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Organisational Behaviour. Psychodynamic Theories


Psycho dynamic and family system theories are relevant to the understanding of the group, organization or community and to the development of interventional strategies. “The term ‘psychodynamic’ refers to systems that use motives, drives and related covert variables to explain behaviour. Psychodynamic career counselling refers to counselling approaches that are guided by attempts to understand, make meaning of, and utilise individual motives, purposes and drives to facilitate career exploration.” (Bimrose n.d.)

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Following are the two major theories in the psychodynamic approach

Theory of Anne Roe: The theory developed by Anne Roe states that occupation is the esteem and most powerful source of satisfaction for individuals. The social and economic status is based on the occupational status of the individuals rather than other factors relating to the individuals. Anne’s concept is based on the need hierarchy theory of Maslow. Anne stated that need for importance, respect, self- esteem; independence and self actualization are the basic needs of individuals.

A new system of occupational classification is developed by Anne based on the concept that there is no logical system for systems. Occupations can be arranged on the basis of interpersonal relationship within the organization relating to occupational activities of the individuals. In this classification, level of complexity and responsibility are the basic factors determining the occupational status.

In the original theory, proposition on the emergence of interest and needs in connection with family situations and parental behaviour is discussed. Emotional concentration of the individuals in the childhood will have direct influence over their occupational choice. The experiences in the childhood also will have influence on the selection of occupation. The drawbacks of the theory of Anne as argued by Roe and Lunneborg (1990) are that there is no clear evidence for the direct connection between the parent child attitude and occupational choice.

Theory of Mark Savickas

“The chapter begins with a discussion of philosophical issues basic to the science and practice of career assessment. These issues resonate with an respond to questions about the roles of career assessment and counselling within vocational psychology.” (Walsh, & Savickas 2005, p. 373). Career style assessment developed by Mark Savickas (1989), adopts concepts such as life style and career style, encouragement from merged childhood experience etc. There are two phases in the Savickas approach. They are assessment and counselling. In the assessment phase, career interviews are focused on the collection of information relating to the lifestyle issues.

The focus of the interview questions is on the getting information about the life goals of the individuals. It involves role models, books, magazines, leisure activities, ambitions and decisions of each individual. In addition to the initial interview, there are additional sessions required. Career style and path of the individuals such as decision making styles, interest and difficulties have to be identified. For further exploration on the occupational choice, a list of occupations has to be developed.

The third focus of the interview is to find out the difficulties that the individuals face to make the right choice. According to Watkins and Savickas (1990) Psychodynamic theories are applicable for effective and subjective career guidance in organisations. These theories focus on a subjective approach to the career counselling purpose. Through this subjective approach in career counselling the objective perspective can be complemented. As per the argument of Bordin (1994), the psychodynamic approach provides the family perspective as a system, providing outline supporting better awareness about the influence of social behaviour in the organization.

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There are also counterarguments regarding the concepts of psychodynamic theories. The major among them is that in the psychodynamic approach, the significance of social variables is not considered and thus in most of the practical situations, this approach is not accessible for the practitioners. Some of the concepts in the psychodynamic approach are applied for enhancing and informing the guidance practices involving persuade of role models. Brown (1990) points out that psychoanalytical thinking is not well accepted among the career guidance practitioners.

When considering the psychodynamic theories, in the context of Bulkham Hills Holroyd Parramatta, it is adoptable to certain extent. As a migrant resource centre, Bulkham Hills Holroyd Parramatta, has to deal with clients of different cultural and community background. By analyzing their personal biography in connection with parental behaviour, better conclusion can be derived on the occupational choice of the clients. In this centre, in order to provide better direction to the individuals for attaining their personal goals, there is no relevant method as most of the clients are refugees. Because of the situational factors, there will not be any type of occupational choice among the migrants.

The occupational choice is largely based on the individual behaviour and personal goals. In case of migrants, for providing adequate direction on achievement of personal goals, effective identification of the individual behaviour and personal goals is essential. For this purpose, the psychoanalytic approach developed by Mark Savickas is adoptable. They have to identify the cultural background of the clients for identifying the personal goals.

In the psychodynamic approach the individual occupational choice is largely influenced by their parental behaviour. But as per counterarguments there is no relevant data supporting this kind of relationship. Thus in case of Bulkham Hills Holroyd Parramatta MRC, the psychoanalytic and family approach is reliable only to certain extent.

