Essay PreviewMore ↓
“Top-Down” vs. “Bottom-Up” Change
While much of senior management at large corporations today might claim to want “self-empowered” employees, the opposite would seem to be the rule. Rarely is change initiated from somewhere other than at or from the “top” allowed to significantly alter an organization, unless the higher levels of authority within the organization have envisioned the change or, at a minimum, fully sanctioned the proposal for change. One finding in a recent study surveying 4,300 U.S. companies with 100 or more employees seems to support this perspective as forty percent of hourly employees, versus only sixteen percent of managers, cited a lack of management visibility and support as a major impediment to change. (Zoglio, 1998) Organizational politics, which inevitably makes managers fear losing control more than reaching for success, inevitably lead to the demise of changes originating in other ways within the organization. This move to control people often occurs when these changes are near or at the point of creating significant benefits for the organization.
Organizational Creative Thinking
In order to have sustainable, ongoing change, the work must be done with full ownership and accountability of those producing the results. The typical scenario, however, is that employees are given direction and complete work as they are told to do so by those in authority. A dependence on authority to create new ideas gets perpetuated. Perhaps those in corporate leadership positions are self-serving and realize that recognition is given most to those who create and implement profitable new ideas.
Unquestionably, leadership is most capable when it is able to keep work aligned with the strategy and direction of the organization. The best executives today have the ability to ensure the company progresses while challenging thinking. The resulting unspoken message to employees is to be creative, but only within the framework of sanctioned thinking. In other words, employees must follow someone else’s thinking while continuously improving performance.
The direction and resulting message are in conflict.
How to Cite this Page
"Fear of Losing Control." 123HelpMe.com. 22 Feb 2020
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Fear is something that large amounts of people have encountered at least once at some point in their lives. It has been said to have caused a variety of outcomes, many of them being largely negative. Therefore, it is a common human response to react to fear by counteracting it with positivity and/or success. The idea people have of what fear is depends on the person. In the article “How Fear Works”, for example, fear is defined as a “chain reaction in the brain that starts with a stressful stimulus and ends with the release of chemicals” (Layton 1).... [tags: environment, past experience, fear paranoia]
1527 words (4.4 pages)
- Imagine a society in which its citizens have forfeited all personal liberties for government protection and stability; Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, explores a civilization in which this hypothetical has become reality. The inevitable trade-off of citizens’ freedoms for government protection traditionally follows periods of war and terror. The voluntary degradation of the citizens’ rights begins with small, benign steps to full, totalitarian control. Major methods for government control and censorship are political, religious, economic, and moral avenues.... [tags: aldous huxley,civilization,government control]
1738 words (5 pages)
- In the novel, White Noise by Don DeLillo, Jack Gladney tries to think that he know his wife Babette. He tries to disguise his true self in order to gain strength through his false identity. He tries to control Babette’s thoughts by telling her she is supposed to act a particular way because he is slowly losing control and the struggle of who is more afraid of death. Jack constantly is trying to face his fears of death but learns that his wife has similar fears. He tries to gain power over his death by trying to murder someone.... [tags: identity, kill, fear, death]
628 words (1.8 pages)
- Some people may say that having control over someone or something can bring satisfaction and a sense of power. In the an article called “Gunman Kills Himself After Hostage Drama (584)” written by Charles P. Wallace and Tim Waters loss of control and the feeling of being helplessness makes Robert B. Rose commit a last act of asserting control over himself. In another article written by Martin E.P. Seligman called “On Learned Helplessness (585)” the feeling of loosing control of oneself is something that can cause someone to do things that they thought they would never do.... [tags: Psychology]
886 words (2.5 pages)
- Anxiety affects over 40 million people in this world right now and two thirds of the people suffering will never receive treatment. Anxiety is considered the most common mental illness in America today. Anxiety is a cluster of mental disorders that can affect anyone, no matter age, height, weight, sex, or race. However, certain combinations of these can put one at more risk. These disorders can be extremely impairing and can also affect relationships as well as social life and work opportunities.... [tags: ptsd, mental illness, anxiety development]
1288 words (3.7 pages)
- The Great Migration period during the age of Jim Crow was a time of major movement of African Americans within the United States. Between the years 1910 to 1930 a huge population increase occurred within African American society that ultimately caused the beginning stages of the Great Migration. As a result, this population increase of blacks influenced them to seek for better opportunity in work, land, and safety for their families. Outside of those reasons one major factor that forced African Americans to migrate was the influence of Jim Crow laws and practices.... [tags: Fear, Control, Racism]
1166 words (3.3 pages)
- Guns have been around for a very long time. People love being able to have the freedom to do what they want, especially when they can possess something that make them feel superior. The introduction of the Second Amendment opens up the controversial, yet well anticipated opportunity for United State citizens to be able to own guns. Americans enjoy the benefit of being able to own guns for decades over people in other countries. People can buy guns and carry them around in public. They own guns for many reasons such as to hunt, to protect themselves, and simply to satisfy their desire of owning a gun, but in recent years, the issue of people carry guns has become a problem.... [tags: Gun Control Essays]
1119 words (3.2 pages)
