This article throws light upon the four main forces that affect organisational goals. The forces are: 1. Competition 2. Cooptation 3. Coalition 4. Bargaining.
Force # 1. Competition:
Organisations get resources (technological, financial, material, human) from the environment. As resources are limited, they compete for the scarce resources. Maximum share of resources is gained by organisations whose goals are acceptable to the society.
Organisational goals are, thus, controlled by the environmental forces (society). They are channelised into desirable outlets; that is, those organisations which are flexible and can adapt to the needs of the society.
Force # 2. Cooptation:
Cooptation means appoint outsiders to membership of body by invitation of existing members. It invites new members to the existing structure of the organisation to maintain organisational stability in the changing circumstances.
For instance, company can have outsiders on its board of management to have insight about environmental variables. Representatives from financial institutions, employees or people of repute can be appointed as directors of the company. They can help the company in furthering or modifying their goals which are more compatible with the needs of its stakeholders.
Though outside members are not active participants in the company’s day-to-day functioning, they remain aware of the organisational goals and policies and ensure that the organisation effectively works in the right direction.
They give judgments on important decision-making areas and help the company in exploiting environmental opportunities and overcome the threats to maintain competitiveness in the dynamic, changing environment.
Whenever there is a situation that demands review of organisational goals, they provide expert knowledge to frame or review the goals. This avoids unilateral goal setting by the organisations and prevents undesirable consequences that may arise therefrom.
Force # 3. Coalition:
Coalition means fusion or temporary alliance of parties. These parties could be individuals or groups of individuals like owners, suppliers, creditors, employees, managers etc. They are the stakeholders who are directly interested in organisational goals and how well they are pursued. While setting the goals, interest of all the parties should be kept in mind by the organisations.
In the participatory approach that is usually adopted in the contemporary business environment, these diverse groups of coalition members could have different views or perspectives about the goals of the organisation. There is, thus, bargaining amongst the coalition partners to arrive at mutually acceptable goals. This may also result in setting multiple goals rather than a single goal.
Differences in opinion amongst the coalition members should be eliminated for effective goal-setting as non-conciliatory differences can break the coalition which can endanger the survival of the organisation. All the coalition members are dependent on each other and usually arrive at a consensus on the goals to be adopted by the organisation.
Force # 4. Bargaining:
Bargain means agreement between a minimum of two parties. It results in a state of compromise which represents a win—win situation for both the parties. Different groups have different goals which are synthesised in the order of preference and through mutual give-and-take compromise or bargain, the most acceptable goals are agreed to between the parties.
Bargaining typically refers to the negotiation, administration, and interpretation of a written agreement between two parties that covers a specific period of time. It specifies the expectations of management and other groups from each other, that is, what do managers expect from the other groups and what are the limitations placed on exercise of their authority. “It is a process in which representatives of two groups meet and attempt to negotiate an agreement that specifies the nature of future relationships between the two.”
Both the parties try to understand each others’ view point, enter into healthy discussions, feel committed to each other, think of the other party as cooperative and trustworthy and arrive at a solution which results in gain to both of them.
It results in a mutually acceptable solution. The method of bargaining is usually in the form of quality circles, entering into profit-sharing plans with management and in certain cases, representation of group members on the board of directors.
For example, the group members may not want the company to change the existing technology. The company may, on the other hand, want to add more products to the existing product line through change in technology.
As workers fear learning new skills or loss of jobs or economic stagnation as a result of technology up-gradation, bargain can be made between the management and the work group where job security and economic incentives are guaranteed by the management to reduce resistance to change. Overcoming resistance to change results in a mutually acceptable solution to both the parties.