05 November 2009

Leadership, Reward, and Contrary Compensation

From the emerging thesis draft:
“If the spotlight is on you, then you’re not doing your job, especially in a leadership role…” says Roger, one of my research participants from a UCaPP organization. Given that the UCaPP organization ideally does not privilege one group or class over another, the espoused leadership concept of personal success only being achieved through group success permeates throughout all organization members, irrespective of their nominal position, role, or tenure with the organization. When considering more traditional organizations, the converse is perhaps more important: collaboration or teamwork that might be expected among the workers cannot be contradicted, neither by the otherwise well-intentioned actions of management, nor the formal and informal compensation and recognition systems in the organization.

Reward and recognition are often constructed as rivalrous resources based on the premise of there being beneficial value in creating internal competition in a BAH organization. However, the tacit but clear message received by organization members is that they are always and continually competing for their respective offices unless one has job security via a collective agreement, tenure, or other, similar arrangement. Teamwork becomes necessary in this environment, among other reasons, to establish concertive control in the absence of legitimated and explicit coercion.

The collaborative culture of a UCaPP organization decouples reward and status from contribution. In an environment of organization-ba – especially in the presence of strong Socio-psychological-ba and Identity-ba – organization members will contribute not only because it aligns with their personal values to do so, but because they feel valued - strong Economic-ba in doing so.

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