Victoria Construction Case Analysis and Solution
Number of words: 2854
The Victoria Construction Company case study offers a bullying tactic and a climate of fear scenario. The trade unions have created a culture of fear by intimidating construction managers into acting according to their wishes by contracting bikie gangs in collecting debts and handling workers’ grievances through imparting intimidation. Efforts of restoring justice and normalcy have proved futile since witnesses who may consider this process are afraid because of retributions (Savage 2016). Moreover, police based in Victoria have tried in order to bring the unions to justice, but all have proved fruitless due to insufficient evidence. Therefore, a plan and strategy are worthwhile in this kind of circumstance in order to restore calmness between the workers and the management at the company.
The climate of fear in the Victoria Construction Company creates unfavorable working conditions for managers, and it fosters distrust between workers, trade unions, and construction managers, thus reducing the general productivity. This paper will then consider Savage’s article, “Construction Unions Using Bikies as ‘Hired Muscle’ in Industrial Disputes: Victoria Police,” as the benchmark of analysis in order to propose a feasible solution for the organizations to counteract the climate of fear at Victoria Construction Company. It is an organizational analysis problem whereby the managers at the company are timid about handling their workers due to threats from bikie gangs. Also, some individuals within the trade union fear to talk about this scenario due to possible retribution on them. So, the company can be assisted to adopt feasible strategies in order to avoid this situation.
1.1 Problem Statement
A climate of fear is not suitable for any company because it reduces productivity in the workplace. The trade union’s unorthodox means of coercing the Victoria construction company is unlawful, and this behavior presses not only the managers at the firm but also other workers who may lose their jobs. Also, employees within the trade union, particularly those who fear that they may be retrenched in case they speak about this incident, are at a disadvantage. So, this kind of climate does not foster creativity and critical thinking. Instead, it enhances a culture whereby the workers only feel that they are only safe when they adhere to the leadership’s direction (Connelly & Turner 2018). In order to create a vital culture of openness and ideas, it is pragmatic to reduce fear among the workers and enhance stability as a way of more productivity. As a government’s advisor, I will then propose an organizational framework and counsel so as to aid the victims of trade unions, as well as those who are unwilling to report these issues to authorities within the trade unions for fear of revenge. An important area that these victims should understand is the knowledge about both internal and external environments affecting them.
This proposal provides a plan, and knowledge to help in solving the climate of the fear problem at Victoria Construction Company. The management of this knowledge can be crucial for the affected stakeholders because it captures issues, distributes information, and effectively guides employees to behave appropriately. Three job profiles in managing this knowledge are extensively considered in this proposal, and that entails legal assistance, the knowledge management lead, and knowledge management and collaboration manager’s in the trade union and the construction industry. Furthermore, the solution-based approach would then include both external and internal environment considerations. Also, PESTEL’s analysis method consisting of political, economic, social, technology, environment, and legal, is considered for this solution-based advice.
In this strategic management process, resources within the affected organizations, such as trade unions, and Victoria Construction Company, are considered. Internal and external stakeholder engagement is important strategic management criterion for any organization. So, it is pragmatic to include social and environmental issues that are crucial for the performance of the affected firms in order to enhance decision making and accountability (Einarsen et al. 2018). In the application of Critical Theory to this problem, this methodology will include both sides of the issue, particularly enabling the managers to understand that arguments are intractable because they emanate from persons holding different positions and assumptions. In brief, the intention is to go beyond rationality, specifically by covering chances of exploitation, social divisions, power, inequality, and conflicts in an organization. As such, Victoria’s employees portray this company as a system of oppression rather than that of order. Also, there might be social classification and conflict.
A deeper understanding of social issues, as well as technical aspects of the organization, can help in alleviating the fear factor in the construction company. While considering the Critical Theory in modeling an instructional strategy, its tenets are prioritized and involve two work fundamentals, such as work and social interaction. In the aspect of communication, the element of understanding modes of interaction is crucial for the fear factor in the organization. During the working period, employers and employees associate in the production process. However, social interaction is mandatory for the management and its subject to succeed in this course. So, a mutual understanding must be present through several communication methods, which are adopted as a culture in the firm.
3.0 Literature Review
Fear is believed to limit the workers’ voice to question or report issues at the workplace. It is worth noting that the functional perspective of emotions mentions that the way people respond to fear varies. The relationship between fear and voice may be complicated, and so, assuming that they are negatively linked is not practical. The climate of fear then focuses attention on threatening the progress of the firm, and that this may be explicitly demonstrated by the inability of the employees to speak their grievances effectively (Ford, Myrden & Kelloway 2016). However, when workers perceive that their leaders are open to any input, they can be motivated to speak freely and share ideas. In this realm, the view of openness of the supervisors can assist in transforming detriments that result from the fear of the external environment and turn them into sharing information.
