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Personality and organization: a new chapter of organization theory

in the development of organization theory, a very important problem is the relationship between individuals and organizations. However, the early organization theory experts almost remember the organization, but forget the "people" in the organization. With the birth of behavioral science, "people" began to become the main body of the organization. However, the relationship between individuals and organizations has not been discussed rationally and deeply. In this regard, Achilles made a surprising statement. Through his own research, he categorically announced that formal organization runs counter to human development. Thus, a new chapter of organization theory has been opened

In June, 1957, Achilles published the individual and organization: some problems of mutual adjustment in the second volume of Management Science Quarterly. This article is like a blockbuster, opening a gap in the classical organization theory

Achilles believes that human personality will go through a development process from "immature" to "mature". People's own growth is to continue to mature. There is a trace of human maturity, which is shown in the following seven aspects: ① from the passive state of infants to the active state of adults. ② From infants' dependence on others to adults' relative independence. ③ From the limited behavior of infants to the diverse behavior of adults. ④ From infants' changeable, superficial, distracted and rapid transfer of interest, to adults' relatively persistent, focused, concentrated and stable interest. ⑤ From infancy to long-term planning in adulthood. ⑥ From the subordinate position in the family or society in infancy, to the basic equal position of adults and others, and even dominate the position of others. ⑦ From the lack of consciousness of infants to the conscious self-control of adults

what Achilles said about this kind of maturity is not only the maturity of physical development, but also the maturity of mind. Take the "relative independence" in the mature period as an example. Relative independence is not a lonely family, but self-reliance and self-improvement. An important manifestation of self-reliance and self-improvement is precisely to maintain the necessary interdependence with others around. If a person closes himself up, lacks self-confidence and dare not interact with others, it is precisely an immature performance. Similarly, even adults who avoid challenges and have no patience to do things are still immature. The characteristic of children is that their interests often change. They only know that they are self-centered, do not understand the needs of others, and even do not know how they affect others. A person is an adult with mature personality only when he can correctly analyze himself, plan his goals, have a certain degree of toughness and endurance, and bear the same or even heavier burden as others in order to pursue his goals. In the growth process from infants to adults, the individual's self world is constantly expanding, and the maturity of personality is also such a continuous development process, from passive to active, from dependence to independence, from only a few behavior modes to mastering a variety of behavior modes, from erratic interest to focused interest, from focusing on the immediate to long-term, from lack of self-control to conscious self-control, and constantly developing to self realization

as a healthy organism, individuals in organizations inevitably experience the development process from immature to mature in terms of human personality, just as infants grow into adults. However, this maturation process will be rudely interrupted by the organization. Any formal organization will hinder the maturity of personality. Therefore, a major topic of organizational theory is to find a solution to this conflict. Achilles' low-carbon development is the adjustment of energy strategy, and soon became a hot topic of organizational behavior

formal organization must be rational. This kind of rationality will "design" an orderly and orderly structure and operation order. However, in reality, employees are diverse and varied. "There are no exactly the same two leaves in life". Therefore, a formal organization always requires its employees to adapt to the organization, rather than the organization to adapt to employees. If the organization is designed according to the preferences and preferences of each employee, the organization will become a patchwork. Tyro's "spiritual revolution" and Fayol's "team spirit" are all means to transform individuals and make personality suitable for organizations in agilis' eyes. The traditional view is that the organization designed according to rationality and logic is more in line with human nature in the long run. But why does this rationality and logic cause people's confrontation? Why must people change their ideas to ensure the success of formal organizations? Does "long-term" have to sacrifice "immediate"? Is reason necessarily at the cost of "inhumanity"? These are worth discussing

Achilles proposed that the principles followed by formal organizations are the culprits that hinder the healthy development of human nature. First of all, the principle of specialization, revered as the golden rule during the industrial revolution, has indeed made great achievements in the rapid development of mechanized mass production. However, the fatal point of specialization lies in the premise of eliminating personality differences. Workers in front of machines are no longer living "people", but "workers" who act in unison, think in unison, and are unified by machines. Eliminating human personality differences is equal to artificially interrupting the process of personality development and strangling the requirements of self realization. And too detailed professional division of labor will seriously deform the independent personal ability. The simpler the work, the more it meets the professional requirements, and the more it will damage the personal ability. In the final analysis, the answer is very simple. Specialization is the instrumentalization of people. Therefore, the logic of specialization principle in organizational culture is to move towards fetishism