An organisation has its own unique culture. Describe the organisational culture of Baulkham Hills Holroyd Parramatta Migrant Resource Centre

“Organisational behaviour is a field of study that asks the question why people behave the way they do and what could be done to predict and control their behaviour.” (Saiyadain 2003, p. 2). The term organisational culture has its long origin over the past 20 years when the organisational theorists applied the term culture to work situations. At the starting stage, leadership practices was described by the culture which later was defined in terms of symbols, slogans, etc.

Every organisation has its own unique culture. Even though an organisation is comprised of individuals and groups coming from different cultures, the organisation follow a common culture. The rules and procedures built by the top level management are followed by the employees. The culture in an organisation is not consciously created but evolves rather unconsciously and the organisation attempts to change the culture overtime. “Organizational culture is the key to organizational excellence and the function of leadership is the creation and management of culture.” Edgar Schein Organizational Culture and Leadership.(Organizational culture- theories, article, links: why is important n.d., p.1).

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Understanding the organisational culture is a very difficult task for the managers and the consultants. The decision making process is influenced by the culture of the organisation and affects the management style. Socialisation process of a specific culture influences the people’s behaviour in an organisation. It is often seen that the organisational culture is not constant and changes over time. A common definition of culture refers the way how an individual does his work.

Culture is regarded as shared assumptions, beliefs, values, norms etc which an individual follows in his life. “Values are the core of national culture and are the broad tendencies for preference of certain states of affairs over others. People pick up values early in life (before the age of ten) and are often unconscious of them.” (Black 2003, p.15). An individual lives in a society and thus possesses a culture which shapes the behaviour of him.

An organisation’s culture leads to job satisfaction of employees, thus creating a good working environment. It is seen that organisation’s vision, structures, systems, leadership behaviour etc create an ideal constructive culture of the organisation. The organisation may have either strong or weak culture. When employees respond to the stimulus with respect to organisational values, there exists a strong culture. But when the stimulus is weak, then it leads to weak culture. Strong culture is associated with a groupthink phenomena risk.

Before looking into the organisational culture of Baulkham Hills Holroyd Parramatta Migrant Resource Centre, we can look at the classification of organisational culture.

  1. Geert Hofstede has mentioned the national and regional culture which distinguishes the cultural behaviour of the organisation.
  2. Deal and Kennedy, on the basis of feedback and risk has made the following four classifications. Tough guy macho culture in which there is a quick feedback and high reward. Work Hard/Play Hard culture which involve team meetings and risks with rapid feedback. Bet your company culture is mainly the culture in the oil prospecting and military aviation industry. An organisation which has less feedback has process culture.
  3. Charles Handy has described four types of structure mainly power culture, role culture, task culture and person culture.

Baulkham Hills Holroyd Parramatta Migrant Resource Centre, a community based non profit organisation follows its own culture. It concentrates mainly on the well being of the migrants and refugees. With a variety of funding sources mainly from Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, the organisation coordinates the development of the new migrants and refugees with free services. The organisation provides advice and information, training courses, English classes, etc to the refugees on free basis for their development.

When refugees or migrants arrive in Australia, there exists a feeling that overwhelms them, if they cannot mingle with the society. The company’s mission “is to establish an appropriate organisational structure, enlivened by sensitive and interactive policies and procedures that will support desired results in the key areas of activities identified and undertaken to empower and assist the emerging migrant communities to become self-sufficient and happy members of the communities in the Baulkham Hills, Holroyd and Parramatta Local Government Areas of New South Wales.” (Aims, vision, objectives and constitution 2008).

From the values of Baulkham Hills Holroyd Parramatta Migrant Resource Centre listed below, we can identify the culture of the organisation. “Tolerance of all differences in the community to be actively promoted. Positive work environment developing constructive teamwork amongst staff. Working together in partnership as an important means of meeting customer needs.” (Aims, vision, objectives and constitution 2008).

The vision and mission of the company shows the cross cultural pattern in the organisation. There are Australian and African cultural combination in the organisation. There are some models like Geert Hofstede model and Fons Trompenaars model to identify the cross cultural difference in the organisation. The staff work together as one from the many cultures of Australia. There exists a spirit of cooperation among the employees even in the diversity of culture. Multicultural diversity of Granville and the encompassing communities provide an opportunity to experience the cultural cuisines.

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Even though the clients are from different countries, the staff of Baulkham Hills Holroyd Parramatta Migrant Resource Centre speaks in the clients language, thus reducing high cultural discrimination. The ethno specific workers in the company are from different cultures and are as follows: Arabic, Madi, Romanian, Spanish, Turkish, Swahili, Burmese, Dinka, Somali, Mandarin, Assyrian, Bosnian, Burmese, Serbian etc. There exists wide cultural difference among the organisation. But the ultimate objective of the whole organisation is achieved by the strong organisational culture.

