QUESTION 1: How would you describe Tania Major in terms of locus of control? Why?
Locus of control refers to the generalized belief about the amount of control people have over their own lives (McShane & VonGlinow, 2000, p. 191). This concept was originally developed by Julian Rotters in 1954 and is known to be a psychological term. In simpler terms, locus of control refers to an individual’s perception about the underlying main causes of events in his/her life (Neill, 2006). It can be divided into two: Internal locus of control and external locus of control.
When an individual feels that they are in charge of their own destiny, they are said to have internal locus of control. Those who believe that their destiny is controlled by fate or luck are said to have external locus of control. In this case, the case of Tania Major, she has an internal locus of control and the case study provides this evidence. Instead of “blaming” it on fate or luck, Tania has linked the cause and effect of every phenomenon. She believes that the occurrence of an event has a reason underlying and does not just come about because of luck or fate; instead, an individual can control it.
For example, the case study has the following words: “Tania’s view is that education and health are pivotal in turning around disastrous experience for young people growing up in these communities. ” Here Tania has linked the disasters (violence, drug and alcohol abuse) with a reason as to why they have taken place. She believes that the fact that young people did not get education is the reason to why they are involved in such practices. In addition, as far as her education is concerned, she is still an internal (has internal locus of control).
When she was in the community curriculum she received straight As and later when she went to Kowanyama she got Cs and Ds. She does not say this was her luck, but instead considers the fact that the community curriculum had a lower standard. In addition, the teachers are regarded as another reason; they were just out of training being sent to remote communities who lacked commitment, didn’t care and accepted the truth to be that white children as smarter than Aboriginals. Tania thinks that the aim of education should be deliver self confidence and drive which motivates students with the credence to make a difference.
Furthermore Tania exhibits that she has an internal locus of control when it comes to the link between health and education. She says in the case study: “People whose self esteem and pride have been decimated by substandard education system and a social system that creates an addiction to passive welfare have little reason to live healthy lives. ” She reckons that the health of Aboriginals is getting worse and the cause of this is that health care is too confined just until the clinic but instead its meaning should reach to people’s lives and homes.
Once again, Tania has associated the poor health with poor education and not criticized fate as a reason behind it. Besides this, Tania also highlights that young people should be responsible of their own lives. In other words, young people should be in charge of their own destiny which shows a major characteristic of internals. She says that, in her community, young people work with their elders to overcome the disasters (violence, drug and alcohol abuse). Her belief is that there is need to create an opportunistic environment for the Aboriginals through economic and training opportunities which will lead to employment.
Here again she emphasizes the relationship between employment and working with elders. This is evidence that she has an internal locus of control. Instead if she were an external, she would have believed that employment opportunities come only with one’s luck. Finally Tania considers that the early experiences in one’s life, personalities and emotions control behaviour as well as capacity to learn. If she had an external locus of control she would have probably believed that one’s future is based on fortune.
In conclusion, internals are well suited in positions that require initiative, independent action, complex thinking and high motivation. The overall evidence indicates that internals generally perform better on their jobs, but this should be moderated to reflect differences in jobs (Robbins, Millet & Waters-Marsh, 2004, p. 105). They tend to be more successful in their careers and are said to earn more money than externals. In addition, they are more satisfied with their jobs cope better in stressful situations and are more motivated by performance-based reward systems (McShane & VonGlinow, 2000, p. 91).
QUESTION 2: After her early experiences, do you believe Tania Major would have high self-esteem? If so, why?
Self esteem is the extent to which an individual has liking towards him/her self (Robbins, Millet & Waters-Marsh, 2004, p. 105). In simpler terms, it is ones opinion towards oneself. When one is said to have high self esteem, he/she has a good opinion about him/her self. It comprises of: self respect, self expression, self confidence, self approval, self improvement, self control, self acceptance and self love. However, a low self esteem can mean an “inferior” image about oneself.
