Case Study (Unison)
Organisations and Behaviour – Unit 3
• Unison case study on organizational theories
• Unison case study on structure and culture
– If we have enough time.
Give an example of Unison using Taylor’s Scientific
• Clearly, Unison has moved beyond something as
simple as Taylor’s theories but Taylor’s influence
can still be seen in the fact that they have
designed their organization so that people are
trained the right way to do a job and if someone
leaves, they can be easily replaced with someone
Give an example of Unison using Fayol’s Classic
• One example is that they have a chain of
command and unity of command – each employee
has one boss. They also have division of work in
that different departments do different things.
Give an example of Unison using Weber’s Bureaucracy.
• One example is that they have specialization and
training. For example, the “fighting fund organizers”
will get induction training. Also, the callout on page
four says “…but training and support is given for this.” Therefore, we know they train. It also seems there is a
focus on technical competence in that you must show
competence before you can be promoted.
• On page four, it says “…UNISON has a clear structure. Within this, there are defined roles and
responsibilities at each level.” Clear roles are a clear
example of bureaucracy.
Give an example of Unison using Mayo’s human
• One example is the callout on page three which says,
“The best part of my job as an area organiser is
supporting members and giving them the skills, tools,
knowledge and confidence to stand up for
themselves and others. I get a real sense of pride
when I am supporting branches and members
through difficult times.” By focusing on pride, they are
dealing with the emotional state of employees, not
just their technical competence.
Give an example of Unison using Herzberg’s neo-human
• One example is that on page four, it says “When an
employer suggests changes that will harm members –
such as redundancies or a transfer of services into the
private sector – a team of organisers can be on hand
to work with the branch, supporting members in their
workplace.” The clear intent of this sentence is that
employees feel good because they are helping those
who need their help. This good feeling is a motivating
Give an example of Unison using Luptom’s
• One example is that they have a completely new
position, the “fighting fund organisers” which will
use new methods to battle a trend (huge public
sector cuts) which will hurt their membership.
They realize their old ways of doing things will not
solve this problem so they are basing their
decisions on the current situation.
Give an example of Unison being market-driven.
• One example is that they are hiring 100 new
“fighting fund organizers” which will use social
media to keep in touch with its members. Many
people want to use social networking sites for
communication and they are reacting to that new
desire from the market.
Give an example of Unison being a learning
• One example is that they are learning that their old
structure is not going to work well in the future since
they will have decreasing membership.
• Also, at the bottom of page 4, it says “a team of
organisers can be on hand to work with the branch,
supporting members in their workplace.” This focus
on teams also shows they are not just thinking about
individuals to solve problems. They use teams of
people, most likely with a mix of skills appropriate to
the situation at hand.
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