Queen's University IRC

Organization Development

Non-cash Incentives: How Effective Are They in Canadian Organizations?

The current operating environment, characterized by mandates to control costs, challenges organizations to find innovative ways to reward their employees. Motivational and compensation research indicates that money is not an employee’s primary motivation to work; firms, therefore, are turning to the practice of non-cash incentives such as incentive travel. This research examines the effectiveness of …

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Lechery’s Toll

Jana Raver, Assistant Professor and E. Marie Shantz, Research Fellow in Organizational Behaviour at the Queen’s School of Business, is an expert in counterproductive behaviours at work. We spoke to her upon the release of her ground-breaking study, “Beyond the individual victim: Linking sexual harassment, team processes, and team performance.” Managers and leaders may be …

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Incentive Pay, Teams and Earnings: Evidence from Toronto Firms

The use of ‘high-performance’ workplace practices and incentive pay plans have received considerable attention from researchers. Little is known, however, about human resource practices in non-manufacturing and non-case study settings. Moreover, for incentive pay, few studies have actually observed compensation contracts. This paper examines the relationship between several workplace practices and earnings using unique employee-employer …

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High Performance Teams in Primary Care: The Basis of Interdisciplinary Collaborative Care

One of the fundamental challenges of Primary Health Care Reform is the establishment of collaborative health care teams to meet the needs of patients and society in a timely and effective manner. The characteristics of effective primary care team function have not been well studied. Millward and Ramsay (1998) used the Cognitive Motivational Model to …

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Follow These Leaders

As part of their research on leadership development, Queen’s IRC Facilitator Françoise Morissette (FM) and fellow consultant Amal Henein (AH) have interviewed 200 leaders from across Canada: executives, entrepreneurs, politicians, civil servants, fundraisers, activists, artists, journalists, athletes, coaches. While their book, Leadership Development, Maple Leaf Style, is slated for publication in 2006, they gave us …

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Designing for Health and Safety

Christina Sutcliffe, Queen’s IRC Research Associate, chats with Prof. Nick Turner of Queen’s School of Business on the link between organizational design and health and safety “You can’t direct people into perfection; you can only engage them enough so that they want to do perfect work” —Margaret Wheatley, consultant, author, and President of The Berkana …

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Dealing with Work-Life Issues in the Workplace: Standing Still is Not an Option

The Don Wood Lecture in Industrial Relations was established by friends of W. Donald Wood to honour his outstanding contribution to Canadian industrial relations. Dr Wood was Director of the Industrial Relations Centre from 1960 to 1985, and the first Director of the School of Industrial Relations, established in 1983. The lecture brings to Queen’s …

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Exploring “The Whole Elephant” and Finding Common Ground

He is a major mover in organization development and, we are proud to say, a Queen’s IRC Facilitator. Marvin Weisbord is also author of the seminal books “Productive Workplaces and Future Search: An Action Guide to Finding Common Ground in Organizations and Communities” (co-authored with Sandra Janoff). A “future search” is a planning meeting that …

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Training in the Team-Based Organization

Team-based organizations are growing at a rapid pace. Recent research estimates that `40 to 50 percent of the workforce could be in some kind of empowered work team environment by the turn of the century' (Manz et al. 1997, 4). In addition, as global competition forces organizations to become more productive `there is growing consensus that training must be at the forefront of their attempts to do so' (Martocchio and Baldwin 1997, 7).

Team Training: A Brief Look at the Options

Training is increasingly being recognized as integral to the effectiveness and performance of teams and to the satisfaction of team members. While the methods of team training vary depending on the developmental stage of the team and the reason for the training, most team training falls within the following types: in-house, off-site, simulation/role playing, peer-to-peer, and multi-team training, as well as self-directed learning.

Self-Directed Work Teams: A Brief Description

Faced with global competition and rapid technological change, companies are forced to develop new organizational structures to meet the challenges facing them. One alternative that has gained popularity in recent years is the team-based organization. While there are varying approaches to the designing of a team environment, one common approach is the self-directed work team (SDWT). The SDWT is responsible for a relatively whole task, not just part of a job, and each of the team members possesses a variety of skills relevant to that task.

Team Training: Does It Increase Satisfaction and Improve Performance?

In the global environment of increasing technological change, companies are looking for alternatives to traditional hierarchical organizational structures in order to maintain the competitive advantage that is necessary for their survival. Increasingly, they are turning to self-directed work teams in pursuit of high performance. But building team-based organizations requires challenging behavioural changes and a well-designed program that provides training not only in technical but also in personal skills. Based on her study of seven work teams in five Canadian organizations, the author provides detailed advice on how to design a training program that will succeed.

Work Re-organization in Canada: An Overview of Developments

The current restructuring of the Canadian economy is leading to a number of workplace changes, designed both to increase the productivity and competitiveness performance of firms and improve the work environment for employees.  This paper provides a comprehensive overview of work organization through increased employee participation in decision-making. As well, other aspects of workplace change will at times be referred to given the close interrelationships between the different aspects of workplace change.


Worker Cooperation and Technical Change

This paper explores the relationship between worker cooperation with technical change and international competitiveness. It outlines the reasons why worker cooperation is important, how it is (and is not) obtained, and assesses the likelihood that Canadian companies can achieve it. The conclusions are not entirely pessimistic. While it is often very hard to create a cooperative attitude where there was none before, there have been some remarkable success stories.

Telecommunting: A Trend Towards the Hoffice

Although telecommuting – defined here as working at home using electronic communications technology linked to the employer's central office – has been under way in Canadian organizations to varying degrees for some time, it is only in the last few years that it has been formally implemented in some Canadian companies. There is every indication that telecommuting will become much more prevalent in North America during the next ten years.

Facilitating Organizational Commitment Through Human Resource Practices

High organizational commitment has consistently been associated with lower employee turnover, decreased absenteeism, longer job tenure, and in several studies, enhanced performance. These aspects of employee behaviour are of strategic concern to organizations. This paper brings the extensive academic knowledge of organizational commitment together in one essay for use by organizational practitioners.

An Evaluation of Employee Involvement Initiatives in Canada

This paper examines employee involvement initiatives in order to determine what firm-level factors have contributed to the slow development of such programs in Canada. Six cases studies were analyzed and several hypotheses were formulated about the conditions necessary for employee involvement programs to succeed. An examination of the factors which influence the firm-level players revealed that several obstacles exist which may prevent these conditions from being realized.

Employee Ownership: How Do You Spell Success?

In this paper the authors look at the evidence of increased employee ownership in Canada. Employee ownership of a company may involve a 100 percent buyout to avoid closure, a transfer of ownership to employees (e.g., at the retirement of the owner), or the establishment of a company stock purchase plan. The paper looks at case studies of seven employee-owned firms in Canada. The studies show that employee ownership has meant survival, a return to profitability, and in many situations continued growth for these companies.

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