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Posted on August 19th, 2012, by

For humans are social beings, their social environment produces a profound impact on them and the behavior of an individual and his position in social group can vary consistently depending on his social environment. In this respect, the individual’s liberty may negotiate different roles the individual can perform in different types of organizations that means that the impact of the social environment can differ depending on the environment. Moreover, the social impact affects not only the personal life of an individual, but also his professional career and, what is more, this impact is practically inevitable. In such a context, it is very important to understand how an individual’s liberty can negotiation his role in large, mid-size and small, voluntary organizations. Different social roles, defined by the type of organizations where an individual works, provide an individual with different opportunities to realize his potential and develop specific models of behavior which are the most effective in the specific social environment.

On analyzing the individual’s liberty and the ability of an individual to negotiate his roles in different types of organizations, it is important to underline the fact that the process of negotiation and the obtaining of certain role by an individual is a two-side process. On the one hand, there is an individual, who has a free will, skills, abilities, experience, ambitions, etc. On the other hand, there is an organization, which is comprised of other people who constitute the social group, environment which an individual works in. In such a way, the process of negotiation of an individual’s role in an organization inevitable involves the interaction between an individual and organization, or social group.

In fact, such interaction is characterized by the mutual impact of an individual and organization. Obviously, each individual has unique identity, traits of character, skills and abilities. In other words, each person is the unique individuality and unique characteristics of an individual can influence his position in the organization he works in.

To put it more precisely, some individuals can have strong leadership qualities, such as charisma, the power to unite and guide people, the ability to convince people, communicative skills, etc. All these factors can be consistent advantages of an individual to negotiate his role in the organization because, if an individual has leadership qualities, he is likely to obtain the leading position in the organization. In this respect, it is worth mentioning the fact that the leadership of an individual should not necessarily be associated with some formal authority. In contrast, an individual, who is a leader by his character, can have not formal authority but his leadership qualities can make him an informal leader of the organization and this individual can make other people obey and follow him taking the high position in the organizational hierarchy.

Consequently, an individual, being free in his actions a priori can negotiate and obtain higher position or even take the role of a leader if he manages to use his internal potential and leadership qualities. Or, in contrast, an individual can take a lower position and perform routine tasks which meet his skills and abilities because of his personal potential (Fogarty, 2000).

At the same time, an individual cannot impose his will on the entire organization. Whatever the leadership qualities of an individual are he cannot establish a total control over the organization ignoring the position of other people working in the organization and traditions established in the organization. In other words, each individual can use his skills and abilities, but he also needs to take into consideration the impact of the organization which can, to a significant extent, define his position in this organization. For instance, an organization can have specific organization culture, traditions and the personnel which have been working for years. The introduction of a new employee into the organizational structure can evoke an opposition from the part of the personnel if the new employee does not meet expectations of the personnel or if he cannot get used to the work in a new social environment. In fact, the new employee needs to adapt to the new organizational culture, its traditions and norms in order to succeed.

At the same time, the size of the organization can affect consistently the individual’s liberty to negotiate his role in the organization. In fact, an individual has the least opportunities in large organizations where an individual is rather a tool to achieve organizational goals than a meaningful unit, whose individual characteristics do matter. For instance, large multinational corporations establish universal standards, norms and regulations which are common to all employees, regardless of their cultural background, individual characteristics and inclinations. As a result, large companies tend to make an individual succumbing to the organization since the organization deprives an individual of a large portion of his liberty to negotiate his role in the organization (Greenwald, 2006).

In this respect, mid-size organizations are more individual’s liberty-friendly because in such organizations the role of an individual is more significant since the ability of an individual to lead the organization, to adapt to the changing business environment, introduce innovations, etc. is very important to the competitive position of the organization.

At any rate, mid-size organizations focuses above all on professional abilities and skills of an individual and the more skillful and experienced an individual is the higher position he can take in a mid-size organization, while in large organizations it is the position that defines the role of an individual, but the individual that defines his role and position.

Finally, small, voluntary organizations provide the largest liberty to an individual to negotiate his role in the organization. In fact, an individual is free to choose his position in a small, voluntary organization because, as a rule, all people working in such organization are equal (Greve and Taylor, 2000). In other words, they have equal rights and opportunities that means that an individual’s personal skills, abilities and characteristics define his position and role in the organization, to the extent that a strong leader can change consistently the traditional organizational culture, but he cannot totally deny existing norms and traditions.

Thus, in conclusion, it should be said that the individual’s liberty to negotiate his role in the organization does matter, but this liberty is, to a significant extent, defined by the size of the organization. In fact, an individual should rely on his skills and abilities but he should also take into consideration the impact of the organization. In this respect, large organizations produce the largest impact on an individual and limit his liberty in obtaining certain position or role consistently. Mid-size organizations are more friendly to individual’s liberty, but an individual can realize his full potential and be almost absolutely free only in small, voluntary organizations.

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