In order to more holistically understand and apply the knowledge I acquired by attending the class on organisational behaviour, I have interviewed my friend Dahlberg Jensen who has been working at SingularityU Denmark as a part of the company Kostner for two years. In the following, I shall analyse the job attitudes and behaviours of Jensen, to subsequently analyse factors contributing to said attitudes and behaviours, making use of the theories addressed in class.
Jensen has joined Kostner two years ago and is responsible for the Marketing of Kostner's product. Kostner is a company that operates B2B. They sell an algorithm that uses artificial intelligence and big data to analyse companies' server environment and according to the results recommends a more economic organisation, by e.g. saving on software expenses like licenses by buying newer hardware. Jensen joined the company because it offered a steep learning curve, an interesting product and the possibility to augment his knowledge in the technology sector, which had been a passion of his during his business studies.
SingularityU is an innovation hub that started out in Silicon Valley. They opened up their first European location in the north of Copenhagen and Kostner joined the hub with its opening, as it hoped to profit from the co-working space environment.
Motivation and Job satisfaction
As he joined the company at an early stage, Jensen was not expecting a high salary. He joined the company because he believed the product to be revolutionary and promising and because he knew that he was going to learn a lot as the product is the first of its kind and it would need a new approach on how to be marketed. Jensen felt that the knowledge he had acquired at CPHbusiness would be complemented greatly by the work experiences he would make working for Kostner. This shows that his work attitude commits him to self-direction and he is using his job to work on his strengths and views it as a way of naturally acquiring new talents, hence he follows Theory Y in regards to his motivation.
As of now, his expectations have proven to be true. Jensen is encouraged to attend IT events regularly and is attending them with his two bosses. They provide him with contacts at the events so he can deepen his knowledge about the industry and he observes how companies in similar areas market their products. Above all, he enjoys bonding with his bosses during these events. Jensen describes the atmosphere at work as very pleasant, and if not for a meeting, the entire company is having lunch at SingularityU. In this way, he does not only get in contact daily with his co-workers, but also other people that are part of the innovation hub. He very much enjoys this, as he receives many inspirational inputs and engages in many discussions, learning every day. Jensen describes himself as a curious person and thus the work atmosphere matches his personality.
Since the company is very small, Jensen works very closely with all of his co-workers and bosses. This allows for an abundance of personal feedback but also responsibility, as Jensen is primarily responsible for the marketing efforts of the company. However, he is always welcome to ask his bosses for criticism and evaluation of his work, also during the process of developing a new approach. This renders his job less risky, as he does not have a hundred percent of the responsibility. This coincides with the theory of McClelland, after which Jensen can be described as a high achiever, as he sought a job that entails personal responsibility, feedback and an intermediate degree of risk.
Furthermore, the five core job dimensions are well served, which leaves Jensen satisfied with his job; skill variety and autonomy as he is allowed to creatively create his own marketing of the product and creatively apply whichever personal strengths and ideas, task identity as his work is identifiable and holistic – in the sense that he creates the marketing plans and executes them as well – and task significance as he knows the product is revolutionary and offers a whole new twist on the consulting industry and being part of bringing the product to the market is an important and honourable role. Lastly, he always receives extensive feedback during the process but also when his tasks are finished.
There is, however, one downside to the job. Having been the best of his class, many expected Jensen to rather join a consulting or investment banking firm. Many of his former co-students have done so, and now earn significantly more and have thus established a more expensive lifestyle. Being part of a revolutionary, young company pays a lot in experience but less salary. Jensen describes this as “natural to the job”, and says it would not bother him too much but he does not plan on staying on his current wage level. This shows that Jensen is a motivated worker who is working with the objective of learning as much as possible while following his interests.
Concluding, Jensen is very satisfied with his job and he claims enjoying his work a lot.
Job Involvement and organisational citizenship behaviour
Because of the company's size, Jensen is the one responsible for advancing the company's marketing effort. Thus, high job involvement is pivotal. Jensen has set up the company's website, he is addressing potential partners, runs social media campaigns and creates analyses of competitors and the market development. This wide variety of tasks engages Jensen intensely with his job and he has to be present as the effort that he puts into his work closely connected to the company's success. Jensen is very aware of this and also of the trust his bosses put in him and their confidence in his capabilities and professionalism. They cultivate a hands-off approach and a flat organisational structure but when feedback is needed are always present to provide it. This psychological empowerment and low formalisation that Jensen is experiencing is not only a factor of job satisfaction, but also job involvement.
