The company – Huffman Trucking – was founded in 1936 by K. Huffman, an inhabitant of Cleveland Ohio. Starting with a single tractor-trailer, the company has been able to sustain its growth over time to achieve significant success in logistics and transportation business.
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Currently, the company employs 925 drivers and over 400 support personnel in its 4 facilities across the United States. Huffman Trucking is the proud owner of over 800 tractors, 2,100 trailers, and a wider customer base that includes the U.S. government and other big companies.
The organization is still privately held, with an estimated annual revenue base of $600 million (“Principles,” 2004, “Huffman Trucking,” 2008). Despite all the success stories achieved by the company to date, some managerial, administrative, and employee issues keep on recurring at the company, often threatening to reverse the gains made so far. It is the purpose of this essay to use some concepts of organizational psychology to make recommendations aimed at improving the organizational environment within Huffman Trucking.
Organizational psychology basically deals with the application of fundamental psychological concepts to the challenges and issues that arise in any business environment (Paul, 2001). The company has faced challenges due to sidestepping the issue of automating its fleet maintenance records.
This has brought forth consistent cases of lost and misplaced maintenance documentation and receipts, an issue thought to increase the maintenance costs of the ageing fleet. As such, automation is urgently needed. Cases of employee apathy, sex discrimination and massive inequalities in pay have also been reported.
The concept of psychological contracts can be used to solve problems involving employee indifference and sex discrimination. In any employment relationships, employees have internalized beliefs about what they are entitled to get in exchange of their obligations and contributions to the company (Paul, 2001).
An organization is able to achieve positive outcomes if such contracts are upheld, and the opposite is true if violations to these contracts do occur. The concept of fair processes can also be recommended to solve the above stated problems. When fair processes are uniformly applied across gender, job groups, and salary considerations, employees will be more satisfied with their work environment, including critical decisions made by management on hiring and allocating of resources.
The company will be able to exhibit positive organizational behaviour, ultimately reducing cases of employee apathy, pay inequalities, and discrimination based on sex (Paul). It is therefore imperative for the management of Huffman Trucking to promote fairness in their decision-making processes and inspire a sense of justice among all employees.
The concept of job design can be used at Huffman’s Trucking to deal with the issue of automating fleet maintenance records. According to Landy & Conte, “…a comprehensive job analysis can assist in design changes for eliminating or automating tasks in a job” (p. 200).
This analysis need to be urgently undertaken with an express objective of automating the section to avoid further losses. Furthermore, adequate compensation for job done and promotions can be effectively used to reduce the problem of employee apathy in the organization.
The organizational environment at Huffman Trucking must be structured in such a way that psychological contracts and fair processes take precedence over other managerial practices due to the sheer size of the organization. The company has over 1,400 employees spread over its 4 facilities.
To create an environment which is supportive of effective team functioning and learning within such a huge group of employees, managers should use the psychological contracts concept to instil the desired work virtues on the employees. In this approach, employees are made to internalize the idea that they are entitled to specific emoluments in exchange of their obligations and contributions to the company (Paul, 2001).
The monetary value of their salaries is directly related to their inputs. If such a proposal is internalized, the need to comprehensively supervise the employees will decline as each employee would know his or her position and expectations in the whole chain. The resulting employee independence opens the doors to innovation and creativity. However, fair processes must be put in place if the concept of psychological contracts is to be achieved as the former enhances employee satisfaction.
Landy, F.J., & Conte, J.M. (2009). Work in the 21st century: An introduction to industrial and organizational psychology. John Wiley and Sons. ISBN: 9781405190251
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Principles of virtual organizations: A primer for students and faculty. (2004). University of Phoenix. Web.
Paul, R.J. (2001). “The just workplace: Developing and maintaining effective psychological contracts.” Review of Business. Web.