​Negotiation in the Workplace- Akeem Gbadamosi

Many people believed the act of negotiation is all about and money. It isnt. We do it instinctively, as in our families, and in our communities as well as in business, management, industrial relations, and all levels of government. Sometimes we negotiate without realizing it. Common examples includes labour-management negotiation over wages, hours, and working conditions and negotiation between supply chain specialists and vendor involving price, delivery schedules, and credit terms. Self-managed work teams with overlapping task boundaries also need to rely on negotiated agreement. Negotiating skills are more important today than ever. 
What is Negotiation?

Negotiation can be formally defined as a give-and-take decision making process involving interdependent parties with different perspectives. Negotiation is being give and take mean a process which we compromise and agree a way forward.

Negotiation is the process in which parties that perceives one or more incompatibilities between them, try to find a mutually acceptable solution. Negotiation Is Part of Life. Negotiation is a part of normal everyday life. In fact, experts on the subject have said that life, itself, is just one continuous negotiation.

Still, many people feel that they are not experienced contract negotiators. Perhaps they do not realize that there are many types of contracts. Not all are complex written agreements. Most contracts are oral agreements which may or may not involve the exchange of monetary consideration. 

Without realizing it, you have probably been involved in a variety of contract negotiations every day of your life. In fact, we constantly bargain with other people to fulfill both our monetary and non-monetary needs.

In fact, you must negotiate for most things you want in life. You can only avoid negotiation if you have no desire for anything held or controlled by someone else. Regardless of your profession, skill as a negotiator is essential to your success. In Government contracting, the skill is particularly important because your daily work requires you to obtain supplies and services from responsible sources at fair and reasonable prices.

There are two basic types of negotiation: Distributive negotiation, and integrative negotiation. Negotiation experts distinguish between the two types of negotiation and understanding the difference requires a change in traditional fixed pie thinking.

A distributive negotiation usually involves a single issuefixed-piein which one person gains at the expense of the other. For example, haggling over the price of a rug in a bazzar is a distributive negotiation. In most conflicts, however, more than one the issue is at stake and each party value the issue differently. The outcomes available are no longer fixed-pie divided among all parties. All agreement can be found that is better for both parties than what they would have reached through distributive negotiation. This is an integrative negotiation.

However, parties in a negotiation often dont find these beneficial trade-off because each assumes its interest directly conflict with those of the other party. What is good for the other side must be bad for us is a common and unfortunate perspective that most people have. This is the mind-set we call the mythical fixed-pie.

Distributive negotiation involves traditional win-lose thinking while Integrative negotiation calls for a progressive win-win strategy. In a laboratory study of joint venture negotiations, team trained in integrative tactics achieved better outcomes for both sides than did untrained teams.

To be continuing

NEXT ARTICLE: Strategies for Successful Negotiation.

Rotarian T.M Akeem Gbadamosi, M.Sc Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management 

Associate Partner, First-Goldmine Consulting (An HRM and Development Services firm)

​Why Does Work team Fail? – Akeem Gbadamosi

This is a continuation of previous post title: Team and Team Work in the Workplace. You can read the post from here: http://www.tinyurl.com/m4j9q6p

Teams differ fundamentally from working groups because they require both individual and mutual accountability. Teams rely on more than group discussion, debate, and decision, on more than sharing information and best-practice performance standards. Team produce discrete work product through the joint contribution of their members. This is what makes possible performance level greater than the sum of all the individual bests of team members.

 Simply stated in their write-up in the HBRS 10 MUST READS ON MANAGING PEOPLE by Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith sees a team is more than the sum of its parts. Most executives advocate teamwork. And they should. Teamwork represents a set of values that encourage listening and responding constructive to views expressed by others, giving others the benefit of doubt, providing support, and recognizing the interest and achievements of others. Such values help teams perform, and they also promote individual performance as well as the performance of entire organization. But teamwork values by themselves are not exclusive to teams, nor are they enough to ensure team performance.

Back to the title of the post: WHY DOES WORK TEAM FAIL?

