Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Terry Tate-Office linebacker –Terry Tate Office Linebacker
Here is some of the dialogue:
After employee has been knocked over Terry Tate yells at them:
“Break was over 15 minutes ago” “You kill the joe, you make some mo” “You know you need a cover sheet on your TPS reports, that ain’t new baby, (to someone walking by) Hey Janis”
The boss is interviewed about Terry, here are some of his comments:
“I’m a firm proponent of paradigm breaking, outside the box thing. And since Terry’s been with us, our productivity has gone up 46%” “He fits right in here” “To be honest, I wish I had 10 Terry Tates”

Terry Tate Office Linebacker is a spoof on the politics and social norms of working in an office. Even though it was developed by Reebok, its huge popularity on YouTube shows how it has become a part of pop culture. The overall theme of the clip really relates to organization communication and some of the theories developed in chapter three.
Tackling someone for a minor offense, especially in an office setting, is not considered acceptable. That is mainly why the clip is so funny. Terry breaks the social norm of an office place by using violence to solve an issue. The boss responds that he likes to think outside of the box, but this isn’t even on the same page as the box. Terry’s methods are very creative, but there is no constraint which is a requirement for true business communication.
This clip both resists domination and also conforms to it. On the resisting side, Terry is bringing true justice to the organization. He is ensuring that people adhere to the unwritten rules that most people think need to be followed for everyone to work together, such as refilling the coffee pot. In another clip, he tackles a guy for passing gas in the elevator. These are things that most employees encounter and find extremely irritating about the office environment. On the conforming side, he is also ensuring people follow the business rules such as putting correct covers on a report or not taking too long of breaks. So while Terry gets to do what we all wish we could have done to our lame co-worker, he is still re-enforcing the given social norms for an organization.
The comments made by the boss reflect his internal belief in McGregor’s Theory X. He has hired Terry to make sure his employees are watched and punished immediately if they don’t do their job. McGregor’s second point about Theory X is “most people must be coerced, controlled, directed, or threatened with punishment to get them to put forth adequate effort toward achievement of organizational objectives.” Terry Tate is the extreme form of this idea. Not only does the boss not have a problem with his workers getting tackled but he wants more of it. When he makes a comment about injuries the film moves to Terry getting hurt by a mail cart, not to any of the employees being tackled by a linebacker. Thus, his concern is more about the ability to get work done not the overall well-being of his employees. He is also applying the scientific management theory of efficiency over people.
By showing examples of office norms being broken and then continuing to break the norm by how Terry acts, these clips reveal what those social norms are. Both managers and employees can watch this and think, ‘I wish we had that’. The clip both reinforces and resists organizational norms and domination by bring justice to the good employees but still ensuring employee productivity and efficiency. Finally, it reflects how some managers feel about their employees and how McGregor’s X and Y Theories are very true in any work environment.

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