In September of last year my post What Do You Need From Work touched a nerve with readers generating more than 200 responses! You showed that you are as passionate about pop-culture as you are about office dynamics and organizational behavior.
I thought it would be fun to apply Maslow’s Hierarchy to a mashup TV world. Two of the television shows sited in reader responses were HBO’s Entourage and NBC’s The Office. Let’s imagine a world where Ari Gold and Michael Scott switch places. How would that switch effect the individual work environments?
Start with a level from Maslow’s Hierarchy and imagine how it would be manifested in this mashup. Here is an example:
Love and Belonging
Michael Scott would try too hard to become friends with Lloyd, putting his clients aside in an effort to woo his assistant. Freaked out by his new employer’s affection, Lloyd would reluctantly agree to take Michael clubbing leading to more awkwardness than acceptance.
Use your imagination and have fun with this. If you are not familiar with these shows then tell me what other mashups would make for an interesting shift in work place dynamics. I can’t wait to read your responses!
I would like to offer special thanks to Jonathan and Rachel Horrigan for their Entourage and The Office specific comments in response to What Do You Need From Work.
September 29, 2011 at 11:59 pm
Great topic! From management class, I can add Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, since those are essential needs that most, if not all, employees need from their work. Here’s a link that describes all of those needs in the pyramid (rather humorously) from my favorite hit TV series, Entourage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6sX-zbqha8
Rachel Horrigan says:
November 5, 2011 at 1:57 pm
One of my favorite TV shows is the office. There are so many different concepts that we have discussed in class that are applicable to the shows unusual situations. One thing that stood out to me though, is Michael Scott’s leadership style. I believe that Michael truly is a Charismatic Leader. He does his best to motivate people by being their friend, and although his employees get frustrated with him, its hard not to remember that he has the best intentions, to make people happy. He displays confidence and truly goes beyond self interest to make sure everyone is in a comfortable working environment.
Unfortunately I was not able to find a clip from my favorite episode where he clearly discusses his style of leadership. It is episode 14 from season
2. He compares himself to his old boss, and comes to the conclusion that what makes him different from their previous boss is that fact that he wants to be friends with his employees and make their work environment a fun place to be in. Michael doesn’t want to be the type of boss that people are scared of and feel as though they have to hide from. He wants to be a boss that people feel comfortable around and view as a friend.
Although Michael may think that his leadership style is the best, I do not believe it is that successful. Sometimes Michael gets caught up in his own ideas to make their work environment more fun, and forgets what the real task is to make a profit and sell paper. Michael’s branch has even been threatend to get shut down if they are not able to make more sales. Do you believe that this type of work environment can ever be successful? Is it possible to have a work environment led by a charismatic leader that is so focused on fun, that the profitability naturally follows since the employees are so happy?
I believe that good fun will make employees happy, helping them to perform better but only to some extent. The fun should all be had in moderation so that employees are not so distracted that it prevents them from doing their job correctly!