Advocate of the team approach to management paint a very optimistic and bright picture. Yet there is a dark side to teams. While exact statistics may not be available, they can and often fail. Anyone contemplating the use of team structures in the workplace needs a balanced perspective of advantages and limitations.

According to Robert Kneitner and Angelo Kinicki in their book wonderful book, Organizational Behaviour itemized some reasons of team failure. They categorized the reasons into two viz: Mistakes typically made by management, and Problems typically experienced by team members.

The first category: MISTAKES TYPICALLY MADE BY MANAGEMENT. The following are reasons:

*Teams cannot overcome weak strategies and poor business practices.

*Hostile environment for teams (command-and-control culture; competitive/individual reward plans; management resistance.

*Teams adopted as a fad, a quick-fix, no long team commitment.

*Lessons from one team not transferred to other ( limited experimentation with teams)

*Vague or conflicting team assignments

*Inadequate team skills training.

*Poor staffing of teams.

*Lack of trust.

The second category: PROBLEM TYPICALLY EXPERIENCE BY TEAM MEMBERS. The reasons are follows:

*Team tries to do too much too soon

*Conflict over difference in personal work styles (and /or personally conflicts).

*Too much emphasis on results, not enough on team processes and group dynamics.

*Unanticipated obstacle causes team to give up.

*Resistance to doing things differently.

*Poor interpersonal skills (aggressive rather than assertive communication, destructive conflict, win-lose negotiation).

*Poor interpersonal chemistry (loner, dominators, self-appointed experts do not fit in).

*Lack of trust


Rotarian T.M Akeem Gbadamosi, M.Sc Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management 

Associate Partner, First-Goldmine Consulting (An HRM and Development Services Firm)

Team and Teamwork in the Workplace- Akeem Gbadamosi.

Its a team thing!

Team and teamwork are popular terms in management circles these days. The teamwork movement is even invading the college classroom because organizational success is increasing tied to all sorts of teamsand how effectively they perform. Put us in, were ready to play! Indeed, the trend toward teams has a receptive audience today. Both women and younger employees, according to recent studies, thrive in team-oriented organizations.

What is your understanding of the term “Team”?

There is no universal definition for the term because it has defined variously by different scholars based on their perspectives. Team implies a small, cohesive group that works effectively as a single unit through being focused on a common task.

In Robert Kreitner and Angelo Kinicki books Organizational Behavior, Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith, Management Consultants at McKinsey & Company, define a team as a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable 

According to Adair in G.A Coles book: Personnel and Human Resource Management, he defines a team is more than just a group with a common aim. It is a group of in which the contribution of individuals are seen as complementary. 

Why team? A team offer an easy way to tap the knowledge and resources of all employeesnot just supervisors and managersto solve the organizations problems. A well-structured team draws together employees from different functions and levels of the organization to help find the best way to approach an issue. Some smart companies have learned (and not-so-smart companies are just now starting to figure out) that to remain competitive they can no longer rely solely on management to guide the development of work processes and the accomplishment of organizational goals. The companies need to improve those employees who are closer to the problems and to the organizations customers as well. Guess who those employees arethe front-line workers

Work teams are created for various purposes and thus face different challenges. Managers or Supervisors can deal more effectively with those challenges when they understand how teams differ. A helpful way of sorting out is to consider a typology a work teams developed by Eric Sundstrom and his colleagues. Four general types of work team listed as follows: 1) Advice, (2) Production, (3) Project, and (4) Action.

Teams and Groups are they the same?

The above question was answered by Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith, say it is a mistake to use the teams group and team interchangeably. After studying many different kinds of teamsfrom athletics to corporate to military.

Groups and teams are inescapable features of modern life. Colleges students are often teamed with their peers for class projects. Parents serve on community advisory boards at the local schools. Managers find themselves on product planning committee and productivity task forces. Productive organizations simply cannot function without gathering individuals into groups and teams. Groups and teams in the workplace go through a maturation process, such as one would find in any life-cycle situation (e.g.; humans, organizations, products).

