By: Denise N. Fyffe.
Copyright © 2014, Denise N. Fyffe
History of Work
Since Philosophy is the art, which teaches us how to live, those who are most successful in the state are those who have the most interest in prolonging the state as it is and according to (Fowles, 1964. The Aristos) they are also those who have the most say in the educational system, and in particular by ensuring that the educational product they want is the most highly rewarded. Plants are shaped by cultivation, men by education. We are born weak, we need strength; we are born totally unprovided-, we need aid; we are born stupid, we need judgment. Everything we do not have at our birth and which we need when we are grown is given us by education. (Jean Jacques Rousseau, Emile, On Philosophy of Education)
Albert Einstein puts it quite eloquently when he wrote, “This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil … our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as a preparation for his future career.” In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilised in a planned fashion which adjusts production to the needs of the community, distributing the work to be done among all those able to work guaranteeing a livelihood to every man, woman and child. The education of the individual, in addition to promoting his own innate abilities, attempts to develop in him a sense of responsibility for his fellow men in place of the glorification of power and success in our present society (Albert Einstein, 1949, On Education). Education is used particularly for two functions, (1) to educate the individual as a free individual, and (2) to educate the individual as a part of Society. In effect all knowledge, clothes, food is produced by others in society, thus Society is owed a responsibility to contribute (that everyone must give as well as take). Certainly one should not just sit in a classroom – which is unnatural, unhealthy, and limited but to be active, out and about doing things, talking, watching, and learning from other people and other objects around them. This is what is referred to as on-the-job training, which teaches the fundamental principles of work.
According to Myaskovsky (2005) quoting Savoie, (1998), ‘Organizations increasingly rely on collaborative work groups and teams to help them succeed. Typically, these groups are diverse, comprised of men and women from different cultural, ethnic, and educational backgrounds. About three-quarters of the largest companies in the US have diversity directors or managers. Diversity is thus a prominent issue in the…. strategies of modern organizations’. The diversity that exist within these organisations ‘… is critical to the success of such organizations’.
Researchers have examined the effects of group diversity on task performance, creative decision-making, product development, and group conflict (Myaskovsky, 2005). Moreland, Levine, and Wingert (1996) reviewed this research and postulate that diversity has its advantages and disadvantages. The difference in education and gender ‘promotes innovation and helps organizations to meet the demands of an ever-changing market by yielding benefits such as, the ability to appeal to a wider array of clients, greater innovation and creativity and improved chances for organizational survival (Myaskovsky, 2005). Conversely, having differences existing in the work group results in the group having a tendency towards conflict; this can weaken their cohesion and lead to decreased morale and increased turnover (Ancona & Caldwell, 1992). It is believed, however, that the former benefits far outweigh the negative effects. Strategies and techniques may be implemented to improve the cohesion of the work group thereby, reinforcing and maintaining a successful organisation.
Gender diversity in work groups and organizations is an especially important issue. In the United States, the female civilian labour force has increased by 74% since 1975, and there are more women in the work force than ever before (Bureau of Labor Statistics Data, 2000). Women entering the work force will possibly involve themselves more at every level of the organizations, work groups will become more gender-balanced, and gender-based segregation in organizations will decrease (Jackson et al., 1995). Members of mixed-gender groups would have an opportunity to identify each other’s domain of expertise on the basis of actual experience rather than stereotypical beliefs. Wood (1987) showed that mixed-gender groups tended to perform better than same-gender groups because of gender differences in group behaviour. Men are predisposed to offer opinions and suggestions during group tasks, whereas women tend to act friendly and agreeable. Wood argued that it was the combination of these differences in interactional style that contributed to the superior performance of mixed-gender work groups. Comparable gender disparities have been established in studies of power, assertiveness, and authority. Even though various researchers have recorded significant moderators to these findings, such as task contents or settings, the basic gender differences found in mixed-gender groups persist (Myaskovsky, 2005).
Role speciality regularly transpire in mixed-gender groups, where men demonstrate more task-related behaviour
and endeavour to take on group leadership, and women show more accommodation, more constructive and negative expressive behaviours. These women bring various gender specific traits, skills and abilities to the work environment, which allows them to sometimes out, perform their male counterparts. Rousseau in his discourse said occupations are gender based as some jobs are desired or constant to different gender roles. It is argued there are fewer women in many careers, including math, engineering, science, and computers as opposed to the number of men seeking jobs in repair, construction, technology and other areas.
The behavioural distinctions between men and women in mixed-gender groups may be especially influenced by a group’s gender balance. When a man or woman is the lone male or female within their department or work grouping, they undergo solo or token standing. This status disparity produces differences in behaviour and performance, and these behavioural and performance changes may also change in women and men. This means that they may perform at a lower or less favourable standard than they normally would. For example, females tend to be subjected to greater visibility and scrutiny of their work, as well as confinement to tasks that are stereotypically feminine, whereas males tend to be evaluated more positively than female … for task performance (Sackett, Dubois, & Noe, 1991).