People And Organisation


The people and organisation are closely interrelated as people work within an organisation for accomplishing various objectives set by the company. It is necessary for a firm that they take care of its people in fullest way so that they can also give its return in positive way. For this it is necessary to build a level of trust between both organisation and its people. This can be made in best way with the help of empathy which cam can be best described as putting oneself into another's shoe. The present report will make both terms of trust and empathy clear with the help of various theories and models related to them. To understand more clearly, various diagnostic tools will be applied on the company like Tesco which will present a detailed perspective into it. Tesco is a famous retail store of UK which also depicts a good relationship between organisation and its people.

Theories and models related to trust and empathy


The trust is a belief in something or someone that presents an individual relationship where one person holds a strong faith about other that it will not harm and be honest in all the ways. The trust factors in organisations are an important elements that helps in building a good structure that can work in best way.

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Tesco works for betterment of its employees and hence they build a trust by giving them proper care. According to Iqbal (2011) the trust is a major factors that can help in creating a long term relationship between various persons. For this, it is necessary that people have a cohesive bonds between them which can be made through increased interaction among them. Besides this, the people of a company show high positivism in their work when they have trust on the firm for which they are working. In this scenario, a model related to it has come in light which is known as Swift trust theory. This theory was given by Debra Meyerson in 1996. As per this theory, she stated that a group usually assumes trust at initial stages and afterwards they adjust level of trust accordingly. Randeree and Chaudhry (2012) has stated that earlier, it was believed that trust is built with increasing time where people in organisations meet and interact with each other. This notion has changed a lot in present times because of globalisation, technological advancements and increasing trends of making temporary teams by enterprises.

Therefore, the present theory propounds that it Swift trust vital cognitive confidence at initial level so that transient teams can work with same level of trust. For this, it is necessary that organisations induce confidence among team members that they can handle the vulnerabilities easily. The cited organisation can also user this model to effectively manage its diverse teams that are made on temporary and permanent basis. In the views of Saame, Reino and Vadi (2011), the Swift trust model helps in describing the development if trust among non conventional teams. The teams believe that their group is working under a time constraint therefore they make interaction and cohesion based on the compatibilities. The said model has two components which are cognitive and normative. According to cognitive element, in case, if the team members are not able to make trust on the basis of initial interactions then they start relying on social categories to build a early trust behaviours. While on other hand, the normative components are those factors that helps in designing the behaviour of team members at the later stages where conditions of uncertainties are high. Thus, it attempts to make a guiding action that can help in building confidence to surmount the barriers. In mentioned entity, these two components are of high importance that will help in various stages to maintain trust and confidence.


In simple terms, the empathy is ability to keep oneself into others' place so that a person can understand and feel what some other person is experiencing. The empathy makes a connection between self and other persons so that feelings of others can be shared in right way. This helps in making a proper solution for it. Various theories have been emerged for empathy where Martin Hoffman's model is quite relevant. The said theory is based on moral development and describes five important mechanisms which shows the distress. These mechanisms are mimicry, classical conditioning, direct association, mediated association and role taking. As per Susaeta and et. al., (2013), the first three mechanisms connects observer directly with the target person where observer can feel his emotional distress. The mimicry implies that a person mimics or imitates other person's facial or vocal expressions. Besides this, the person automatically involves with other person in his distress. Similarly, classical conditioning explains that how a person starts feeling emotional in a certain condition though an individual has not experienced it before. Further, in direct association, the observer gets reminded from his past experience when he sees other person in similar situation. All these mechanisms are related with gestures and expressions while later two are different. In mediated associations, the empathy is arisen when observer shares the experience of target through words. Moreover, in role taking, the observer imagines oneself at the place of target and feels the situation. As per Tohidinia and Mosakhani (2010) these mechanisms are of great role in organisations so that management can understand its people in all the possible ways. In Tesco, this theory is very useful so that various conflicting and stressing situations can be understood properly by the managers. As per the cited theory, Hoffman states that the emotional experiences results from different expressions that may be imitated or based on reminding the person of his own experiences. While it is largely dependent on parties involved in the case and how observer is taking the situation and target's experience shared to him. As per Management: Perspective and practice (2014), in organisational context, if the observer can feel same experiences shared by an individual by imagining himself at the same place, the person can easily provide the best solution.

