand does not intend to discriminate against any country’s culture and people could reduce resistance in the market. Second, I would hold executive leaders accountable for driving diversity and inclusion outcomes. To achieve this, I would give each functional and business unit leader formal accountability for achieving diversity results that focus on representation and inclusion results that focus on daily experiences. I would mitigate implicit bias at the systemic level by ensuring the recruiters are unbiased in their job advertisements. The managers should use an objective selection criterion and not give high-visibility work to in-group team members only. Finally, I would promote diversity training for sustained behaviour change.

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                                                                                                                        (50 marks)