THE GENDER ISSUE
MEN AND WOMEN
HOW IT AFFECTS THE WORKPLACE
OB Principle is a field of study that investigates the impact that individual, groups and structure have on behavior within organizations, for the purpose of applying such knowledge toward improving an organization’s effectiveness.
TOPIC: Gender Issue
TOPS Principle to be discussed is: PERSONAL
Principle: Needs/Capabilities of Men and Women
There have been studies, debates and misconceptions on the differences between men and women. One area of importance is how our personal needs affect our behavior/ performance in the workplace. According to Maslow Hierarchy of needs there are basic needs which must be met before moving to the next level of need. These needs affect men and women positively and negatively.
According to Maslow men and women have individual needs such as Biological, safety, attachment, esteem, cognitive, aesthetic, self-actualization and Transcendence . Each need must be met before moving to the next level of need. Maslow’s hierarchical theory of needs is often represented as a pyramid (see attached)
It has been said, “Man cannot live by bread alone”. We have basic biological such as the need to eat, rest, and water, oxygen and even sex. Our bodies react negatively if; these basic biological needs are deprived from us. We dehydrate if go without water for a long period of time. People have died from hunger-lack of food. And, everyone needs oxygen in order to function properly or it can negatively affect the brain and other bodily organs. Most of us today probably couldn’t imagine going one day without food. Unfortunately, many people have to work twice as hard in order to have a place to live or to eat for a day.
Once biological needs are met men and women have the need for security. Security is the need to feel safe, to feel assured that one is aware of what is going to happen ahead of time. Although the need for security has proven to be greater among women than men, insecurity can affect both genders negatively personally and, in the workplace.
Security is whatever makes one feel safe, balance, grounded, secure that everything will be all right. However, being overly cautious, fearful, paralyzed, indecisive, frozen in place, unable to function is insecurity. These negative behaviors can cause men and women to
America is known as the land of the free. Today, we have millions of immigrants flocking to the land of freedom and opportunity. Freedom is a need for independence and spontaneity. Similar to a teenager’ desire to explore the world once, he/she becomes eighteen years old. It’s the need to have choices and to feel in control of making individual choices. To some freedom can be combined with adventure. Adventure is the need for that “adrenaline rush”. The “Big experience” to have drama in ones life, sense of anticipation like skydiving and or buying a new car. Some people find freedom in changing jobs, solving problems or becoming an entrepreneur for the first time. Freedom can create a sense of high self-confidence, independence, risk taking, optimism, excitement, and enthusiasm. Adventure/freedom can create crisis and havoc if used inappropriately as a disregard for life or others such as, inconsideration of fellow co-workers, family and friends.
Both men and women who have a natural need for security can be affected in the workplace by sudden changes, unforeseen events, and threats to a job, livelihood, or even a sense of self. These are fears, which can keep them from functioning in a crisis, or cause a sudden negative reaction to their employer or fellow employees. Postal workers and financial investors have been publicized as taking their anger out on fellow employers and employees by murdering and critically harming them because their job/security was threatened.
Men and women have a basic need to be free of the fear of physical danger and deprivation and concern for their future. It is natural for people to feel insecure that they may not be able to maintain their homes, and/or job so they can provide food and housing for themselves or their family. If a person’s safety or security is in danger, other things seem unimportant.
Once physiological and safety needs are satisfied, social or affiliation will arise as dominant in the area of human needs. Men and women as social beings have, a need to belong, to be a part of. We have the need to be accepted by different people and/ or groups. Men and women tend to strive for meaningful relations with others.
Men and women also have the desire to “want more” to be more than just a part of the group. Both men and women have the need to satisfy a level of self-esteem and recognition from fellow employees and employers. Depending on the relevance of importance men and women has the need for high self-evaluation of themselves, recognition and respect from others. To a woman it could be striving to be the best “mom”. Satisfaction of this esteem need produces a feeling of self-confidence, prestige, power, and even control. One can feel they are useful and have some effect on their individual environment.
When this need is not satisfied constructively, people can resort to disruptive or immature behavior. Disruptive and irresponsible actions as temper tantrums, arguments with co-workers, and even avoidance or work restrictions. According to “Men are more like bulls in a china shop when they are trying to get a job done,” Taylor said. “Women tend to couch things more carefully.” Employee can express their dissatisfaction by quitting, complaining, be insubordinate, steal organization property, or shirk a part of their work responsibilities .
Men and women have a need for power to be in a position of authority and responsibility. Being responsible for people in a leadership position can manifest power, helping others feel empowered, organizing events, achieving success and even being a well-known speaker. Some negative attributes of power are viciousness, abuse of power such as dictatorship and, inappropriate control and employee manipulation. Violence against fellow employees or employers and even, sexual harassment is an abuse of one’s power and manipulation.
Once those esteem needs are met adequately, the self-actualization needs become prominent. Self-actualization is the need to increase one’s potential. Improving one’s self by earning a college education, writing a book or poetry, play the piano and even teach. As Maslow expressed it, “What a man can be, he must be.” Thus, self-actualization is the desire to become what one is capable of becoming. A college education plays a major role in obtaining employment in management occupations for women and men. However, gender differences are evident in the level of education completed. Women managers today are less likely to have bachelor and graduate degrees than male managers are. Because self-actualization is needed based, the way it is expressed can change over time or as ones horizon broadens.
As men and women excel beyond the higher growth level of their growth potential, being better at what they do and developing their potential they move through Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to the transcendent level. The transcendent level is the final level of need and, is known as the spiritual level. At this level of need men and women move toward the attainment of a fuller knowledge of one’s nature, and higher level of integration. At the transcendent level of need one has a feeling of overall love, exhibiting the fruits of the spirit and the use of values. There is a greater sense of awareness such as beauty and awe of oneness. This is the level of need where church, helps make sense of life experiences.
In summary, both men and women have a need to excel and succeed personally and within the workplace. Although they are different in many ways, they have the same personal needs, which must be met. The need to eat and rest, interact, influence, feel secure, obtain power, be creative and excel must be satisfied by both genders. The level of satisfaction may vary yet, each need must be met in each level of Maslow’ Hierarchy. When these needs are not met at each level, it does affect men and women personally and within their work environment.
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6. Boys Behaving Badly: Men Mostly at Fault For Rising Incivility at Work
The Associated Press
By Kate N. Grossman
The Associated Press
C H I C A G O, Aug. 11
1. Steven Robbins, Organizational Behavior (New Jersey: Prentice Hall 2001)