Next article: WHY DO WORK TEAM FAIL?
Rotarian TM Akeem Gbadamosi, M.Sc Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management 

Associate Partner, First-Goldmine Consulting (An HRM and Development Services firm)

Organizational Politics- Akeem Gbadamosi

Organizational Politics, or Office Politics, or Workplace Politics is WOMBAT- Waste Of Money, Brains And Time. Do you believe WOMBAT assertion?

WOMBAT is an acronym used by many new economy companies. Politics has been part of the organizational life since time immemorial.

Backstabbing colleagues, scheming rivals, incompetent team-mates, conniving types, self-serving spin doctors and toxic bosses.  Lets be honest about it. The modern workplace is a hotbed of organizational politics. Bad stuff can happen to good people, and much of it comes down to Organizational Politics.

Welcome to Planet Politics!

You might be thinking that organizational politics involves skulking and scheming, colluding and conniving. And its true that a lot of that goes on. But that doesnt mean that all politicking at work is automatically bad. Understanding the rules of politics can help you achieve outcomes that are beneficial for the organization and in an ethical fashion too. Or, if you insist on engaging in underhand politicking, then a better understanding of rules will at least help you avoid getting caught. All in all, its a skill that everyone needs, in order to succeed at work 

Aristotle sees Man as a political animal, and understanding Organizational Politics is important to appraising organization as political system.  

Muo M.C & MUO Ik in their book, Organizational Behavior (A concise Introduction) sees Politics as natural and whenever two or three are gathered, politics will always surface. Organizations are no exception. But organizations have different level of political activities depending on internal dynamics.

What is your understanding of the concept, Organizational Politics?

Organizational Politics, or Office Politics, or Workplace Politics mean different things to different scholars based on their perspective of the concept.

According to Kneitner and Kinicki, Organizational Politics involves intentional acts of influence to enhance or protect to self-interest of individuals or groups. Organizational Politics may be manifest, for example, in a managers scheme against someone he sees as rival.

In fact, more professionals would positively love their job- if it werent for certain people and the politics in the workplace. Organizations are managed by people who often come into organizations with their preferences, and prejudices. It is to be noted that the political dimension of organizational behaviour often becomes necessary as organizations strive to respond to emerging challenging of doing business, such as a harsher business environment.

Why do people engage in Organizational Politics? 

The following are the reasons:-Self-interest, Size of the organization, Leadership style, Objectives, Organizational Change, Performance,  External environment, Ambiguous goals/policies, Resources, Methods of appraising programmes, policies, and processes, The nature of performance evaluation process, Non-programmed decisions,  and Authority

Dr Rob Yeung in his book Office Politics, said in our daily lives we engage in one or other, politics in order to get thing done.  He said Office Politics does have rather negative connotations. Personally, he chose to use the term Political savvy to refer to the skill of reading and using relationship at work. And enhancing your political savvy is as simple as ABC:

-Assessing the political landscape. Too many would-be political players fall down because they try to get involved without properly understanding the currents and undercurrents within the organization. So observe, analyze, categorize, and understand the dynamics and web of relationship that govern how people behave in order to succeed. Learn the rules before you play the game.

-Building significant relationship. The next step is to formulate a plan to build relationships with people who can help you achieve your goals. But it isnt merely about being nice to everyone, because the canny political player realize that not all people at work are created equally. Learn to influence and build relationships with the right people. 

-Confronting adversaries. People are usually the biggest obstacle to giving us what we want. Every now and then you may come across certain individuals who are more of an obstacle that most. Whether it is a colleague who is slightly bad-tempered or someone with downright malicious intentions, this step is about tasking the unsatisfactory relationship that prevents you from achieving your goals. Learn to neutralize threat to your career.

Political savvy is about getting what you want. Its a way of thinking about goal and how to achieve them through relationships. Even if you dont have power or influence to begin with, you can accrue it through observation, planning, and execution. Whether you want to pursue your organizations goals or your own personal onewell, thats up to you. But whatever you want. Lets help you to achieve it.