The climate of fear mostly instigates failure in the business. Workers sometimes respond to some common beliefs, such as the possibility of losing a job, disappointing colleagues and being invaluable to the firm. So, companies that use fear factor in order to motivate their employees can orchestrate an atmosphere whereby the workers may only feel safe when they are adhering to the directives of their managers (Ford, Myrden & Kelloway 2016). This situation is what is known as directive leadership, which may be detrimental not only to workers but also to the entire organization. One of the disadvantages of this method is that the workers may lack significant initiatives in the assigned roles. As such, the employees may find it hard to cope with creative job demands. Another demerit is that collaboration is hindered, and the morale of employees is diminished. This case is typical in situations whereby the link between the managers and employees is not efficient.
The internal and external factors of fear instigate certain behaviors among the workers; therefore, creativity is reduced, and even enthusiasm to engage in innovation is diminished. Critical thinking is further when the workers are rewarded for adhering to the directives of their leaders. So, reducing the climate of fear in the company, particularly for those that value the benefits of collaboration and mentoring as part of workplace culture, can be a crucial solution to improving the production result. It is worth noting that the first step for dealing with fear is to realize its existence in the workplace. Harris (2016) denotes that specific employees’ behaviors can be used to identify the fear factor, such as workers resigning, managers failing to report problems, lack of clear goals, and impractical feedback. Therefore, a positive reaction to these situations can help instead of letting the emotions override them. A culture of pausing momentarily before considering a drastic response is feasible in order to calm the condition (Haugsbakk & Nordkvelle 2007). Also, building trust between the managers and employees is essential, especially during the work periods. Lastly, a process-driven roadmap can help in monitoring the activities in the firm. As the world changes, an effective fear management mechanism is an essential asset for the success of the organization.
While it is crucial for the management to promote the culture of openness and information sharing, the philosophy about the socioeconomic status of a person may affect his or her thoughts, emotions, and behavior. According to Manstead (2018), the thought outcome encompasses social cognition and attitudes; the feeling focuses on morality and prosocial characters; lastly, the behavior is dependent on the educational background and the environment of work. In light of social cognition and attitudes, the philosophy is dependent on how the lower class persons think about their work environment as ‘contextualism,’ to mean a psychological alignment that is enhanced by the urge to handle the external threats and inhibitors. Also, it entails the way upper social class individuals think of their environment as a place that is motivated by internal factors, such as emotions, as well as personal objectives (Durante, Tablante & Fiske 2017). In brief, these lower-class persons are characterized by greater levels of threats, such as lower work security, personal safety, health risks, and housing problems, to name a few. As such, this group of people holds egalitarian values, and those they can readily assist others regardless of their level of compassion.
Measures of empathy are highly linked to people of lower social class. These individuals are more likely to explain occurrences in terms of external factors, and that they are sensitive to the way these events shape others’ emotions. This concept explains why lower-class people are quick at judging feelings of other individuals and that they tend to explain events in situational terms (Piff, Stancato & Horberg 2016). Conversely, upper-class individuals are believed to possess greater resources and that this nature makes them more selfish; therefore, they are unable to aid others in need. So, the social class problems can explain the type of relationship between the management at the workplace and that of junior employees.
4.0 Analysis/Response: Solution Development and Proposal
The strategic solution for Victoria Construction Company involves a feasible plan, as well as advisory in terms of cultural adaptation. The climate of fear in this company is detrimental, and that the company should consider a strategic organizational solution to its problems. In the analysis, before delving into the fear factor, understanding the source of the problem is essential. Therefore, letting the management know what the concept of power and social class can help them to comprehend why workers complain of bullying tactics. This concept can be modeled by using the psychology of social are, particularly engaging the socioeconomic status concept. So, in this idea, the management should be aware of the fact that management and junior workers hold different social class, and different linkage is apparent between them. It is, therefore, feasible for them to recognize the behavior anomaly before engaging the workers in resolving the conflicts.
Increasing the rate of communication between the management and employees can be a feasible solution to the fear factor. This way, the workers will be able to articulate their grievances aptly without involving the bikie gangs. Improving the communication rate at work enhances the relationship between people (Biesta 2005). It is worth noting that people of lower social class are more likely to empathize, so attending to their woes daily, particularly by engaging them in the process of finding the solution, means that they will feel appreciated. This program of meeting with workers should be scheduled weekly. However, according to Hirschheim and Klein (1989), interactive communication can be instituted during the work process, particularly by engaging workers daily. Also, the managers should be able to collect problems and then act on them accordingly.