Diagnostic tools to be undertaken

Johari window

The Johari window technique was developed by Joseph luft and Harrington Ingham that attempts to aid people so that they can have a better understanding of their relationships with others and even themselves. The model is divided into four quadrants that where first one is open arena. This area contains those things which are commonly known to a person himself and about which others are also familiar (Jelinek, 2010). Thus, it includes behaviours, skills and knowledge of a person, his attitude etc. the next area is blind quadrant which covers those aspects from which a person himself is unknown but others are quite familiar. This may be the feeling of incompetence, fear of rejection etc. Further, the third are is hidden area which includes those aspects that are known by person himself but others are unfamiliar. Similarly, the last one is unknown area that includes those things from which none of the parties are aware.

This model has the main objective of increasing the open area, which is a significant quadrant. This will help people in understanding better about each other giving opportunities to increase interaction and level of trust. As discussed above about Swift trust theory where people cannot get involved with other persons sue to various barriers, this model will be of much help in overcoming this issue and as a result, trusts can be built up easily within organisations (Buchanan, and Huczynski, 2010).

Thomas Khilman conflict

The said model is a tool that is developed with the aim of measuring the response of an individual towards the situations of conflict. This model divides theory into two grids where one axis is based on concern for people while other is concerned with tasks. These two axes interact with each other so that different styles of management can be applied accordingly (Pardey, 2016). Thus, this model is quite helpful ion understanding the perceptions of people in organisation as well as directing them towards achievement of tasks accordingly. This will aid in application of empathy model as discussed above where emotions of workers can be understood in proper way to resolve issues.


The ESCI or Emotional and social intelligence competency model attempts to make a proper summary of behavioural indicators. This indicates various behaviours which involve emotional self awareness, self management, social awareness and relationship management. This tool is mainly assigned to make a survey that can assess different competencies which are prominent from average performers. This model will be quite helpful in measuring the applicability of Hoffman's empathy theory.

All the diagnostic tools have a close interaction with the Swift trust theory and Hoffman's empathy theory that helps in managing the various situations within organisation (Allio, 2013). In context of Tesco, where team work is essential, the Johari window can aid by assessing the weak factors and applying open arenas that can give opportunity to enhance interaction among group members. Similarly, the ESCI and Thomas Khilman tools are useful in application of empathy model as well as in handling conflicting situations while taking consideration into people and tasks both.

Areas for improvement

The trust and empathy are two factors that are necessary to learn as it helps in making continuous improvement and developments. Trust factor will be of much help in Tesco to retain employees, improve their productivity etc. Similarly, empathy will aid in understanding situations of people in organisation so that conflicts and other issues can be handled easily. As per this, some areas for improvement still remains as the application of models are not done within organisation. Apart from this, the company is more of task oriented as compared to people oriented as well which must be improved (Lee and Yu, 2014). As per the above discussion two areas of improvements are there where employees need to be improved. The interaction between team members is less which often leads to less cooperation and less trust among them. On other hand, the conflicting situations are more as the cohesiveness among people is not much that leads to disputes. Both the areas where various things are lacking, can be improved with the help of discussed models and its application in proper way. The Swift trust model will aid in making groups that can build trust among them by identifying compatibilities while the Hoffman's model will assist in resolving conflict situations.

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The report has discussed about swift trust model that is divided into cognitive and normative components that helps in building trust among non conventional team members. Similarly, the other is Hoffman's empathy theory which aids in feeling the issues of employees in proper manner. Tesco is chosen for discussion and application of theories. The diagnostic tools used are Thomas Khilman, Johari window and ESCI models.

You may also like to read: 


  • Jelinek, S., 2010. The Impact of Management Practices and Organizational Structure on Firm Performance. GRIN Verlag.
  • Lee, J. K.S. and Yu, K., 2014. Corporate culture and organizational performance. Journal of Managerial Psychology. 19(4). pp.340 – 359.
  • Pardey, D., 2016. Leadership in turbulent times: Effective leadership during times of organizational change. Strategic HR Review. 6(5). pp.16 – 19.
  • Randeree, K. and Chaudhry, A. G., 2012. Leadership – style, satisfaction and commitment: An exploration in the United Arab Emirates' construction sector. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management. 19(1). pp. 61–85.
  • Saame, I., Reino, A. and Vadi, M., 2011. Organizational culture based on the example of an Estonian hospital", Journal of Health Organization and Management. 25(5). pp.526 – 548.
  • Susaeta, L. and et. al., 2013. Generation or culture?: Work attitude drivers: an analysis in Latin America and Iberian countries Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal. 20(3). pp.321–360.
  • Tohidinia, Z. and Mosakhani, M., 2010. Knowledge sharing behaviour and its predictors. Industrial Management & Data Systems. 110(4). pp. 611–631.
  • Tommy, Y. L., 2012. Quality culture: a product of motivation within organization. Managerial Auditing Journal. 17(5). pp.272 – 276.
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