Hypothetical case: In the 21st century organizational decision making is largely taking place in a situation of vibrant change and uncertainty. Once the administrators choose to make changes within their association they must convey those changes to the employees who will execute them.

You have started your new office in China with the support of an old connection. You reach your primary contract within a short period of time. The work involves providing consultation and technical support to local corporation. This corporation is a joint venture. You will be functioning from the workplaces of the Chinese company, designing the project, managing the execution part, functioning with their local employees to get the work done. Your contract states a temporary evaluation after the design phase is accomplished, but higher authority promises you that it is just a procedure – they certainly want to work with you for the entire assignment. You evaluate the amenities and resumes of both organization and technical staff and everything looks fine.

At first the entire thing is enormous. You have got office and are told by the CEO to work straight with the EVP for the division. The working atmosphere is comfortable by European standards; the employees working long hours and all of them are unfailingly courteous. You shortly discover yourself enjoying the change of pace and pleasant features of the Chinese administrative centre. Later, you are being aware that the project is moving bit by bit but definitely falling behind schedule. Being the person responsible, you understood that everything is up to you to address the crisis. After the completion of investigation you identify the cause of the problem: It is the manager of a mission- critical department who appears to be horrifically unskilled.

We can call him Mr. John who is nearing his retirement. He has been with the organization his whole career. Your analysis shows evidently that the trouble lies in his application of conservative methods and confrontation with certain pioneering parts of your plan. Even though your dealings with him have been polite always, you start wondering if he is trying to disrupt your hard work. In an attempt to nip the problem in the bud, you move towards the EVP to discuss the situation. You go well prepared for the conference, with hardcopy records tracing the bottleneck to Mr. John’s incompetent administration. But he is not interested to share your concern for the topic.

Although he pays keen attention to what you have to state, he gives slanted answers to your questions to avoid the issue. But you make out better than to push too hard and suddenly pull back. At the conclusion of the conference, which was much shorter than you expected, it is obvious that he believes that you can work with Mr. John and he does not share your worry about the difficulty.

You do your best to keep the project on right path. However, the crisis started again and got even worse over the next few days. Again your investigation reached to the same place: the incompetent department head. You have dined with Mr. John’s main staff and forced them to share information. What they inform you about operational matters substantiates what you reviously knew about incompetence. t is understandable because they see no chance of bringing about any change in his way of doing things.

At last, at a main staff conference just before you must file your report, the issues come to a main table. The EVP is there, but principally as a bystander—as the big shot ex-pat consultant, you are the chairperson of the conference. You narrate the venture in a positive picture. But you consider you can no longer let alone the truth that significant deadlines are about to be crossed. According to your analysis 90% of the problems lie in that one particular department. When Mr. John starts to sum up his section’s work, however, he reveals a shimmering picture. Things are really moving along, deadlines are being met and surpassed; the whole thing is copacetic definitely.

You wish that all of them in the conference must know that he is hiding the truth. You asked series of questions that troubled Mr. John a bit. He gives vague replies and all of a sudden become pretty uncomfortable. People are changing their seats, a extreme change in mood. You suddenly understand that you have a made a major mistake. But it is so delayed to reverse off. Within the period of one month, the project has gone totally on wrong track, exactly as would have forecasted. Though, rather than taking action to set things right, top administration chose to re-think the entire assignment as well as their partnership with your organization. At the suggestion of EVP, they discontinue totally after design stage.

What actually occurred: Chinese place incredible importance on personal relations; any association has within it several interconnecting and compound networks of loyalty and mutual responsibilities. Virtually the whole thing in the Chinese is custom-made, although there is now a slow approach to westernized management style. But ability and plus point continue to be lesser consideration to the more important relationship magnitudes. In this case, Mr. John had been with the organization through his total career and every employee supporting him utmost. Conceivably the EVP had been mentored by him when he came into the meeting first.

He might be godfather to one of the CEO’s brood. You do not have authority to criticize somebody in that place. If you criticize, you are disrupting the rest of his network too. Your main blunder was that you criticized Mr. John in the presence of his colleagues. You never do such a thing. Generally self-respect is very important among the Chinese people. Chinese have a strong and deep-seated sense of personal self-esteem and despair betides the poor schmuck who disregards it. Diplomacy is very essential part, if you do not have that kind of attitude you most likely should not be fit to do business in China.

