ASA model - How organisations become Homogeneous

In 1987, Psychologist Benjamin Schneider in an article titled "The People make the place" lays out a model called ASA.

Attraction - Selection - Attrition.

He writes about how organization cultures are defined by the people that work there and not by people at the top.

He asserts that “the people make the place” and that organizational culture, climate and practices are determined by the people in the organization.

Attraction: People are differentially attracted to careers as a function of their own interests and personality. They have stated that people search environments that fit by their personality and that people would like to obtain their outcomes by selecting a specific organization.

Selection: Organizations select people who they think are compatible for many different kinds of jobs. In that way organizations end up choosing people who share many common personal attributes, although they may not share common competencies.

Attrition: The opposite side of attraction. When people do not fit an environment they tend to leave it. When people leave the environment a more homogenous group stays than those were initially attracted to the organization.

As this plays out over a period of time, an organization becomes increasingly Homogeneous in its culture.

Implications of the model are

1) the difficulty of bringing about change in organizations: Organizations have great difficulty when trying to change, because they not contain people with the appropriate inclinations. When the environment changes an organization will not be aware and probably not be capable of changing.

2) the genesis of organizational climate and culture: climate and culture are not easily defined in an organization, most often they exist when people share a common set of assumptions, values and beliefs.

3) The importance of recruitment: on personnel selection is paid a lot of attention. Surprisingly, on personnel recruitment, in which way do we communicate on vacancies, is not paid much attention.

4) The need for person-based theories of leadership and job attitudes. The research on this area is depressing according to Schneider (1987). We believe that the attitudes of people are created by the conditions of the work place.


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