Workplace Ethnography Assignment

Workplace Ethnography Assignment Words: 1457

Using my own observations I will look at individual roles, training techniques, hierarchy of authority and management-employee relations as well as compare and contrast the organizational demographics, extrinsic ND intrinsic motivations, and implicit and explicit norms with relation to many relative organizational theories.

By examining these areas of the business through my observations and understandings I believe it will provide sufficient insight to the inner workings of the organization. Woolworth Limited is a major leading Australian retail company, comprised of multiple divisions to provide consumers with quality, range, value and everyday low prices on a wide variety of products (Wholeheartedness. Com. AU, 2014).

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Woolworth was founded in 1924 with its first store opening its doors in Sydney, but now consists of 3,000 stores spread across Australia spanning business areas from food and liquor to petrol or home improvement. As well as employing staff in stores the company also has numerous support offices and distribution centers around the country which is the foundation of the retail service it provides to the general public (Wholeheartedness. Com. AU, 2014).

In 2009 1 applied for a part time position with my local Woolworth supermarket as a store person; though over time with the company Eve have been moved through departments from my initial position as store person to service cashier, followed by a move into BBS one of the corporations other branches, before ending myself in the Melbourne Liquor Distribution Centre (MOLD) where I’m currently employed to sort and distribute stock quantities of food and liquor to Woolworth branded stores around the country.

When my induction process began I firstly participated in group training and discussions at a head office where we were made aware of the company’s core roles and values, its policies and appropriate workplace protocols in regards to safety as well as anti-bullying and harassment; before finally an outline of my roles as an employee and what would be expected of me.

After these group meetings the training shifted to on the Job training and coaching at the locations we had been employed. This involved a run through demonstration of roles we would perform during each shift and a chance to ask the supervisor any questions we had relating to it, however once this was completed we were thrown into the deep end of performing these tasks with only the mentor intervening should we make an error or have a question.

After the coaching shift was completed there was no additional training provided as the skills and efficiency were acquired over time with practice; this was also the same training method undertaken when I transferred within the company to my current position at the MOLD. According to Kola’s learning styles there is a continuous cycle to learning that people progress through before coming to a preference and utilizing a particular style to excel their learning.

The varieties of different techniques include the concrete experience (hands on), the reflective observer (observe and copy), the abstract conceptualizes (theory) and the active experimenter (trial and error) (Kola, 1977). The training methods Woolworth implemented in their induction process were in accordance with the hands on learning style best fitted for my understanding, allowing me to excel quickly at the tasks my Job entailed; however for others not suited to such training methods it might have proven more difficult.

Due to the fact that Eve been moved through departments over time the main focus for my position has altered slightly from their value towards high levels of customer service and satisfaction to providing timely and efficient products to the general public through its supply and distribution system; though the one consistent factor the company remains dedicated to, as is common with most businesses, is to generate profit (Wholeheartedness. Com. U, 2014). These outlined concepts of the organization are explicit in nature due to being clearly outlined within mission statements or as organizational policies, however not all actions of an organization are as identifiable as others. Practices that are not formally told to employees but rather expected of are classified as implicit norms; which within Woolworth would be the culture of the organization (Yeshiva, Peach, Spencer & Azans, n. D. ).

On the site of the MOLD the culture is very ladybird between employees whom have close friendships rather than a work based relationship, often sharing laughs and communicating with more informal language, which compared with my time in customer service sectors, would be inappropriate and at times offensive. Despite the relaxed casual culture in the warehouse there is still a high focus on safety due to the operation of heavy machinery and labor intensive manual handling that is used on a daily basis, as well as a productive working culture due to electronic monitoring of work rates and floor manager supervision.

The hierarchy of authority at the distribution centre consists of site managers who oversee all operations with the warehouse and whom eve barely any to zero interaction with low level employees as their sole focus is to control and manage the warehouse so it may fulfill its role for the company. Whilst site managers wield the most power they delegate most of the lesser decisions to others so that they can take care of other important responsibilities. Those that take care of matters of lesser concern are the team leaders, TLS to employees. The TLS interact somewhat with employees but mostly handle workplace safety issues.

Underneath the team leaders are those that we employees interact with the most, Team Correspondents. TIC’S assist with our roles during busy periods and are responsible for supervising the employees on the floor, though due to daily interaction with this level of management affiliations and friendship are formed between TIC’S and employees. Despite the maintained social relationships the constant interaction with employees allow TIC’S to undertake a role that makes them responsible for negative or positive remarks on work ethic or behavior that go on your record for future reference during promotions or career advancements.

Using these descriptions of the management divisions Miscellany’s Acquired Needs Theory s evident within all three levels of management. This theory is a motivational model that attempts to explain how the needs of people in management positions affect their actions. Miscellany’s theory is broken up into three categories; the need for power where those establish control and influence over other, the need for achievement by means of problem solving, and the need for affiliation where friendly relations are established (McClellan, 1985).

Relating this theory to my workplace management it’s clearly evident the power class envelopes the site manager with heir overbearing need to control everything, those with the need for achievement are the team leaders with their endeavourer to meet targets and solve arising issues whereas the need for affiliation extends to the correspondents as they seek to befriend the employees though they still display traits for achievement with their use of the file note system to document employees positive and negative actions.

Each level of management in the MOLD falls into one if not two categories, though from past experience within other branches of Woolworth it also holds true for the entire organization. With the chance to be employed at a casual, part time or full time level in a multitude of branches, the company boasts a variety of employees. Woolworth employs over 198,000 employees across their stores, support offices and distribution centers with a wide demographic spread (Wholeheartedness. Com. AU, 2014).

There is no discrimination in the hiring process from race, sex and age to religion, employment status or disability for any potential employee seeking employment with the company. Across the organization the age ratio draws from the younger generation of 15-21 all the way to employees aged 35-50 whom have been retained or 1 5 years or more as well as a mixture of genders and races causing many generational differences within the workplace (Utilize, 2008). Unlike the rest of the organization the vast majority of workers at my current position are 98% male and predominately aged 35 and over.

With most of the employees in the higher of generation x or baby boomers even, most are extrinsic meaning a higher value of Job security or salary is placed in their employment; as opposed to the younger generation who are more intrinsic in nature due to their desire to seek personal careers outside their current role and working Just for the income rather than a true (Ryan & Decide, 2000). Motivational factors for individuals can be examined through the use of content theories such as Herbert motivation-hygiene theory.

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