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The book “Breaking the mold”, written by Lotte Bailyn’s is one of the influential books in relation to family and work issues. The book transparently clear focuses on agendas of breaking assumptions on work, life and gender (Bailyn, 1993). Bailyn asks workmates to look inefficiencies as Technical ‘Job’ problems to be solved and look the inefficiencies as involving people with different genders in the homes and the community. The book continues to provide countless examples of people who have done it at home and in the workplaces.
Cultural assumptions underlying issues
Culture can be defined as a way of life of a particular social group. The cultural differences cultivate un-matching of the scholars of work and family issues. The business environment of today is very competitive (Bailyn, 1993). The attitude towards the work, family life and personal life has been shifting over years. There is an assumption on keeping the work and private life separate in the thinking of many workers.
It is important to change work practices in the way to help employees’ lead integrated lives and maintain full productivity in the work places. The ideal worker in the picture of the employers does not exist in real life. Different countries deal with the issue in various perspectives. Some have social infrastructures addressing social needs and gender issues (Bailyn, 1993).
Taking an example of America, it is based on three assumptions of culture. The first one assumes that family and children are in a stated arena (Bailyn, 1993), the second assumption states that the care of the children and elders under the women and the third assumption states that career and identity are key to success. Most of today’s women are at work; this has left many families with minimal parental care and time spent with family is compromised.
Organizational constraints are hindrances faced by workers in the pursuit of satisfying organizational demands and family demands. The organizations are in constant exploration on new ways to increase productivity as competition has become stiffer than before (Bailyn, 1993). This requires employees to be creative and explore more ways of sustaining organizations. This approach consumes all the time individuals are supposed to be with their families creating organizational constraints. There is an increase in single parenthood and families with dual careers; all these factors rob time from families creating a crisis. Organizations should consider family commitments as directly proportional to the productivity of their employees.
The organizations are operating in a competitive environment. This drives at the organizations to have various incentives of increasing production. The moves to increase production require massive time from employees (Bailyn, 1993). This means that employees may no longer have ample time with their families creating a crisis and pressure. The organization must have a way of providing flexible approach to this issue. Organizations have made it difficult to differentiate public life and private life (Bailyn, 1993).
It is very vital to consider various factors associated to public and private life. It is necessary to consider the skills and attitudes demanded by the work and check for any overlaps, the conditions imposed in relation to personal life (Bailyn, 1993), and finally the personal preferences. Work comes freely from the heart when individuals are not forced.
Family as a complicating factor for organizations
Families are tricky to handle when it comes to the relationship with business. There is emerging concerns over the time spent with families and the time spent in the work places. Women have taken up many roles initially detailed as for men; this has brought about the crisis in the work places.
The professional workforce has evolved and significantly changed. As women venture into organizations and leave their young families, more time is spent in the organizations depriving the family the time they need. Many organizations drive at continuous involvement of all employees (Stiver, 1991). Professional success involves putting massive face hours in order to succeed. Unlimited time leads to children suffering from insufficient care from parents, elders and the community in general. Bailyn (1993) argues that society’s separation of work and family is not presentable. There should be reviews performed to consider employees and the organizations employing them.
Solutions proposed by Bailyn
Companies have different ways of handling the crisis; Xerox Corporation offers $10,000 to be used by employees in their lifetime career, IBM offers a leave program of three years (Bailyn, 1993). The employees are offered their benefits and assured a job on their return.
Engaging all stakeholders is very necessary in addressing these work family issues. All parties participate and the results discussed are respected (Bailyn, 1993). The employers and the employees feel part of the decision making it easy and flexible to identify with the outcomes. It is not easy for the two parties to get actively involved as it requires a commitment to results.
The council is the body that governs the operations of a process. In the case study, the council has the mandate to regulate the political process relating to work and family. The council can comfortably represent the private sector as well the public sector. A council is simply a body serving in administrative posts. The people involved in dialogue are supposed to be represented by both employees and the employer (Stiver, 1991). The government should endorse the government law which recognizes minimal national family policy (Bailyn, 1993).
Bailyn (1993) continues to state that, the approach to the design and practice of work should be different from the norm. This will enable employees to integrate their work with their personal lives and assist in the reduction of gender inequality. This will involve the public and the private players.
Another probable solution to the problem is coping up with the speed of time (Bailyn, 1993). Times have changed, and people should never remain in the same position. It is time we learn to adjust ourselves with the speed. This means that the organization will remain the same; the employees have the duty in being updated (Stiver, 1991).
Do her ideas work for the families in the case studies?
The proposed ideas would work for families in the case studies. Bailyn (1993) explains that challenges facing organizations in the times to come. Organizations have to rethink the assumptions of the career else people will migrate over to the competitors companies (Bailyn, 1993). The book continues to state that the management strategies must be revised as well as the time clock must be rechecked. This is because most employers are demanding more work and more hours.
Do you think they would work for you or others that you know? why or why not?
The proposed solutions would work comfortably for me and for other people I know. This is in the light that the proposed solutions involve the employers and the employees. There is a section that touches on the new conduct mode for employers; and there is a section that touches on employees conduct. The employees are requested to update themselves in relation to time. The employers are requested to come up with an agreeable way of solving the issue of work and family (Bailyn, 1993).
It has been very difficult to have gender equity in the work places. The major setback has been the goodwill; most employers are very keen on time. Employers want maximum production with minimal interest to family issues. Employers are interested with the tasks involved and the results. The book clearly proposed ways of addressing this issue. The ideal worker in the picture of the employers does not exist in real life. There is an increase in single parenthood and families with dual careers; all these factors rob time from families creating a crisis. Organizations should consider family commitments as directly proportional to the productivity of their employees. Different countries deal with the issue in various perspectives. There should be reviews performed to consider employees and the organizations employing them. Likewise the employers and the employees feel part of the decision making it easy and flexible to identify with the outcomes. It is not easy for the two parties to get actively involved as it requires a commitment to results.