To be continuing…

Akeem Gbadamosi, M.Sc. Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management.

Associate Partner, First-Goldmine Consulting (An HRM and Development Services Firm)

Organization Development in the Workplace- Akeem Gbadamosi

Human Resource Development (HRD) does not occur in a vacuum it occurs within the context of how organization see itself, how it conducts business, and how it views its employees. Every organization makes determination about these things, whether consciously, as part of an OD process, or unconsciously, as a result of its leaders operates on a day-to-day basis.

In the USA at least, OD has become a profession with its own regulatory bodies, to which OD practitioners must belong, with its own recognized qualification, a host of approved tools and techniques and its own ethical code of practice.

Specially, a pair of experts in the field and practice OD, defined Organization Development as follows: OD consists of planned efforts to help persons work and live together more effectively over time, in their organizations. These goals are achieved by applying behavioural science principles, methods, and theories adapted from the field of psychology, sociology, education, and management.

Organization Development is a systematic process aimed at improving organizational effectiveness and adaptiveness on the basis of behavioural science knowledge, typical stages in an OD programme include analysis, diagnosis, action plans and review, an external third party assists the process. 

Organization Development is a generic term which embraces a wide range of planned intervention strategies which are aimed at the development of individuals, groups and the organization as a total system.

OD is utilized when senior management recognizes that the key components of the organizational system are not working harmoniously together. In other words, when the complex mix of objectives, people and structure is failing to produce the fruits of organization activity, then is the time to consider revitalizing the entire enterprise. This situation could be due to rapid expansion of business, or radical changes in markets or technology, or to internal social pressure to change.

OD programmes carried out in three way namely:

(1) Changing peoples behaviour,

(2) Changing organization structures, and 

(3) Problem analysis.

Benefits of Organization Development

G.A Cole and Phil Kelly in their book, Management Theory and Practice gave the most OD programme. The relative importance and relevance of any one benefit obviously depends upon the need of the organization at the commencement of the programme. However, in general terms, the benefits of OD can be summarized as follows:

– It enables an organization to adapt to change with the full commitment of employees

– It can lead to structures that facilitate employee cooperation  and the achievement of task

– It releases latent energy and crestivity in the organization

– It can improve understanding of organizational objectives by employees

– It can improve decision-making processes and skills

– It provides opportunities for management development in the context of real organizational problems

– It may stimulate more3 creative approaches to problem-solving throughout the organization

– It usually increases the ability of management groups to work as teams.

Akeem Gbadamosi, M.Sc Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management

Associate Partner, First-Goldmine Consulting (An HRM and Development Services Firm)

​Organizational Change- Akeem Gbadamosi

The phenomenon called change is not new. It has been part of our lives and our organization for a long time. The environment in which organization comes to life, grow mature and die. 

Change is natural and this is buttressed by the elementary saying that the only constant thing in life is change.
Organizations seek over-higher performance while implementing new technologies, streamlining employment and simplifying system and processes. 

The contemporary organization certainly needs to cope with both external and internal changes in the environment and among its employees. The static or totally reactive organization will have a difficult time surviving in a changing society.

Managers are criticized for emphasizing short-term, quick-fix solution to organizational problems. When applied to organizational change, this approach is doomed from the start. Quick-fix solutions do not really solve underlying problems, and they have little staying power. Researchers and managers alike have thus tried to identify effective ways to manage the change process.

What is your understanding of “Organizational change? Organizational change can be viewed from different scholars based on their perspective of the phenomenon.

To Kimberly viewed organizational change from the analogy of life cycle of organizations. The use of this biological metaphor though imperfect; sensitizes us to the fact that organization do not go along in the same state for eternity. Organizations are born, grow, and decline, sometime they re-awaken, and sometime they disappeared.

To Kanter, organizational change can be seen from an internal perspective, constantly shifting coalitions and factions.

According to Robert Kneitner and Angelo Kinicki, in their book Organizational Behavior gave a useful three-way typology of change namely: Adaptive, Innovative, and Radically change. This typology is generic because it relates to all sorts of change, including both administrative and technological changes.

