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Impact of Molecularization on organizational behavior


... the tendency of any entity/activity/technology to adopt a molecular structure. ... Successors of Baby-Boomers, children of the Silent Generation. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Impact of Molecularization on organizational behavior

Impact of Molecularization on organizational
  • Bangkok University
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Second Semester, 2002
  • Molecularization on OB

January 26, 2002
  • Structure of todays lecture
  • Are you sure your profiles/assignments are
  • What was last week all about?
  • Are you comfortable with your case study? Some
  • What is Molecularization?
  • How does it impact your life?
  • How does it impact an employees life?
  • How does it impact a managers work?
  • What should you look at in your case study?

What is Molecularization?
  • This characteristic of the Cybernetic Revolution
    qualifies the tendency of any entity/activity/tech
    nology to adopt a molecular structure. Small,
    flexible, adaptable, expert units can function
    independently or gather temporarily depending on
    expected benefits.

Molecule (chemistry) smallest particle into
which a substance can be divided without chemical
Molecule (physics) particle constituted by a
group of atoms and forming a structure that
remains intact though changes of physical state
Impact on Individuals
Social Configurations Over Time
Components of Todays Society
  • Silent Generation (born 1930-1945)
  • Born with the military technologies that were to
    lead to analog, digital and virtual technologies
  • Baby-Boom Generation (born 1945-1960)
  • Born with the analog and astronautic technologies
  • Generation X (born 1960-1975)
  • Born among analog technologies (telephone, TV),
    witnessed and participated in the development of
    digital technologies
  • Generation Y (born 1975-1990)
  • Born with the first generation of digital
    technologies, witnessed and participated in the
    development of networked technologies
  • … and soon, Generation e (born 1990-2005)
  • Born in the midst of new technologies

  • Generation X (born 1960-1975)
  • Term coined by Douglas Coupland (1990) inspired
    by a sociological book by Paul Fussel, to
    describe a category of people who wanted to hop
    off the merry-go-round of status, money, and
    social climbing that so often frames modern
    existence. Such people are described as
    underemployed, overeducated, intensely private
    and unpredictable.
  • People born among analog technologies (telephone,
    TV). Witnessed and participated in development of
    digital technologies.
  • Successors of Baby-Boomers, children of the
    Silent Generation. Grew up in recession times,
    inherited debt and aging population problems
  • Characterized by individualism, resourcefulness,
    cynicism, selfishness, result-orientation, taste
    for experimentation, tendency to question
    authority, relatively high education, deep-seated
    economic insecurity, lack of social trust and
    confidence in government, weak allegiance to
    country and political parties, tendency to marry
    and have children late. Go-getters who are just
    doing it… but their way (Time Magazine)

  • Generation Y (born 1975-1990)
  • People born among first generation of digital
    technologies. Witnessed and participated in
    development of networked technologies
  • Successors of Generation X, children of
    Baby-Boomers. Grew up in economic expansion, end
    of cold war, blooming freedoms
  • Characterized by high self-esteem and confidence,
    multi-tasking ability, capacity to process
    information very fast, urge to develop a career
    fast, tendency to expect to be given high
    responsibilities immediately, arrogance, upbeat
    character, individualism, impatience, boldness,
    tendency to overestimate themselves, tendency to
    expect employer to adapt to them, optimism

  • Millennial Generation, or Generation e (born
  • People born among new technologies
  • Successors of Generation Y, children of
    Generation X. Grow up in crisis environment,
    uncertainty in the face of change
  • Characterized by awareness of the world,
    environment-consciousness, high
    technology-literacy, urge to grow up fast,
    disrespect for elders and authority, lack of
    proper role models and references, self-confidence

Don Tapscott says…
  • There is a tsunami approaching which few have
    noticed. This tidal wave results from the
    intersection of the technology revolution and a
    demographic revolution which I call the Net
  • (Blueprint to the Digital Economy)

Read in The Economist…
  • Why focus on these late teens and
    twenty-somethings? Because they are the first
    young who are both in a position to change the
    world, and are actually doing so. ... For the
    first time in history, children are more
    comfortable, knowledgeable and literate than
    their parents about an innovation central to
    society. ... The Internet has triggered the first
    industrial revolution in history to be led by the
  • (December 2000)

Are you Ready?
  • What do you think of this comment from Robyn
    Davidson The most difficult thing is the
    decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. You
    can do anything you decide to do. You can act to
    change and control your life and the procedure,
    the process is its own reward?
  • a. I believe in teamwork and consensual decisions
  • b. I am a leader
  • c. Let me ask my parents what they think about it
  • d. I am not a born-leader, but I can decide for

John Naisbitt says…
  • The bigger the world economy, the more powerful
    its smallest players."