secondly, the hierarchical structure of the organization is bound to form a "command obey" relationship. This structure will deprive employees of autonomy and restrict employees' right to know. Without autonomy, there will be dependence, passivity and subordination. Without the right to know and lack of information, there will be no long-term plan. All of these are nothing more than blocking employees in an immature state. In order to make up for this loss of employees, we have to use money as compensation. This kind of monetary compensation is actually telling employees that the organization is what makes you dissatisfied and disgusted. You can use money to buy satisfaction and pleasure outside the organization. In addition, in order to perform their duties in this structure, the managers of the organization need to restrain and suppress their feelings. They can't replace policies with feelings, and can't replace institutional norms with personal styles, completely separating personality from work. To put it mildly, the less you look like a "person", the more you meet the requirements of the organization. Achilles joked that if a leader can maintain loyalty to the organization under such circumstances, there is reason to doubt whether his personality is healthy. As a subordinate, if the respect for the leader is not because of his person but because of his work, then this respect may belong to personality division

thirdly, the centralized and unified leadership of the organization has changed the personality development of employees from "autonomy" to "other governance". Employees' goals are not set by themselves, but arranged by the organization and superiors for them. This goal is extrinsic and superficial, and cannot reach the "self" level, which will lead to psychological frustration and failure of employees, and the development of personality depends on psychological self satisfaction and success. Only when employees set their own goals according to their internal needs can they achieve psychological success, which is exactly what the organization rejects

finally, the principle of organizational control range will increase the "management distance" of employees. The smaller the control range, the more departments will be divided, and the more fragmented the work will be. The communication between employees in different departments needs to be asked for instructions at all levels until they have the right to command the joint leadership of the two departments. This will also deprive employees of autonomy, make employees feel more powerless to control their own destiny and enhance their dependence

kontz, a management scientist, once refuted Achilles' criticism. Koontz believes that the principle of specialization belongs to economics rather than management, and Achilles' understanding of other principles is also wrong. However, Koontz cannot completely deny the problems pointed out by Achilles. No matter whether Koontz's Refutation is reasonable or not, the conflict between organization and personality pointed out by Achilles cannot be avoided in the study of management. Perhaps some of Achilles' views and even the logic of the argument are questionable, but the questions he raised are crucial. The significance of raising problems, especially raising correct problems, is no less than the significance of solving problems

according to his criticism of the principles of formal organization management, Achilles pointedly pointed out that formal organizations reject mature personality, but welcome infant personality. In fact, infantile employees and even mentally retarded people can get higher evaluation in the organization. According to Brennan's book "the creation of low-energy people", in a knitting factory, the war caused a labor shortage in 1917, and employed 24 mentally retarded women workers whose intelligence was only equivalent to that of children aged six to ten. To their surprise, these women workers were the most common and most effective methods in plastic processing units. They did a very good job. They don't complain, work hard, easy to manage and obey commands. Therefore, after the war, the company not only continued to hire them, but also hired 40 women workers in similar situations in other departments of the company. The management personnel of the company spoke highly of the mentally retarded women workers: "they are more punctual, behave more regularly, and do not participate in the dissemination of gossip. They can earn the same salary as normal people, and can be competent for almost every process in the workshop." This case alone is enough to arouse scholars' thinking

this is almost a trend or law - if an adult works in a very immature way (i.e. obedient baby way) in the organization, he can usually get a high salary or even promotion. On the contrary, employees with constantly developing personalities often feel constrained and depressed, and feel the limitations of the organization on themselves. The more mature the personality, the greater the conflict with the organization. For subordinates with strong personalities, superiors will also feel disobedient and unpleasant. The more strict and standardized the formal organization becomes, and the more mechanical and specialized the work tasks become, the stronger the restriction on the development of human nature

based on these studies, Achilles proposed the following "theorem"

theorem 1: the requirements of formal organization are incompatible with the development of healthy personality. A standardized formal organization, combined with mature employees who are independent, positive and have distinctive personalities, will only cause chaos. Because formal organizations require employees to be dependent and passive, follow rules and regulations, and strictly abide by the rules and regulations of the organization. From this, we can infer from theorem 1 that the degree of organizational chaos is directly proportional to the development of healthy personality and the degree of disharmony between personality and organization

theorem 2: the disharmony between organization and personality will lead to employees' frustration, failure, short-term behavior and ideological contradictions. For employees who pursue health, maturity and self realization, the result must be frustration; Because cannot

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