 Adaptive change is lowest in complexity, cost, and uncertainty. It involves reimplementation of a change in the same organizational unit at a later time or imitation of a similar change by a different unit. Innovative changes falls midway continuum of complexity, cost, and certainty. An experiment with flexible work schedules by an organization qualifies as an innovative change if it entails modifying the way other firms in the industry already use it. Unfamiliarity, and hence great uncertainty, makes fear of change a problem with innovative changes.

At the high end of the continuum of complexity, cost, and uncertainty are radically innovative changes. Changes of this sort are the most difficult to implement and tend to be the most threatening to managerial confidence and employee job security. At the same time, however, radically changes potentially realize the greatest benefits.

Most theories of organizational change originated from the landmark work of social psychologist Kurt Lewin. Lewin developed a three-stage model of planned change which explained how to initiate, manage, and stabilize the change process. The three stages are Unfreezing, Changing, and Refreezing.

It is important to highlight the assumptions underlying Lewins model:

The change process involves learning something new, as well as discontinuing current attitudes, behaviour, or organization practices. Change will not occur unless there is a motivation to change. This is often the most difficult part of the change process.

People are the hub of all organizational changes. Any change, whether in terms of structure, group process, reward systems, or job design, requires individuals to change. Resistance to change is found even when the goals of change are highly desirable. Effective change requires reinforcing new behaviours, attitudes, and organizational practices.
Akeem Gbadamosi, M.Sc. Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management.

Associate Partner, First-Goldmine Consulting

Leadership in Organization- Akeem Gbadamosi

Leadership focuses on the most important resource, people. It is the process of developing and communicating a vision for the future, motivating people and gaining their commitment and engagement. Leadership is an act to influence people towards a pre-determined goal. Since organizations success hinges on the quality of leaders. Leadership is a concept that many people have written about but few have defined. 

Gbadamosi and Adebakin (1996) hold the view that a leader is one who inspires others to work willing towards the achievement of a goal through maximum application of his personal capabilities and qualities. In other words, people said to be leaders to the extent that they succeed in their attempt to influence other. In doing so, the leader is expected to have some basic attributes such as skill, intelligence, determination, imagination, endurance, and courage to be able to lead effectively.

This means that leadership is the process of influencing the activities of an individual or a group in their efforts towards the accomplishment of goals and objectives of the organization. From the above definitions, one can summarize that leadership involves social influence and interaction between the leader and the subordinates, the aim of which is to achieve a stated goal.

Leadership is both research area and a practical skill encompassing the ability of an individual or organization to lead or guide other individual, teams, or entire organizations. Leadership is one of the most frequently investigated topics within the field of Organizational Behaviour (OB) due to its importance to all organizations. 

What is Leadership?

Before defining leadership it would be appropriate to define “who is a leader? Leader is the person takes a shot in the organization. Disagreement about the definition of leadership stems from the fact that it involves a complex interaction among the leader, the followers, and the situation. For example, some researchers define leadership in terms of personality and physical traits, while others believe leadership is represented by the set of prescribed behaviours. In contrast, other researchers define leadership in terms of power relationship between leaders and followers. According to this perspective, leaders use their power to influence followers behaviour. Leadership also can be seen as an instrument of goal achievement. In other words, leaders are individuals who help others accomplish their goals. Still others view leadership from a skills perspective. 

According to Robert Kreitner and Angelo Kinicki in their book, Organizational Behaviour (Mc Graw-Hill International Edition) they said there are four commonalities among the many definitions of leadership:

Leadership is a process between a leader and followers,

Leadership involve social influence,

Leadership occurs at multiple level in an organization (at the individual level, for example, leadership involve mentoring, coaching, inspiring, and motivating; leaders also build teams, generate change at the organization level), and

Leadership focuses on goal accomplishment. 

Based on these commonalities, leadership is defined as a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal.

Are there any similarities and differences between leading and managing?

To be continuing

Akeem Gbadamosi, M.Sc Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management

Associate Partner, First-Goldmine Consulting.