Deciding & Achieving > Tensions in Employment

Tensions in Employment

Life at Work: The Two Perspectives

There is a universal and unavoidable tension in organizations between management goals and employee relationships. This tension is what makes «life at work» so difficult at times. Tensions exist within management and within employees, and these lead to two complementary Tree frameworks:

■ how an employee should handle employment by an organization
■ how management should handle employment for an organization.

The previous analysis generates these frameworks when we recognize relationship tensions inherent in employment expectations and obligations. These tensions exist within two very different relationships:
■ individual employees to their employer (the organization) &
■ the management to the staff (all employees)
So there are two different tensions.

The Organizational Order

If we take the structural hierarchy of expectations and obligations in organizations, and turn it on its side, we have a seven-level holistic hierarchy based on the successive Groupings.
ClosedSee the picture:►

What do we glean from this map of «the organizational order»? 

● We note, but avoid focusing on, the numerous Groups within the Groupings. They tell us that we are modelling complex psychosocial phenomena, not simple elements of experience.

● We remember that each level/grouping is experienced and perceived as sharply different by management and by an employee. So the diagram represents two seven-level hierarchies, not one.

● We realize that the lower part, CG1-CG4, is work-focused and the upper part, CG5-CG7, is relationship-oriented.

The present task is to focus on the tensions which inevitably arise between management and employees in everyday organizational life. We have to map how the social order is handled and potentially changed. In this social order, neither protagonist, management (M) or employee (E), is primary. Neither can function without the other. As a result,Closed we cannot develop the Tree for one and then simply adjust to the other as we did for achievement.

THEE Note: The relevant tension in relating in each case is a THEE dynamic duality.

The Tree for Organizational Achievement (or Personal Achievement within an Organization) is visible (horizontally) within CG1 Closedin the diagram. That should clarify that the frameworks to be developed now are not about achievement or organizational performance as such. They are about handling «life» in employment.

Our challenge in this section is to discover and name Centres and Channels formed by introducing relationship tensions to the structural hierarchy: CG1-CG7. The first step is to consider these intrinsic tensions in more detail.

Originally posted: 30-Nov-2011

All posted material is part of a scientific project and should be regarded as provisional. Visitors are encouraged to think through the topics and propositions for themselves. Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016.
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