The feeling of poor quality, awkwardness, shyness and hostility that result from open criticism are unbearable in Chinese culture and this applies in the big business world just as much as in the community. When you condemned Mr. John in the presence of his colleagues and peers you committed a terrible mistake. All of those who were in the conference felt his hurt and most of them expressed sympathy with him far more than he did with you.

A last cultural conception that comes to take a part in this picture is that of pakikisama which refers to the important role played by group processes in the Chinese. Chinese get pleasure from doing things in teams. The outsider is usually measured as a little bit strange and inefficient.

In concluding this conversation, however, I would hurry to add that these social principles by no means cause a situation making it not possible to do trade in the China. For example, the norm of pakikisama recommends that employment teams can be extremely efficient in China. More commonly the person dealing with overseas clients who puts in a good confident effort into establishing and retaining honest affiliation and trust with forthcoming business partner is really appreciated by Chinese people. That hard earned assessment and regard can assist the perceptive and determined foreign person capitalize attractively in the quickly improving Chinese economy. (Henderson & Philippines, 1999).

Obstacles and challenges encountered in introducing change to particular organisation

“We live in a world full of change. The ability to lead change even became a platform on which the 2008 US presidential election was fought. Mastering change management is a key survival skill.” (Paton, & Mc Calman 2008, p.16).

“Change Management means “to make changes in a planned and systematic way by introducing new methods in an ongoing organization”. Change management also constitutes the management of the change and its impact on the people. In simple words change management is nothing but the new ways of thinking, working, engaging and interacting to build an organization. It requires a shift in our mindsets and mental models in such a way that we commit ourselves to making tough choices and implementing them. One important aspect that we need to take care is that, just because a Manager wants to implement change, he cannot expect that everyone in the organization will be ready to accept it. One can expect enthusiastic acceptances level of only 20% to 30% whereas the rest will resist the change.” (Raghavan 2009).

Change management covers in itself certain aspects like transforming the total policy of the group; include or remove certain practices which are under process. The change has to be taken cautiously at different levels and would have to be developed according the character, size and type of group. The manager must necessarily be aware of the basic methods and structure in the group or organization before pioneering change needs. To reduce waste and incompetence, to compete in the changing market atmosphere, to improve performance, to develop the quality and productivity of an organization or group and to improve management control and satisfaction of the employees: these are factors that lead to a necessity for change.

Acquisition: to support continuous development through the setting of new performance goals and screening reduces the impact on output. Stay away from needless turnover or loss of treasured employees. Get rid of any unfavourable impact on the clients, to achieve the most wanted business outcomes as soon as possible.

Logistics of change management: change management is similar to a voyage and for following the same; manager has to illustrate a atlas for this voyage. The map is illustrated in the following method.

  1. Portrayal of the change
  2. give details the necessitate for change
  3. who is answerable for the change
  4. how the change is going to be made
  5. will suitable support of employees be obtainable
  6. how this change is going to have a optimistic impact
  7. key roles and responsibilities
  8. the tactical plans of the association
  9. timing and resources available
  10. vision and purpose to obtain excellence
  11. details of the change process.
  12. Measurements
  13. objectives of the people.

Facilitating change: the manager wants to act as facilitator to cause change; assist staffs recognize the reasons, purposes and methods of responding optimistically. Managers can only just express and execute the strategy and cannot impress change. Workers need to be make powerful to facilitate them recognize their own solutions and reactions with support from managers. (Raghavan 2009).


Aims, vision, objectives and constitution: our mission 2008, Baulkham Hills Holroyd Parrmatta Migrant Resource Centre. Web.

Aims, vision, objectives and constitution: our values are as listed below 2008, Baulkham Hills Holroyd Parrmatta Migrant Resource Centre. Web.

Black, R 2003, Organisational culture: creating the influence needed for strategic success, Universal-Publishers.

Bimrose, J n.d., Psychodynamic theories, NGRF: National Guidance Research Forum. Web.

Henderson, C & Philippines, M 1999, Hypothetical case study: Filipino business world 101, Asia Pacific Management Forum. Web.

Organizational culture- theories, article, links: why is important n.d. Web.

Paton, R, & Mc Calman, J 2008, Change management, SAGE Publications Ltd.

Raghavan, J 2009, Effective Management, Indian MBA. Web.

Saiyadain, M S 2003, Organisational Behaviour, Tata McGraw-Hill.

Walsh, B, & Savickas, M 2005, Handbook of vocational psychology, Routledge.

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