When one is said to have a low self esteem he/she is said to have the following traits: self destruction, self pity, self denial, self criticism, self abuse and self defeating. (IntroCafe, n. d). In the case of Tania Major, she will have high self esteem from her early experiences. Evidence of this has been proved in the case study. At the age of 22 being the youngest person in the board of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC), Tania is ready and motivated to make a difference. She has the self confidence of facing up issues solely and with bravery.
An example of this can be cited from the case study when she spoke to the prime minister of the country regarding her concerns and this gives rise to the question: “Who could have had confidence to speak and question the prime minster of the country at such a young age? ” Tania shows her self confidence at the age of 22 which eventually means she is likely to carry this with her even in the future. Her self confidence base is strong and if the foundation is strong eventually the building will stand firm and strong. Therefore it can be deduced that Tania will have a high self esteem.
In addition self esteem can be shown when one has self love and respect and accepts what they are. Here, Tania has shown the three elements. For example, she is an Aboriginal and she has clearly accepted that and she wants to solve the problems associated with how Aboriginals are seen and overcome this violence. In addition self love and self respect are also exhibited in the case study. The case study highlights that Tania is the only girl in her class who completed secondary education, did not become pregnant at 15 and the only who went to university.
Worse still people from her class have been reported for drug and alcohol abuse, rape, assault and have been suicide victims. This reveals that despite growing up in a company of these types of people, Tania remained focused and had self love and respect for herself and it is on this motive that she managed to be way higher than them as far as education is concerned. Furhtermore, in the case study, Tania has demonstrated an aspect of self improvement which is a component of self-esteem.
The case highlights that Tania has been able to learn from her past experiences and this gives space to self improvement for her. In conclusion, the following questions determine a person’s self esteem at a work place: Is the job worthwhile? Do others respect what one does? Do they respect what they do? Does one believe that they are successful? It can be construed that it is important to have a high self esteem at work because it gradually gives confidence, happiness, high motivation and allows one to have the right attitude to succeed.
If a person however has low self esteem, he/she can lose confidence therefore it is vital to end negative thoughts if he/she would want to build a high self esteem (Perera, 2007).
QUESTION 5: How would you describe the “emotional labour” of Tania Major? Would you consider she shows high levels of “emotional labour”?
Emotional labour refers to the effort, planning, and control needed to express organizationally desired emotions during interpersonal transactions (McShane & VonGlinow, 2000, p. 211).
Employees of an organisation are expected to interact in particular ways with customers, co-workers, customers and suppliers. Jobs require more emotional labour when employees have frequent voice or face-to-face contact with clients and others for long durations (McShane & VonGlinow, 2000, p. 211). In this case, Tania’s job is quite similar; she is expected to stand up and voice her opinions and have face-to-face contacts. She is the youngest member of the ATSIC board and has noticed violence including drug and alcohol abuse; in fact she has observed her home town nearly becoming a victim.
As in the case study, this has made her take action against the violence. This requires her to display particular emotions. For example, when speaking to the prime minister she spoke with courage and this required her to do that. This shows that she exhibited a high level of emotional labour. It shows that she followed the “display rules” of her jobs. In other words she displayed her emotions as the situation required. Emotional labour is gets more challenging when a particular job requires showing a number of emotions (McShane & VonGlinow, 2000, p. 11). In this case, Tania is required to exhibit particular emotions when dealing with different people. When she is asking the government for help, she is challenging them as well as appealing to them. Here once again, Tania had been required to display different emotions and she did that which reveals that she has high levels of emotional labour. Another consideration as far as emotional labour is concerned is the extent to which employees must abide by display rules (McShane & VonGlinow, 2000, p. 211).
As for Tania this factor may not be applicable since there is no evidence that the ATSIC board requires her to exhibit her emotions in a particular way. Furthermore, there are also cross-cultural differences in emotional display norms and values (McShane & VonGlinow, 2000, p. 211). As for this particular case study, there is no evidence that the fact that Tania is an Aboriginal has affected her emotional labour. However research shows that one survey reported that 83% of Japanese believe it is inappropriate to get emotional in a business context and only 29% of Italians believe this (McShane & VonGlinow, 2000, p. 11). This shows that Italians accept people who display their true emotions at work as compared to Japanese who consider it ruse or even embarrassing.
