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Womens History

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The Northeast region of the United States has a growing percentage of an aging populous. According to the U.S. census conducted in 2010, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has a population of 15.4% over the age of 65. Compared to the national average of 13%. Consequently, the health care industry and other service accommodations for seniors are in high demand in our area. A major goal for hospitals is to make sure patients are as comfortable as possible during their stay. Some hospitals hire privately owned contractors to fulfill some of their service needs for patients. An example of one of these contractors is ParkMed, which provides valet service for patients to save them the walk to the hospital. Also during a weekday, hospitals are usually busy making it difficult for Senior Citizens to find a close parking space. ParkMed currently operates out of four states including: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, and Florida. The President of the company is Joe Audino, and he expects a "hotel concierge" type attitude for all of his employers. Meaning ParkMed does much more to go to the extremes to provide a positive service unparalleled to any other valet service. I decided to assess ParkMed because I worked for them this summer at UPMC Passavant (North of Pittsburgh), and observed conflicts between groups of employees that impacted the sanctity of the whole operation. Therefore, I will be examining the effects of Group Think, the Chaos Theory, and the Effects of Social Power. All of these theories will better explain the negative relationship ParkMed employees have between one another and management.

First and foremost, Group Think is theory first coined by Irving Janis (1982) a social psychologist, who was interested with both the negative and positive effects a group can have on the decision making process of an individual. The true Definition of Group Think is "a mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group, when the members' striving for unanimity overrides their motivation to realistically appraise alternative course of action" (Miller, p.145). A group within an organization can put their needs first, rather than the needs of the company. In Group Think, members want a general agreement on a subject without any other discussions on the alternative plan of action. This is a big problem because; Group Think does look into other options that may be better. Members may be afraid to disagree with higher-ranking members within their group, and some employee's opinions will be immediately shot down but the larger faction. In order to keep harmony within the group, employees trade their individuality for a sense of security. One may wonder why would somebody want to participate in a Group Think environment? It is because employees feel that they can work better together with more then just one voice, while in reality a group adopts the ideas of a group leader or leaders to make all the decision making for them. Inside ParkMed's company, there is evidence that some employees use Group Think to impact the amount of work an employee actually does. Full time employees tend to do less work than part-time college students working as summer job. The Full time employee's feel that their amount of work will increase if part-time employee's work harder than them. Since they do not want to loss their jobs, Group Think uses direct pressure on dissidents. ParkMeds part-time employees must oblige by these measures in fear that the group will ultimately shun them and be seen as "suck-ups" to the boss. In reality, the Full time employers used their group power as a defense mechanism, because they know that they do not attend college and are stuck working as a main source of income. While the part-time college students only work to make some extra cash. Since ParkMed prides itself on customer service, the Group Think principles of the full time employees can threaten the productivity and reputation of ParkMed.

Secondly, the Chaos Theory states that a small problem in an organization can eventually spread causing fundamental change to occur within the company. In simple terms, something very minor can lead into a major problem. According to Dr. Matthew Seeger (Hampton University) in his book Communication and Organizational Crisis, the Chaos Theory occurs during bifurcation stage, which is "the flashpoint of disruption and change at which a system's direction, character, and/or structure is fundamentally altered." (Seeger, p.30). During the bifurcation stage, chaos can spread to other parts of the organization because employees can feel they are getting much less than before. Whether it is a employees lunch break being shortened or employees watching as other fellow employees are being laid off, it causes a psychological feeling of "is it going to be me next" or "is that going to happen to me?" It is important to remember that all organizations at any time are vulnerable to negative aspects of the Chaos Theory. A way that managers can climb out of the bifurcation stage is through re-organizing the organization to restore order. Managers must communicate with employee's to find the source of the problem and fix the problem to the best of your ability. Employees and managers cannot be distanced from each other, because it will appear as lack of understanding from both parties,



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