Obedience, in theory from social psychology standpoint, refers to the compliance with an order, request, or law or submission to another's authority. It's the act or practice of being dutiful towards completing the orders given by an authority figure. At the workplace, obedience is the culmination of employees meeting the assigned targets and goals of the company’s operational directors or managers. An employee must undertake his/her work with care and comply with instructions given to him/her by the employer for maintaining consistent work performance.
Traditionally companies were focused on creating output that brought financial and economic power so the pressure translated from higher or executive management to the lowest level employees. This ensured momentum and flow of work. Promotions at work were based on the employees acquiring expertise in their subject area and were given management roles. The downside, however, was in the supporting skills of the manager. If the manager did not have the right skills for management that did not bring a qualitative improvement in the subordinate level, the employees would experience stress and burnouts. Over the course of industrialization and technological advancement in our societies, today, we have come to a place where we focus on providing tools and benefits which gives quality of life and work satisfaction to the employees.
With the rapid development of industrialization and technology, people are being trained through educational institutions for specific skills like management, technology, finance, commerce, law etc. so the pressure of achieving at work has shifted from being technically hands-on to skill specific goals. In the late 1900s, managers were proficient with subject matter but today’s managers are focused on developing healthier work and personal life balance and motivating employees to perform better at work. This shift changes the perception of work among employees, where today employees are focused on completing their goals in teams and coordination with other members of the organization as compared to earlier corporate settings where individual employees took the workload and duties with more independently.
Communication and Ownership:
With corporate and technology moving towards 21st century skills, obedience at workplace is evolving where emphasis lies towards building functional and essential communication channels between different department where engaging employees are given core ownership for the work. The idea is to build a seamless, functional and effective work process. When one individual fails to deliver, the entire system waits for the person to complete the task, and if required, additional resources can be given to complete the task. When employees take ownership of the work, the quality and productivity of work improves automatically as they assume the role of leadership and implement innovative ways to complete the work assigned. Ownership is the opposite of obedience where employees take charge and responsibility of the work. They complete the work because they know the importance of their role in the organization. Obedience on the other hand, only empowers people with skills but ownership brings out the quality of responsibility, time management and improves the engagement at workplace.