QUESTION 6: From the text, we understand that knowledge of emotions in the field of OB can improve our ability to explain and predict a range of activities in the workplace.
People who have particular skills in reading their own emotions accurately are said to possess high levels of emotional intelligence (EI). How do you think Tania would function on the five dimensions of EI?
Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to monitor one’s own and others emotions, to discriminate among them, and use the information to guide one’s thinking and actions (McShane & VonGlinow, 2000, p. 213). Today, EI is considered as an important factor for an individual’s success at work and other environments. There are 5 dimensions of EI as below, and each of them is applicable to the case of Tania Major: i. Self-awareness: This is the extent to which people can recognize and understand their moods, emotions and needs.
People with high self-awareness admit and accept their limitations and know when to ask for help. They also appreciate the fact that their actions can affect others. As for Tania, the case study says the following words “She has been able to learn from the mistakes of past practices in relation to Aboriginal affairs policies . . . ” Tania has accepted the mistakes she made and it is the reason for improvement. However if she had a low level of self-awareness she would have not accepted her mistake and therefore could have not learnt from it.
In addition, she has appreciated the fact that her action will have an impact on the lives of others. Her plea has been to the prime minister to help overcome the problems regarding health and education. She has made this move in order to protect the Aboriginals, which shows a key feature of highly self-aware people- appreciate the fact that their actions can affect others. ii. Self-management: This is the ability to control or redirect emotional outbursts and other impulse behaviours (McShane & VonGlinow, 2000, p. 214).
An example of this can be cited from the case study when Tania is in conversion with the prime minister. Despite the fact that she feels the government is not helping the youth, she pled to them and was able to control her emotion at that particular moment. As far as that is concerned Tania has displayed a high degree of self-management. iii. Self-motivation: This includes stifling impulses, directing emotions towards personal goals, and delaying gratification. Those with high motivation remain positive even if goals are not achieved.
As for Tania Major she has a high level of self-motivation. The case study shows she has displayed emotions towards personal goals, for example protecting the Aboriginals which is her own ambition. Over time, even if goals have not been met, Tania has remained optimistic. iv. Empathy: This is the ability to understand and be sensitive to the feelings, thoughts and situation of others (McShane & VonGlinow, 2000, p. 214). Tania has a high level of empathy. She has expressed concern of understanding and sensitivity of people`s lives and how she wants them to become better.
This further can be illustrated with a quote from the case study: “Her plea is to be seen as an equal partner with the government so that her people can rebuild their own families, lives and communities in Cape York Peninsula. ” this shows that Tania is sensitive to the people in Cape York in terms of their feelings, thoughts and situation and therefore she is trying to solve the problem and improve people’s lives. v. Social skill: This involves managing other people’s emotions and includes the skill to form and build relationships. It is a combination of self-management and empathy.
From the above examples of both aspects it can be seen that Tania has both dimensions therefore she has a high level of EI as far as social skill is concerned. In conclusion, as for EI, research shows one can learn it with age as more events occur in one’s life and therefore managing each in terms of emotions can be an experience. In addition, despite the degree to which EI expresses managing emotions, the true fact is that there still have not been ways to train employees on this (McShane & VonGlinow, 2000, p. 215).
- IntroCafe. (n. d). Components of self-esteem. Retrieved November 26, 2009 from http://www. 12steps. org/founder/Mark/menubord/ESTEEM. htm
- McShane, S. L. & Von Glinow, M. A. (2000). Organizational behavior. New York. Pitman. Neill, J. (2006).
- What is locus of control? Retrieved November 27, 2009 from http://wilderdom. com/psychology/loc/LocusOfControlWhatIs. html Perera, K. (2007).
- What is self esteem? Retrieved November 27, 2009 from http://www. more-selfesteem. com/whatisselfesteem. htm
- Robbins, S. P. , Millet, B. & Waters-Marsh, T. (2004). Organisational behaviour. (4th ed. ). Australia. Pearson Prentice Hall.