Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive dissonance is the state of discomfortness that results from holding two conflicting beliefs. Cognitive dissonance can occur in many areas of life, but it is particularly evident in situations where an individual’s behavior conflicts with beliefs that are integral to his or her self-identity. In a state of dissonance, people may feel surprise, dread, guilt, anger, or embarrassment. For example, consider a situation in which a woman who values financial security is in a relationship with a man who is financially irresponsible.

The conflict:

  • It is important for her to be financially secure.
  • She is dating a man who is financially unstable.

In order to reduce this dissonance between belief and behavior, she can either leave the relationship or reduce her emphasis on financial security. In the case of the second option, dissonance could be further minimized by emphasizing the positive qualities of her significant other rather than focusing on his perceived flaws.

The other best example describing cognitive dissonance is the conflict between knowing smoking is injurious to health and the eagerness to smoke

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Changing Organizational Structure in 21st Century

“Organizational structure” refers to the formal and informal patterns of relationships by which an institution organizes work and distributes power. The bureaucratic structure is rigid, hierarchical, and segmented. It also dilutes individual responsibility. The net effect is insufficient responsiveness to citizen concerns and costly inefficiencies arising from excessive controls that ultimately fail to provide accountability to the public for achieving results. Whereas, some modern and adoptive organizations are changing to flat and has got a wide span of control.

Organizations should work through the following agents to exercise the change.

  • Organize work around results that customers consider valuable.
  • Shift accountability from the use of rigid, centralized management control systems to a reliance on quasi-market techniques, such as competition among providers, and concentrate on high-quality results.
  • Create partnerships within and between agencies, and create flexible relationships to increase the focus on serving customer needs.
  • Empower employees with the authority, skills, and information required to do their jobs, and redefine managers’ role to that of team leader, coach, or facilitator.

The strategies for change

There are basically four strategies to make a change in the organizational structure

  1. Streamline Structures

The first strategy is to delayer headquarters and streamline field structures. This approach targets administrative costs and positions. Therefore, careful study is needed to ensure closures contribute to improved service delivery, not just cost savings. Each agency must make its own administrative reduction decisions based on its knowledge of mission and priorities.

  1. Reengineer Work Processes

This strategy, which often is referred to as “starting over,” calls for beginning with a blank sheet of paper and then designing the optimal way to perform a necessary process, regardless of the pre- existing system. The process often produces radical change, with functions eliminated or redesigned. Private sector experience indicates that reengineering can sharply reduce internal processes and generate significant change. Federal experience, such as at the Defense Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS), suggests great potential for improving performance and reducing costs.

  1. Create Boundary-Crossing Partnerships

Real life needs do not always conform to the existing bureaucratic design of a program. Citizens often need services from more than one department at a time. Problems such as unemployment, crime, the environment, workforce training, and natural disaster relief demand a multi-department response. Cross-boundary partnerships are essential to helping the government address complex problems in a comprehensive fashion without adding programs or creating agencies.

  1. Create Self-Managing Work Teams

In growing numbers of corporations, work teams have replaced traditional management, often dramatically increasing productivity and enhancing the quality of work life for employees. Not all teams are alike in the responsibility and accountability they possess. But highly developed teams control functions once reserved for management: hiring, firing, and promoting; designing work processes; establishing production schedules; setting goals and performance measures; and maintaining quality control.

Attribution Theory

Attribution theory is the way of viewing people and their behavior. It says that people associates their behavior either with internal or external (situational). We may me wondering or often ask question, why we sometimes fail the exam or sometimes arrive late at the classroom. Those activities or behavior are guided by internal or external attributes.

An important assumption of attribution theory is that people will interpret their environment in such a way as to maintain a positive self-image. That is, they will attribute their successes or failures to factors that will enable them to feel as good as possible about themselves. In general, this means that when learners succeed at an academic task, they are likely to want to attribute this success to their own efforts or abilities; but when they fail, they will want to attribute their failure to factors over which they have no control, such as bad teaching or bad luck.

According to attribution theory, the explanations that people tend to make to explain success or failure can be analyzed in terms of three sets of characteristics:

  • First, the cause of the success or failure may be internal or external. That is, we may succeed or fail because of factors that we believe have their origin within us or because of factors that originate in our environment.
  • Second, the cause of the success or failure may be either stable or unstable. If we believe cause is stable, and then the outcome is likely to be the same if we perform the same behavior on another occasion. If it is unstable, the outcome is likely to be different on another occasion.
  • Third, the cause of the success or failure may be either controllable or uncontrollable. A controllable factor is one which we believe we ourselves can alter if we wish to do so. An uncontrollable factor is one that we do not believe we can easily alter.
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