Another solution to this problem is by involving the legal team. In this sense, the workers should be trained to know the rules and regulations so that they can seek appropriate process when they have evidence of bullying. This way, the workers can sue the employer based on harassment, which is described as undesirable conduct that depicts hostility towards another individual at work (Perminiene, Kern & Perminas 2016). This issue can be based on a person’s sex, color, age, marital status, gender, sexual, and religion, among others. This solution can only be promoted by the management, and it is possible by insistently engaging the works and training them to know their rights. Developing a culture of trust is another critical step to alleviating fear in a company. The Victoria Construction Company should then consider responding to any grievance aired by the employees. As such, they will be able to develop a process-driven roadmap for workers to be able to talk without fear, which can be enhanced to be a culture in the firm. Building trust takes time, but the managers can maintain an authentic relationship with workers during daily routine.
The socioeconomic aspect plays a significant role in the workplace. This concept classifies people based on material possession, thus resulting in lower and upper-class categorization. The former group is much affected by external factors, and therefore, they tend to be sensitive to bullying factors, as is in the case of Victoria Construction Company. The latter class is controlled by the internal factors; to mean, they are more likely to be directed by personal objectives (Giorgi et al. 2016). So, the fear factor in the company arises because the management failed to recognize this feature. Having noted this classification difference, an organization must have a feasible communication strategy in order to solve the fear factor problem. According to Hasle, Seim and Refslund (2019), a firm without proper interaction mode between the management and its workers commonly leads to a chaotic outcome. Junior employees then become afraid to speak about their problems, which may be detrimental to the entire organization.
In conclusion, Victoria Construction Company created their problem. The harassment that was instigated by the bikie gang resulted from their inability to engage their workers effectively and solve the problems. As a result, the conflict emerged whereby the firm could not handle their workers because of the fear of retribution. A proposed solution to this problem, therefore, entails understanding the psychology of social class, which involves socioeconomic disparity at the workplace. Afterward, effective communication can solve several questions before they escalate. This way, the management can determine the issues and even deal with them. Another aspect of handling this fear factor is involving the lawsuit once the administration has evidence. This case can apply to the employees who reportedly experience bullying. Overall, creating a favorable work environment is vital because it enhances productivity.
Biesta, G 2005, ‘Against learning. Reclaiming a language for education in an age of learning’, Nordic Studies in Education, vol. 25, pp.54-66.
Connelly, S & Turner, MR 2018, ‘Functional and dysfunctional fear at work: Dual perspectives’, In Social Functions of Emotion and Talking About Emotion at Work, Edward Elgar Publishing.
Durante, F, Tablante, CB & Fiske, ST 2017, ‘Poor but warm, rich but cold (and competent): Social classes in the stereotype content model’, Journal of Social Issues, vol. 73, no. 1, pp.138-157.
Einarsen, S, Skogstad, A, Rørvik, E, Lande, ÅB & Nielsen, MB 2018, ‘Climate for conflict management, exposure to workplace bullying and work engagement: A moderated mediation analysis’, The International Journal of Human Resource Management, vol. 29, no. 3, pp.549-570.
Ford, DP, Myrden, SE & Kelloway, EK 2016, ‘Workplace aggression targets’ vulnerability factor: Job engagement’, International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 9, no. 2, pp.202-220.
Giorgi, G, Perminienė, M, Montani, F, Fiz-Perez, J, Mucci, N & Arcangeli, G 2016, ‘Detrimental effects of workplace bullying: Impediment of self-management competence via psychological distress’, Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 7, p.60.
Harris, R 2016, ‘New organisations and new workplaces: Implications for workplace design and management’, Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 18, no. 1, pp.4-16.
Hasle, P, Seim, R & Refslund, B 2019, ‘From employee representation to problem-solving: Mainstreaming OHS management’, Economic and Industrial Democracy, vol. 40, no. 3, pp.662-681.
Haugsbakk, G & Nordkvelle 2007, ‘The rhetoric of ICT and the new language of learning: A critical analysis of the use of ICT in the curricular field’, European Educational Research Journal, vol. 6, no. 1, pp.1-12.
Hirschheim, R & Klein, HK 1989, ‘Four paradigms of information systems development’, Communications of the ACM, vol. 32, no. 10, pp.1199-1216.
Manstead, AS 2018, ‘The psychology of social class: How socioeconomic status impacts thought, feelings, and behaviour’, British Journal of Social Psychology, vol. 57, no. 2, pp.267-291.
Perminiene, M, Kern, RM & Perminas, A 2016, ‘Lifestyle, conflict-solving styles, and exposure to Workplace Bullying’, Swiss Journal of Psychology.
Piff, PK, Stancato, DM & Horberg, EJ 2016, ‘Wealth and wrongdoing: Social class differences in ethical reasoning and behavior.’
Savage, A 2016, ‘Construction unions using bikies as ‘hired muscle’ in industrial disputes: Victoria Police’, ABC News, viewed 20 Nov. 2019, <https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-08/construction-unions-using-bikies-as-hired-muscle-victoria-police/7075728>