Manipulating Employees?

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Changing Organization Cultures > Best Practices > Manipulating Employees?

Manipulating Employees?
Is this way of planned dealing with (changing) organization cultures not in fact a way to manipulate the work, minds and values of employees?
If yes, is this manipulation allowed, as changing the culture of an organization can be such a challenging and crucial task for its survival?

HR Communication
C P Singh
Yes, These manipulations are allowed and are of course a challenging and crucial task for its survival.
Changing organisation cultures brings in new values and creates better challenging opportunities and reduces the immunities and redundancies ingulping the productivity and efficience. This leads to cost optimisation and better results.

Flexibility of Employees
Khumbo Shaba
The influence of culture is crucial and must be understood well before making radical changes. Overall, it is necessary to lead by example starting from the top to the bottom of the organisation when it comes to changing certain aspects of culture. Well-documented and easy-to- read or understand standards of business principles or conduct must emphasise the need for cultural balance and flexibility in adapting to cultural change. The process is indeed a gradual one.

Not Walk the Talk
Joe Lock
Those are clever ways to manipulate employees. However, the employees figure it out and resent it. They see that most leaders don't walk the talk. It is: "Do as I say, not as I do... and by the way, where is my huge bonus?"

Opennes, Honesty
Kerry Oldfield
Good point Joe Lock. Surely if we want to empower people we have to deal with them openly. There will be some resistance & it will take some time, but only if we are dealing honestly with employees can we expect acceptance & buy-in. Unfortunately many managers don't want to work WITH people as equals, relying too much on authority which is not the same as power. Therefore low trust, poor relationships etc. This flows onto the way customers are treated by staff. Simple lesson here: opennes, trust, equality, integrity, patience, fairness - all make for a better organisation & results - not really manipulation.

Organization Culture and Manipulation
Philemon Maboe
Since we are from different backgrounds, top management need to manipulate all staff from lowest category to buy into the business strategy. Staff should be conscientized into seeing themselves as business partners. They should therefore be manipulated to believe in the vision, mission and values of the organisation. But managers need to act the same also, I agree with Kerry. Good leaders display and live according to the principles of their organisation. They display the culture and values of their organisations even outside their places of work. How we treat our staff is how they will treat our customers and clients.

Convince Motives are Good
Aden Ibrahim
There are many reasons why people in organization always resist change. I feel it is up to the management to convince and later prove to the staff that they meant good and had no ill motives behind the move (Change). Do not underestimate the resistance, this can make your live unbearable.

Need for Consultative Processes
Ray Chatwin
I agree with Aden when he says that managers need to show that they have good motives. However, I think that people also need to be convinced that the change is an improvement; in some cases, they can be right that change is a mistake, can't they? Don't forget that people throughout an organization have important positional knowledge that people at the top just don't have. Change decisions therefore need consultative processes that go beyond the tokenistic.

Middle Level Management
Everlyn Kemunto
There can be resistance to change in several management levels. Often the middle level management resistance is overlooked which can derail a change process. Consultative processes for change decisions ought to be all inclusive and not limited to top management.

Change Agents and Manipulation
Ibrahim Ado Saidu
I quite agree with your explanation on the subject. But, what attributes of the change agents must be applied to ensure that poor employees are not unjustly manipulated in the name of cultural change.

Trust and Confidence in the Leader
Lt Col Prasad SN
Competence, innovativeness, strong personality, smartness and adaptability and all other leadership qualities will pale in comparison to basic leadership qualities like integrity, loyalty, empathy and trust. Trust and confidence in the leader can single handedly lead to successful change management.
In addition, the national character can play an important role in the speed with which the employees embrace change. If today Tatas has taken over Corus, it is not only a 'change' but something akin to a genetic mutation leading to change in national character. Because in the known history India has always been invaded, captured, ruled and enslaved and not otherwise.

Manipulation = Change
ALL communication is manipulation. Yes I do mean ALL. Our only reason for communicating is CHANGE e.g. to change someone's mind, convince them about something, help them to see differently, show them that what they did hurt us, let them know that we DO love them, or HATE them - the intention is always CHANGE. Manipulation is change. What makes it 'right' or 'wrong', 'just' or 'unjust', 'allowed' or not, is the moral reason for seeking to make the change - and as such is completely subjective.

Manipulating as Job
Wiegmans, Business Consultant, Netherlands, Member
I want to be clear as possible about this: leadership is by definition a matter of manipulating others. An organization culture is a mix of manipulated believes, ideas, stories and behaviour. So, of course changing a culture is a matter of planned manipulation. By the way, almost never successful, because collective beliefs and values are very hard to change.

Various Forms of Communication
Jagdish B Acharya, Consultant, India, Premium Member
@Nigel rightly points to role of manipulation in change management. The forms of communication which range from information to coercion are Suggestion, Persuasion, Manipulation, Compulsion and Exploitation. Depending on the relationship between manager and managed, need for change and culturally accepted behaviours, various ways of communication can be used.
Manipulation is slightly towards coercion and may appear justified later if the end result is beneficial for both.

Live or Die by the Change
Rebecca Roe, United States, Premium Member
@Jagdish - Arguing your point, debate and explanation are also forms of subtle manipulation in that you are trying to get people to think your way.
@Wiegman - When you as an organization or as an individual have research or corroborating evidence that the change measures you or your organization are trying to propose are proven, then it is not manipulation it is turning the ship to the right course. And I agree the leader sometimes may have to go down with the ship.
What happens that disillusions most is that the integrity is not there. Leaders are more concerned about their place and are not willing to sacrifice. That sacrifice sometimes is an ultimate success for the next leader, but the leader that went down paved the way. That is not soon forgotten.

Manipulation Means Information Plus Force
Jagdish B Acharya, Consultant, India, Premium Member
Newton's first law states that an item will not change its state of motion unless force is applied. Similarly no change in behaviour, culture, organization etc. can take place unless there is some force of communication or otherwise.
When force is with information and logic, it is an acceptable form of manipulation and can be used by debates etc. When a person's weakness or vulnerability is used to influence change, it is generally considered an unacceptable form of manipulation.
The oldest form of acceptable forces are heaven and hell. They are used by various religions and find general acceptance. The intermediate scenes shown by debates are certainly acceptable forms.

Manipulation Means Information Plus Force
Fahrettin Otluoglu, CMC, Management Consultant, Turkey, Member
Manipulation for change is successful when it is for the good and welfare of the stakeholders of the organization, both the managers and those managed. Everyone looks from his position to the vision and assesses the outcome for self satisfaction.
Change management is the challenge to put everyone in line at the same position. We live in an open society with open information media, so fakes are distinguished very fast. So the degree of increase in happiness of the stakeholders over time is the real measurement of the success of change (provided the measurement is not manipulated).

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