Lloyd Darlington says…
  • We are in a world where each customer rightly
    expects to be treated as a market segment of
  • (Blueprint to the Digital Economy)

Impact on Employees
Impact of Molecularization on Organizations
  • The industrial, command-and-control hierarchy and
    economy are giving way to molecular organizations
    and economic structures
  • The new enterprise has a molecular structure
    based on the individual and adapts its offices
  • The knowledge worker (human molecule) functions
    as a business unit of one
  • Motivated, self-learning, entrepreneurial workers
  • The customer (molecule as well) interacts with
    the organization and demands fulfillment of
    unique needs
  • The new organization requires more free dynamic
    relationships among molecules, enabled by
    molecular technologies

Organizations are Molecularized when
  • The top management respects and delegates
    non-strategic decisions to its employees, its
    partners, its clients, and when the
    organization's ergostructure is molecular.
  • Added value has the priority over economies of
  • The infostructure is a network of light expert
    systems, autonomous but integrated, flexible and
  • The position is recognized as a business unit,
    the position-holder an empowered employee who can
    function autonomously within objectives and
    policy guidelines, and the supervisor an
    inspiring leader rather than a link in an
    authority-based chain of command.
  • The products/services integrate both the
    advantages of mass production and those of

Examples of Questions to Ask
Raymond J. Lane says…
  • At last count, there are already more than 100
    different devices that don't meet the traditional
    definition of a computer, but have the capability
    to access the Net. Today, these include
    Internet-enabled cellular phones,
    Internet-enabled television set-top boxes, games
    machines with built-in modems personal digital
    assistants and even LCD projectors with built-in
    connectivity. (Blueprint to the Digital Economy)

John MacDonald says…
  • Businesses must pay attention to the changing
    buyer-seller relationship, as customers become
    increasingly empowered through enablers like
    software agents and persona management.
    (Blueprint to the Digital Economy)

Dennis H. Jones says…
  • With integrated logistics, direct marketers can
    source products directly from manufacturers and
    route them directly to customers -perhaps via a
    distribution point that allows for custom
    assembly of products for individual customers.
    This is the basis for mass customization.
  • (Blueprint to the Digital Economy)

Smart Cars Molecularized Production
  • Want a custom-made car? Click onto Smart Cars
    Home page on the Web Try out different
    configurations and colors, enter your data and
    your credit card number and within a couple of
    weeks the car is ready that you can pick it up at
    the closest Smart center.

Employees as business units
  • Who was the (business) superstar in Tom Peters
    best seller Thriving on Chaos?

  • It was Mr. Paolo Azuela, a housekeeper at the
    Ritz Carlton Hotel in San Francisco.

  • Mr. Azuela .. And the bellboy who picks up your
    bags.. And the doorman who hails you a cab… are
    authorized, on the spot no signature from above
    to spend up to 2000 to fix any customer
  • There are many people with exalted titles who
    cannot spend 2000 without six signatures!

Thomas Malone says…
  • The fundamental unit of the new economy is not
    the corporation but the individual. Tasks aren't
    assigned and controlled through a stable chain of
    management but rather are carried out
    autonomously by independent contractors. These
    electronically connected freelancers
    --e-lancers-- join together in fluid and
    temporary networks to produce and sell goods and
    services. When the job is done, the network
    dissolves and its members become independent
    agents again, circulating through the economy,
    seeking the next assignment.
  • The Dawn of the E-lance Economy, Harvard
    Business Review

Read in IHRIM Journal…
  • Human resource management (HRM) systems will
    begin to look more like customer relationship
    management (CRM) systemswhere we must know as
    much about our people (existing and future) as we
    do about our customers.
  • (December 2000)

Read in The Cluetrain Manifesto…
  • "Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy!"

Steven R. Coley says…
  • An empowered organization is one in which
    individuals have the knowledge, skill, desire,
    and opportunity to personally succeed in a way
    that leads to collective organizational success.
    (Principle-centered Leadership)

Joe J. Jones 1942 2001 HE WOULDA DONE
Carol Twigg says…
  • According to forecasters, the average worker of
    the future will have six or seven different
    careers, each requiring new skills, attitudes,
    and values. (Blueprint to the Digital Economy)

Impact on Managers
Main Challenge for the Organization
  • The organization as we know it is breaking up.
    Sources of power and authority are shifting along
    with the new social configurations

ltJessica Lipnack and Jeffrey Stamps, Virtual
Paul Woolner says…
  • It is almost impossible for any one individual
    to be adept in all of the areas required for
    effective leadership. As a result, what becomes
    critical to successful leadership is a
    meta-characteristic to be a reflective
    practitioner. The reflective practitioner is a
    role model who demonstrates a number of
    characteristics, including continuous acquisition
    and renewal of knowledge flexibility of
    approaches the ability to incorporate complex
    and incomplete sets of information into decision
    making and a willingness to learn, to change,
    and to do things differently.
  • (Blueprint to the Digital Economy)

