Choose a Topic OD Essay

Submitted By laxessv
Words: 1628
Pages: 7

The term social construction was introduced into the workplace and was strongly influenced by the work of Alfred Schutz ... The main idea of The Social Construction of Reality is that people and groups who co-existit in an organization can develop, over time, beliefs or mental perceptions of each other's actions, and that these ideas become adapted into reverse roles . When workers are exposed to each other and duplicate each action this is called Institutionalism, . Therefore, when reality becomes duplicated it is said to be socially constructed. While in the workplace these duplicated behaviors are seen as social norms, which may vary from person to person based on their values and norms. Applying this concept in my organization of higher learning (University level) will initially produce conflicts, due to the varied background of employees, but hopefully by respecting the norms of each employee the application of this theory can produce a unified and cohesive organization.
The main focus of social constructionist is to reveal the methods which individuals and groups contribute in the creation of their apparent social reality . My organization, a university, is designed by separate departments that function both autonomous and liberally. Each department has their work culture and sub culture, but ultimately come together for the common goal of the organization. While this process is somewhat effective, the conflict lies when the whole of the organization gathers for brain storming and problem solving situations. Because of separate social constructed relatives, each department brings their own norms. For example in the Registrar’s office employees are not allowed to listen to music while they work, while in the Housing department listening to music is accepted as a normal part of the day’s business. The differences in office p [policy is due to the norms that the employees bring to the department. The housing office which works directly with the students and their daily life situations is composed of employees who are under the age of 30, so they can better relate to the needs of their residents. The customers of the housing office are the students, and the goal of the housing department is to build relationships while providing housing to the students. Therefore, when students walk into the housing office and hear relevant music they feel comfortable talking to the staff about all, While in the Registrar’s office the average age is 40 and their client customer base are students of all ages and their parents, so the employees tend to err on the professional side, to achieve an air of confidence in their customers. While one may feel that the nature of purpose of the department may be the cause of the differences, the main reason is the influence and norms of the staff in each department. The office culture of the housing department has influenced and been socially constructed in two other departments, Student Affairs and Advisement. These departments now play current songs when assisting students and seem to create a more homonymous environment. The social constructed reality of the Housing Department at my university is slowly spreading to other departments and one day, hopefully all of the university’s departments will implement the music as part of the norm. Applying the social constructivist approach will provide a simple method when analyzing groups. However, the foundation of this approach is based on the results of society (the larger group) . Because of this approach when studying an individual or one particular group this one theory is not enough to establish the basis of knowledge one must also look at society and its norms. This strategy must be adhered to when focusing on the housing department, my area of employment. When applying this approach the social reality encourages open dialogue. Dialogue is the most important part of my work place culture, it is our social norm to have long conversations