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Office Space Essay Analysis

Analysis of Office Space: Communication in the Workplace

1188 Words5 Pages

“Office Space” is a comedy movie of a man who desperately hates his job and his boss. The movie begins with Peter Gibbon’s daily life story at Initech. At work, Peter has to deal with his indifferent boss, Bill Lumbergh, who doesn’t want to listen to his employee’s feedbacks. Lumbergh seems to be an ignorant and arrogant man who dictates his employee and doesn’t want to be blamed at all. Moreover, Lumbergh asks his employee to come to work on weekend. The atmosphere in the office is getting more intense after Lumbergh announced that Initech is bringing in consultants to increase the efficiency of the company. Peter was very frustrated with everything in the office and he felt that his life even more miserable with each passing day at work.…show more content…

Also, the interviewers inform Peter that the company will fire Samir and Michael – Peter’s best friends. At night, Peter tells Samir and Michael about their dismissal plans. Thus, three of them make a plan to do a scam – take small amount of money from the company – as revenge. Several days later, Peter checks his account balance and finds out that instead of small amount of money there is a big amount of money has been deposited to his account. Peter takes all of the responsibility and he sneaks into Initech and slips a confession letter along with the money in traveler’s checks under Lumbergh’s office door. In brief, before Peter, Samir, and Michael get caught up, all of a sudden the Initech building completely engulfed in flames. It means the fire likely burns the confession letter and the check, so the three of them will likely in a safe position from their foray into crime. In the end of the movie, it shows that the person who set a fire to the building is one of unhappy employee at Initech. As a final point, this movie shows that managers must be able to motivate employee to become more competitive, and also this movie proves that a happy employee is directly proportional to the efficiency of the company itself. "Office Space" is an expansion of three animated shorts created by Judge for television over the last decade, and it has the loose-jointed feel of a bunch of sketches packed together into a narrative that doesn't gather much momentum. Its

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I choose to analyze the movie Office Space. My analysis focuses on the lack of motivation Peter has for his job as well as analyzing the values he takes into consideration when making decisions. I will be using the scene where Peter is interviewed by the Bobs as a focal point for my analysis. I will be performing this analysis by using one concept and two theories which are the psychological contract, Hackman & Oldham Job Characteristics Theory, and Kohlberg’s theory.

Peter’s perspective on what is wrong with Initech is described in the scene where Peter talks to the two Bobs. Instead of going to a higher authority in order to fix his situation, he has instead gone along with his mundane tasks with just enough effort in order to not get fired. His non-chalant attitude towards his job can be seen when he stops coming to work for long periods of time, playing games when he should be working, and spacing out at work among many other situations. In the interview with the Bobs he reveals that the reason for his lack of effort is “simply the lack of motivation”(film). He feels that no matter what he does at his job he receives no positive feedback.

The only thing that motivates him at work is not to do something wrong since he will be questioned on it by eight different bosses. Giving negative feedback as a way of motivation isn’t the best strategy, since all that it requires an employee to do is work slowly but diligently. A more efficient way of providing feedback would be to give employees immediate positive or negative feedback. By giving both types of feedback it lets the employee know that they are valued members of the corporation.

At the beginning of the movie, I found myself greatly questioning why Peter is working at the company since it is very obvious he finds no enjoyment from his job. After watching the interview with the Bob’s, I felt myself increasingly persuaded by his point of view. If there is no reprisal from not doing your best on the job or simply not coming to work, then where is the motivation to do anything at all? I feel, that no matter what the company does it would not be sufficient to captivate an employee such as Peter. With a person that simply doesn’t care and really has no motivation in life, there is simply no way to motivate them in this type of atmosphere. It is up to Peter to be honest with himself and leave the job in search for something that will better meet his needs.

For other employees, I feel that the company could be doing a better job to motivate them. Everyone else seems to be motivated to do there job but out of fear of losing it, which isn’t the best motivation. Peter exemplifies the reason perfectly by saying “that will only make someone work hard enough not to get fired”(film). In a company such as Initech where the tasks seem mundane and outright boring, there should be incentives to do your best. The Bob’s idea of a “stock options equity sharing program” would be one of the best ways to deal with this. This way the employees not only see there success but they are also motivated to do there best for personal financial reasons. The proof that such an idea works can be seen in such companies as Microsoft which had a similar program when the company was first getting started. From this program Microsoft has become a monopoly in the software industry.

I found the Bobs had very great active listening skills in that they came up with some pretty sufficient ideas when it came to Peter’s concerns. By actively listening they reserved judgment until after the whole interview, even though they seemed pretty shocked at first that to learning that Peter did very little. They used probing questions using little judgment in order to get as much information into the arena of Jahri’s window. By doing this they were able to evaluate the situation sufficiently in order to recommend changes to management. I think the Bobs reached the wrong perception on Peter’s character. The suggestions they had were great motivational techniques but I feel in that in their effort to satisfy Peter’s needs they didn’t correctly assess Peter’s moral values. I think they would have seen that Peter is a self centered individual that simply wouldn’t care no matter what he was given.

Peter’s feelings towards his job are similar to the feelings I had this summer when I was doing my job. I had little motivation the first week at my job because I was un-clear of what it was I was supposed to be doing. I also hardly saw my boss to get more information, since he was really busy that week. Due to this, I saw myself simply “spacing out” most of the day. This changed greatly the second week as my boss decided to educate me on a very poignant job description, as well as providing immediate feedback for a couple weeks until he felt I understood what to do. I believe that this is the best way of motivating workers since it develops a more personal relationship between employees and their bosses. My main motivation on the job was that I didn’t want to let my boss down, since by the end of the job I saw him less and less as a boss and more as an advisor. In a company such as Initech they could have used this technique as there were eight upper management people. If instead of being seen as bosses there only to berate them every time they did something wrong, they should have been split up amongst the workers so that each worker only had one manager to go to for advice.The management could also provide a more personal atmosphere as they would have less people to oversee.

In analysing the way in which Peter acts, the easiest place to start is with the psychological contract. It is obvious by Peter’s demeanour throughout the whole movie that the psychological contract between him and Initech greatly differ. Peter expects to be challenged, motivated, and to have a good time at work. His company however provides none of the above. His job is described by himself as mundane and boring, he has no motivation to come to or stay at work, and he doesn’t enjoy the atmosphere or people around him. “The psychological contract is the implicit contract between employees and employers on their job expectations.” (text 5) As shown above it, seems that it would have been better for an explicit psychological contract to have been discussed in order to derive satisfaction from both parties. The reason for the great dive between what Peter and Initech expect from each other can be derived from what Peter wants in a career. Since Peter is better suited for manual labour jobs which bring him outdoors, it is no wonder that