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The Organizational Skill: COMPATHY (Part 6)

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Note from the Editor:  This is the final piece in a series of  6 articles written by the author, Vardar Çobanoğlu.  The full series is a compelling piece on Organizational Behavior, Human Resources, and Corporate Management.  You can read the other parts and find the author’s other articles here.

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A New Model for Achieving the Overall Performance and Labor Peace

The “raison d’être” of a Business Enterprise is the Entrepreneur’s CONCEPT or Goals it1 would like to realize through this entity. Modest Concepts can be achieved via the smallest Single Proprietorship where the Entrepreneur may even assume the roles and functions of the Managers and Employees. As Concepts get more ambitious and consequently more complex in terms of Operations, Organization, Planning, Coordinating, and Control, the one-man show is not feasible anymore and the Business Enterprise requires additional People as Partners, Managers, and Employees, each with its own COMPETENCES along with its Needs/Wants, Resources, Skills/Systems and Behavior.

A new model for achieving the Entrepreneurial Concepts with appropriate Corporate Competences while ensuring the Overall Performance and maintaining the Labor Peace with the concerned parties’ respective satisfaction, is the OCTAHEDRAL MANAGEMENT APPROACH (OMA)2 where the 4 cardinal points (i.e. Resources=R, Skills/Systems=SS, Needs/Wants=NW and Behavior=B) are reciprocally shared by the Entrepreneurial (the Employer), Administrative (the Management) and Performing (the Employees) Constituents of the Business Enterprise as illustrated by the following prismatic configuration:


For this approach to function well and maintain its delicate balance, COMPATHY, as the Reciprocal Recognition of respective Competences through Responsive Constructive Communication,  should be definitely adopted and sincerely practiced by all parties in the Business Enterprise:

  1. If the Employer does not properly recognize its Corporate Needs/Wants, it will not be able to determine the Conceptrelated Goals and consequently the Overall Performance will remain at a standstill in the short-run, but subsequently decline as outperformed by the Competition. Loyal Managers and Employees might continue to contribute their best for some time, but then, they might leave in frustration and desperation. The sub-performers’ greasings or the interest-seekers’ fantasies might get credit instead of competent Managers’ critical thinking or professional advisors’ recipes, the decline accelerating and potential losses exponentially increasing along with wishful thinking, incapacity or dishonesty.
  1. If the Employer does not recognize the insufficiency or strength of its own Resources and Skills/Systems,it can not provide for or fully mobilize them, hence it may not optimize its Goals, and might go through the previous situations, sooner or later.
  1. If the Employer does not recognize the excesses or lacks of its own or its Managers’ and Employees’ Behavior, the Labor Peace will deteriorate with gradually increasing reactions and counter-actions such as Lock-out vs Strike, Suppression and Aggression of all kinds, or good Managers and Employees will leave, at worst to the Competition.
  1. If the Employer does not recognize or properly communicate its opinion on its Managers’ and Employees’ Resources and Skills/Systems, it cannot make full use of their potential and consequently may:
    • enroll them to unnecessary trainings causing further frustrations, or
    • force them to resign or simply dismiss them, blaming them for under- or misperformance, or
    • reluctantly keep them until finding supposedly better, but more expensive replacements, or else
    • overstaff and provoke dangerous intracompany competitions,

all such practices resulting in the deterioration of the Labor Peace as well as the Overall Performance.

  1. If the Employer does not recognize or properly communicate its good intentions about its Managers’ and/or Employees’ Needs/Wants, willingly or unconsciously, it might lead them, to the following individual or collective processes:
    • Disappointment => Reactive Resignation with/out Legal Action,
    • Affiliated Rationalization => Frustration after Persistence of Non-recognition => Demotivation => Inefficiency => Reluctant Resignation or Dismissal,
    • Over-achievement for Improvements => Desperation after Persistence of Non-recognition => Disinterest => Unexpected Resignation with/out Legal Action,
    • Passive Opposition => Lobbying => Dismissal with/out Legal Action,
    • Exasperation => Revenge => Abuse => Dismissal with Legal Action,
    • Distrust => Hostility => Confrontation => Revolt => Strike or Lock-out,

all affecting the Labor Peace as well as the Overall Performance. Hence, two situations along with the famous Turkish sayings should be avoided: “The Well-fed does not realize the Hungry’s State!” as well as “Stealing comes from Scarcity, as Impudence from Plenty!”

  1. If the Managers do not recognize the Behavior expected from them in line with their recognized Resources and Skills/Systems as their intermediate status of Performance Administration as well as Communication Channel between the Employer and the Employees, then they might:
    • get discredited and immediately replaced by a powerful Employer,
    • be exploited by the Employees up until bypassing them and directly communicating with an easy-going Employer who might even lose the total control beyond restitution,
    • form their oligarchic junta with a strong grip on the Employees against a weak Employer by Nature (i.e. the Entrepreneur’s Inheritors lacking Vigilance) or Structure (i.e. Micronized Partnerships).
  1. If the Managers do not recognize the Employer’s Behavior and Needs/ Wants by acting insensitively, they get discredited and immediately replaced. If they do the same to the Employees, then, depending on the latter’s conditions along with the Labor Contract, Law and Market, they might:
    • pursue their endeavor up until the Overall Performance is affected, or
    • realize that the attrition rate can not be compensated because of the bad corporate image discouraging new job applications, or else
    • back down by the Employer’s inevitable intervention as the Employees’ opposition starts deteriorating the Labor Peace.
  1. If the Managers do not recognize the insufficiency of the Corporate Resources and Skills/Systems also including the Employees’, they will be:
    • blamed for eventual Sub-performances or Failures, because they had not flashed the proper signals on time, but turned their ventures into an adventure, or
    • discredited and immediately dismissed along with their intra- or extra-company rivals’ relevant criticisms and warnings to the Employer.