- On the verge of losing consciousness, she asks her self why does she stay with him. She sits with blood running down her face. He leaves the room and she rushes for her phone to call for help. He reenters the room and becomes more enraged because he feels she is now trying to stop his control over her. He grabs the phone from her hands and throws it. He leaves the room again and returns with a shotgun in his hands. He walks up to her and holds the gun to her head and tells her he will pull the trigger if she tries to call for help again.... [tags: Abuse, Bullying, Physical abuse, Child abuse]
1017 words (2.9 pages)
- Ablutophobia The Fear of Washing or Bathing Ablutophobia, defined as the fear of washing, bathing and cleaning is an intense fear that poses no or little danger. Just thinking about bathing could cause a number of symptoms such as: breathlessness, dizziness, excessive sweating, nausea, dry mouth, feeling sick, shaking, heart palpitations, inability to speak or think clearly, a fear of dying, becoming mad or losing control, a sensation of detachment from reality or even an anxiety attack.... [tags: essays research papers fc]
645 words (1.8 pages)
- Personal Narrative Losing Weight I know I should lose weight. It requires a lot of perseverance that I one time had and need to find again. Many of the reasons I should lose weight are very clear to me. I have read many articles and have heard what my doctor has told me. I lost over forty pounds about three years ago, unfortunately, I gained it back two fold when I was pregnant with my daughter. I still have not been able to get rid of this weight since she was born. Sometimes it causes me to get tired just from going to the grocery store.... [tags: Papers]
688 words (2 pages)
Organizational Risk Taking
Opportunities for change often originate from new experiences that succeed. Being forced to seek and gain approval before any experiment with change can occur clearly de-motivates the desire to initiate true break-through thoughts and actions. Risk-taking is a large part of the thrill that comes with the discovery process, but can only be experienced in a supportive environment where the attempt is recognized and valued, not merely the efforts resulting in success. The typical situation is that leadership defines what changes will occur and the employee is left to determine how to make the change work. If the process of change starts anywhere else in the organization, it normally gets stopped. There are a number of reasons why this pattern within most organizations exists, but management’s fear of loss of control clearly is at or near the top of the list.
The reorganizations and downsizing of the last decade have probably reinforced management’s fear. In the traditional, hierarchical organization, the “top” thinks while the rest of the organization does the work. Change from inside the organization, from anywhere but the leadership, challenges this tradition. Today, seemingly more than ever, rather than being challenged to control change, leadership is being challenged to lead change.
Implementing Self-Directed Work Groups at ABC Company
It is important in the implementation of self-directed work groups that they not only have responsibility for identifying and analyzing problems, but for solving them as well. (Zuidema and Kleiner, October 1994, p. 21) The supervisor’s role is changing with the implementation of self-directed work groups at ABC Company. In this transition, workers begin making decisions previously made by the supervisor. Additionally, subordinates naturally criticize their superiors during this change. How can supervisors support the program knowing they might lose some authority and workers will criticize them?
ABC Company put its supervisors through training to learn how to manage a work group using a participatory style of leadership. They also trained employees about the concepts and merits of self-directed work groups. During the employee training, a common question that arose was why a supervisor was even needed anymore if the employees were going to supervise their own work. Word of this spread amongst the supervisors such that they felt threatened and began to doubt whether they could continue to support the idea of self-supervision without threatening their own authority as supervisors. However, it’s quite natural for employees to criticize their supervisor when in the process of assuming responsibility for their own work – if there was nothing to criticize, they would have nothing for which to take responsibility.
This dilemma is normal in a company with a traditional top-down authority structure. The typical company used the concept of individual accountability to compensate supervisors for the amount of responsibility they had. In a self-directed work group type of structure, a supervisor’s responsibility gets shared with employees who also participate in decisions that had previously been reserved only for the supervisor. During this changeover, the supervisor feels threatened, even disoriented. Upper management expects the supervisor to take responsibility for the work and the employees in the self-directed work group want to divide up and share the responsibilities as they deem appropriate. How can the supervisors at ABC Company avoid this double jeopardy?
One way to address this situation that has proven effective at a number of other companies is to choose a location away from the workplace where employees can relax and voice criticisms in a non-authoritarian environment. Examples might include a dinner for subordinates and spouses, a picnic, team sports, or a party – settings in which there is the opportunity to talk about work, but can include joking and poking fun. Giving this opportunity to vent, while potentially embarrassing supervisors, will avoid the problem of employees playing out other embarrassing scenes at work.
Mutual respect and trust at work often begins with embarrassing conversations away from the workplace, where that criticism is less threatening. An example of this is the frank discussion that typically takes place over drinks after work in which more seems to get accomplished during that time than during the day at work. These frank discussions, often involving humor, help move beyond the traditional work relationship to one of openness that is required in a self-directed work group environment. Constructive humor is clearly different from back-stabbing humor. It is important for the supervisor to be open to the criticism and avoid turning the table onto his supervisor peers. It is also important for everyone to be prepared to laugh at themselves and with each other.
Amick III, Benjamin C. and Smith, Michael J. “Job Control and Worker Health.” New York: John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 1989.
Bethke, Art L. and Blue, Thomas R. “Overcoming the Threat of Participation.” SuperVision, March 1988.
Levitan, Sar A. and Werneke, Diane “Worker Participation and Productivity Change.” Monthly Labor Review, September 1984.
Zoglio, Suzanne Willis Ph.D. ”Teams Ride the Waves of Change.“ Quality Digest, February 1998.
Zuidema, Kevin R. and Kleiner, Brian H. “Self-Directed Work Groups Gain Popularity.” Business Credit, October 1994.