Moreover, there is a frequent occurrence of tasks that are not part of Jensen's job description, but that he nonetheless takes on as he feels responsible to help the company thrive and knows that each employee has to take on this kind of responsibility in a company this young and of small scale. For instance, during the SingularityU Summit a keynote had to be prepared, but it was also necessary to address social responsibility and thus Jensen calculated the savings on CO2 emissions through the savings on software and he even though on including the emissions generated by buying and having produced new hardware. The necessity of including information of this kind was reported to the company late, and Jensen's bosses expressed their appreciation for Jensen's quick handling of the situation and invited him for dinner. In this way, Jensen displays organisational citizenship behaviour and it is rewarded by his superior. By feeling that his efforts are appreciated and seeing their direct positive effect on the company and his work, this behaviour is reinforced and Jensen is satisfied with the results of his work. He has also been involved in the recruitment of interns and new employees and has been to recruitment events where he advertised working at Kostner and spoken highly of the organisational culture, which stresses being part of revolutionising the consulting industry and using Artificial Intelligence to do so and using time more effectively. Jensen has been able to transfer this feeling of meaning to others and many have showed up to the interviews citing the recruitment events as and the discussions with Jensen as the catalyst to informing themselves about the job and catching interest in it. In knowing his excitement conveyed to others in an effective manner, Jensen is highly motivated and feels like his work has a real impact on the environment, and this not only regarding recruiting new employees but also partners; he also has experienced the acquisition of many new partners like ATEA and Dell with his help during IT events and meetings with said partners.
It can affirmatively be claimed that Jensen contributes positively to the overall organisational effectiveness. This is recognised by his superiors and contributes to Jensen's personal fulfilment.
Organisational commitment & turnover intention
Although Jensen sometimes feels like he is trusted with a lot of responsibility and he fears that he may not meet a standard the he deems appropriate, he always puts in his best efforts and stays overtime. He says to have learnt a great deal by going through these challenges and obstacles, but he also affirms that he often has been stressed throughout his tasks and the steep learning curve has had him feeling overwhelmed at times. He also had to sacrifice some of his free time, which was understood but not welcomed by his girlfriend of five years. However, Jensen thinks that these efforts are necessary to learn as much as he has during the last two years and he feels that he is part of “something bigger, more meaningful”. When unexpected work arises and adds to his workload, that is already considerable, he sometimes questions his choices, especially regarding the pay, since, as mentioned earlier and this text, it is much lower than his peers' from university working similar hours.
Since Jensen has been working at the company, he has made friends with his co-workers and he feels an emotional attachment and personal investment in the company. However, he knows that he put a lot of effort into the marketing of a product that is entirely the intellectual property of someone else, and that he will probably not profit greatly financially from the product's success, even though his boss may. He views his work as a personal learning experience, as it has been stressed throughout this text. He sees the relationship at his job as receiving experience and knowledge, but he knows once the learning experience is exploited, he is not going to stay in his current occupation. He plans to move on to another occupation within the next three to five years, and his superiors are aware of this. He then will be able to utilise the acquired knowledge and believes himself to in this way have an edge over others of his age and education. He knows, that in a small company like the one he is working at there is not much perspective of promotion and he has a very realistic approach to his work. Jensen knows what he expects from his work, but considering the pay and his future aspirations, he will leave the company as soon as he feels that his personal growth is declining. As he is very satisfied with his work environment and co-workers, he says that he will miss his peers and the office when said moment has arrived.
Summary & Recommendation
Jensen enjoys his work a lot and he is taking on a heavy workload and putting in much effort for his personal growth, but also the growth of a product that he believes in. He thus works with a deeper purpose, which may be described as the reason for his motivated and positive work attitude, which is well appreciated and supported by his bosses. He views his current work as an episode in his life that he will profit off for a long time after he will have left the company, and he describes his situation as a “giving and taking that both parties profit from”.
However, when he said he plans on leaving the company in three to five years, I would like to recommend him to consider an earlier leave. The product is promising and exciting, but he has already learnt a great deal and I cannot imagine him to experience the same steep learning curve for a much longer time and he should maybe try to leverage his talents somewhere else where he has more of a future perspective as competition is tough and he has to be careful to not become comfortable as he is quite emotional about his work environment and cares a great deal about the product and people. He is a high achiever that is smart and ambitious, and if he was to not satisfy this ambition through a lack of promotion he would end up disappointed. Sacrificing a lot of energy, free-time and wage earned should always pay off and I fear it might not if he does not advance to a different place in the near future.
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