Moreover, if they do not recognize the strength of the Corporate Resources and Skills/Systems also including the Employees’, their own Recognition will suffer either at their very candidacy or their Mismanagement will be very short-lived.

  1. If either or both of the Managers and the Employees misuse or abuse the Employer’s Competences, not only their undertakings, but their future career might be penalized by Legal Action.
  1. Even if unionized, the Employees’ NON-RECOGNITION ACTS towards  either or both of the Employer’s and the Managers’ Competences at work, are rewarded by dismissal, because their Recognition is the prerequisite of their very employment.

The adoption and implementation of COMPATHY as the fundamental activator of the Corporate Culture, first by the Employer, nurtures the Managers’ and then the Employees’  TRUST in OMA. Consequently, the integration of the Psychological Harmony and the Organizational Reconciliation as COMPATIBILITY is attained. Next, CONSENSUS on the relative and respective priorities and COMMITMENT in executing the related Strategies, Plans and Policies as well as fairly sharing their outcomes by the Employer,the Managers and the Employees altogether, result in the Labor Peace and the Overall Performance. Finally, the concerned parties’ respective satisfaction evidences the Success of the model and thus ensures the CONTINUITY of the system.

Similar to its microscale Corporate application, the COMPATHY-driven OCTAHEDRAL MANAGEMENT APPROACH might equally serve higher scales as macro/ Sectoral, mega/National, giga/Regional and tera/Global all over the World in overcoming the associated Psychological, Social, Political and Organizational Conflicts, provided that the other 5 C’s of the Global Culture as Concept, Competences, Compatibility and Commitment are agreed on in Consensus for ensuring the CONTINUITY of  MANKIND



Human Behavior is at least as complex as its infrastructure, the Human Body. In spite of the observations, research, findings, and teachings of sciences as recorded in the written history of some 12,000 years, we are still far from fully understanding and hence predicting it. However, the 1977 Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry Ilya Prigogine suggests in his auto-biography: “… In addition, the research I conducted with my friend R. Herman on the theory of car traffic, gave me confirmation of the supposition that even human behaviour, with all its complexity, would eventually be susceptible of a mathematical formulation…” I am also one of the fervent proponents of the Predictibility of Human Behavior, in spite of its Complexity, especially under and facing emergencies potentially leading to Crises. With all my due respect to I. Prigogine’s suggestion that such a formulation could be made as a joint undertaking of mathematicians and anthropologists, my proposal calls for the inclusion in the task force of additional contributors as strategists, psychologists, psychiatrists and economists, as well.

The analytical methodology in trying to understand, explain and predict Human Behavior might be similar to that proposed by Richard Dawkins, the famous author of “The Blind Watchmaker”, as “hierarchical reductionism” of a biologist as he is, while mine would be the ”interactive deductionism/inductionism” of a philosopher, as follows:

  • Complexities(Unknown) + Dissociative Deduction (noting the interactions and interrelations between the dissociated parts) => Components (Known) + Associative Induction(in line with the already noted interactions and interrelations) => Composites (Complex, but now Known).

It is already, though limitedly, but soon, it will be definitely possible to achieve conscious, preplanned, well designed and monitored Derivations, Mutations, Corrections, Modifications, Amplifications, Innovations and Inventions through Creative Induction and even the Predictibility of a very complex mechanism like Human Behavior will come true… But would it be the right thing to do?!?

As for Mr. Harts and Bings?… They will always be around, but creating much less problems under Compathy-driven OMA’s contributions.

1  IT will be used as the neutral pronoun in order to avoid gender offenses to Whoever is concerned.

2 Copyright 2014, I. Vardar Cobanoglu (STRATMAN-OMA). All rights reserved. No part of this article, on the basis of The Copyrights 1986-2004, I. Vardar Cobanoglu (STRATMAN) related to the concerned lecture notes, can be used in any form nor by any means for any purposes without the Author’s written permission.

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About Vardar Cobanoglu

Vardar Çobanoğlu specialized in the Practice, Consultancy and Lecturing in Strategic Management (Crisis, Power, Change, Entre-/Intra-preneurship and SME Management, Foreign Expansion, International Marketing and Trade Management), in Banking (Commercial and Correspondant Banking including Loan Syndications), in Business Management (including Contract Negotiations), in Career Orientation and Education in his professional life of some 40 years. He had his Banking Career with Citibank Türkiye, Byblos Bank Belgium SA and Credit Lyonnais Türkiye; he also conducted training programs at major universities, private and public banks, enterprises and institutions (1986-2003); his experience as a Corporate Executive had been in Pharmaceuticals; in Chemicals, Edible & Essential Oils; all in Türkiye. He was assigned as one of Türkiye’s experts to IMD Lausanne’s panel entitled “World Competitiveness Yearbook” (Jan. 1998-Jan. 2005). You can contact Vardar at ivcoban@gmail.com.

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