Risks of Conflicts -1
  • Computers handle tasks, while human think,
    create, decide
  • Time-sheets become irrelevant
  • Presence in the office may be irrelevant
  • Working hours monitoring may be irrelevant
  • Many conflicts at work are due to managerial
    attempts to impose obsolete discipline on young
    knowledge workers

Risks of Conflict -2
  • Computers handle procedures and transactions,
    while human must interact, find and analyze
  • Long chats with somebody at the other end of the
    world (in chat-rooms or by telephone) are OK
  • Huge amounts of e-mails require time to go
    through and respond
  • Surfing Internet is work
  • Many frustrations at work are due to managerial
    attempts to control and restrain interactions
    (e-mail watch-dogs, limits on Internet and
    telephone use, etc.)

Risks of Conflict -3
  • Computers as well as humans must learn, about
  • The use of internal resources contributes to the
    development of the intellectual capital Experts
    dont do their juniors work, they train
  • The use of external resources is essential But
    they are often best identified by the employees
  • E-Learning saves time
  • Many problems at work are due to the managements
    lack of recognition of the importance of learning

Risks of Conflicts -4
  • What counts is RESULTS
  • Individual / organization
  • Quantitative / Qualitative
  • Economic / social
  • Many conflicts are work are due to the
    managements recognition of presence rather than

Impact on HR Management
Wendy Priesnitz says…
  • "If our earth is to survive, we need to take
    responsibility for what we do. Taking control of
    our own education is the first step."
  • (Quoting her daughter Heidi in Challenging
    Assumptions in Education)

Case Study
  • Decision-making process
  • a- Top management handles strategic, operational,
    tactical and routine decisions
  • b- Routine decisions are delegated to middle
  • c- Routine decisions are delegated to empowered
  • d- Tactical decisions are delegated to middle
  • e- Tactical and routine decisions are delegated
    to empowered employees
  • f- Operational decisions are delegated to middle
  • g- Operational, tactical and routine decisions
    are delegated to empowered employees
  • Infostructure configuration
  • a-Traditional type (Mostly stand-alone set-up -
    Often less than 1 computer per employee)
  • b-Network type (wherever they physically are,
    computers are part of the infostructure when
  • c-Individual type (computers, assigned to
    individuals, can be part of the infostructure
    when plugged in the office, or not)
  • d-Landscape type (most computers are permanent
    parts of the infostructure, wired to fixed
  • Autonomy of infostructure components
  • a-Very little or not at all, it is a
    mainframe-based, monolithic, one-string type of
  • b-Some components are autonomous, but the main
    part is a traditional one-string structure
  • c-Most components are autonomous and independent,
    integration in networks is/would be difficult
  • d-Very highly, all components are configurated to
    be usable autonomously or in different types of
    networks with highest flexibility

  • Customization of infostructure components
  • a-Very little or not at all, you use mostly
    standard versions
  • b-Some components are customized, others are
  • c-Very highly, most components have been
    adapted/developed especially for your
  • d-Very highly, most components (or at least their
    user's interface) are customized to the
    individual user's needs
  • Compatibility of infostructure components
  • a-Very little or not at all, most components are
    customized for a stand-alone use
  • b-Some components are compatible, others are not
  • c-Most components are compatible within the
    internal infostructure, but not externally
  • d-Very highly, most components are compatible
    with each other and with external
  • Re-usability of infostructure components
  • a-Yes, it is a priority - all developments are
    programmed in reusable modules, data are
    separated from programming
  • b-Sometimes, it depends on the type of
    programming you do
  • c-Not really, most programming is done with one
    particular goal in mind, reusability is not a
  • d-Your organization does not do (nor does it
    commission) any significant programming

  • Products customization
  • a- None Customers cannot choose anything
  • b- Minimal Customers choose within existing
    range (choice of size, color, etc.)
  • c- Moderate Customers can select prepared
    options for a relatively unique end-result
  • d- Optimal Customers help design a unique
    product for their unique needs
  • Products Delivery
  • a- Customers must go to distribution points
    (usually quite far)
  • b- Customers must go to distribution points
    (usually close-by)
  • c- Customers can get delivery at a place chosen
    by them
  • d- Customers must go to suppliers place
  • Office Structure
  • a- Office is adapted to molecular work
  • b- Office is not adapted to molecular work

Study… 4
  • Select an answer for each of above questions, and
    justify this answer with examples and concrete
  • Review the above presentation, try to apply to
    the case study and explain findings
  • Review the textbook, find the topics that are
    affected by molecularization, and explain using
    the case study as concrete example
  • Provide conclusions and recommendations what
    should your case study do to improve its
    molecularization level?