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This paper will compare the views of various authors about organizational culture and what it entails. It will also check for the meaning of cohesive organizational culture and compare the difference between a strong and weak culture. The paper will also discuss the benefits of a strong cohesive culture. Using BSG Ltd. Organization, the weaknesses of the company shall be addressed and recommendations given.
Commitment of employees and their level of job satisfaction are essential factors that determine the performance and success of an organization in the short-run and in the long-run (Angel, 1981). Studies by Laschinger (2001) and Miller (1978) suggest that there is a strong correlation between job satisfaction in a workplace and commitment of the workers within an organization.
This is essential as it affects the overall turnover of the organization. The moment employees are not satisfied with their work, their level of commitment towards the organization declines. As a result, there is likelihood that they would seek for reasons to quit the job. Consequently there would be little opportunity for advancement.
If such employees lack reasonable reasons for quitting, they may become emotionally and mentally affected and somewhat become withdrawn from the organization. It has therefore been recorded on various literature that employee commitment and job satisfaction are important aspects to check for in individuals to assess their contribution to the organization (Williams and Hazer, 1986).
What is organizational culture?
Hofstede (1997) defined organizational culture as the collective state of mind that distinctly separates the members of a particular organization from another. He clearly shows the difference between National and organizational cultures by describing organizational cultures as consisting of practices that are visible within the organization. Such practices include symbols and the rituals within the organization.
He also states clearly that organizational cultures are incorporated in to the workplace at later stages as the people get to learn them. Hofstede also distinguishes organizational culture from national culture since people are usually conscious about it.
Hansen and Wernerfelt (1982) define organizational culture as the way people are influenced on how they set their individual and professional goals. They also concluded that organizational culture affect the activities performed by people and the way they set their priorities. Organizational culture also influences the way people think, whether consciously or subconsciously. Finally, they also identified that it affects the way decision making process in individuals and it has an impact on their attitudes, perceptions and their actions.
Deal and Kennedy (1982) described organizational structure as being of considerable influence on the organization and specifically in the areas of commitment and the way the company or organization performs (p. 32). Sinclair (2001) did a research to determine whether organizational culture could be a means of improving ethics within the organization (p.67).
She recognized organizational culture as the reason why people behave either in a more or less ethical way in an organizational setting. Sinclair also believes that it should be incorporated within the organization if management is considering improving its performance.
The moment problems occur in organizations, it is almost obvious that managers would blame it on the culture as the source of the problem. At the same time, however, managers believe that the same culture is the basis for the solutions to the problems in the organization.
Strong versus weak cultures
Several researchers have identified the existence of both a strong culture and a weak culture. An organization is said to have a strong culture when its employees are quick to attend to the requirements of the firm and have the values of the company at heart. Such organizations that have strong cultures function well and experience growth.
Handy (1985) suggested that a strong culture may be most beneficial for organizations dealing in service rendering since the employees would show their responsibility in delivering the services required. Several characteristics of a strong cultured organization have been identified.
One of the characteristics includes the company’s efforts to align its activities towards attaining their objectives and goals. Such organizations also practice high employee motivation and consequently receive loyalty from them. There is also likelihood for increased team building and cohesiveness among the employees from the different sections in the organization. There exists consistency and coordination within the organization.
Strong cultures also ensure that the employee behavior is proper and the organization runs more efficiently. On the other hand, organizations with weak cultures also exist. This is whereby the employees have little alignment with the values of the organization.
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Strong cohesive culture and its benefits
As much as there is not much empirical research that has been done to justify the relationship between organizational culture and its general performance, it is obvious among the experts that this link exists. Organizational culture could either lead to the survival of the organization or lead to its downfall. A study conducted in Harvard to assess the impacts of a healthy culture on the organization concluded that the impact was significant on the overall economic performance of the organization (Barney, 1986).
Strong cohesive culture is important as it leads to both individual and organizational success. Other cultural factors such as innovativeness and productivity were also identified as being factors that lead to increased economic consequences.
Strong cohesive culture impact positively on the creativity of the employees and strengthens the motivation of the individuals. Such employees are more likely to report cases of unethical behavior from other individuals and other misdeeds.
The recruitment and retention process is vital for the success of the organization and therefore, must be done in accordance to the proper cultural practices. This can be seen as employees prefer certain organizations over others since they can associate and feel part of the organization of which they are recruited.
Another benefit of strong cohesive culture is the development of high employee morale. This is a case where the individuals of an organization have high spirits for working hard and they usually have a goal of achieving the objectives of the organization. The organization would also have strong company alignment towards achieving the set goals.
Another benefit of cohesive culture is that the employees together with the management team would work together as a team and not individually. This would make the achievements of the company goals to be a reality. There would also be a competitive edge initiated from innovation and the service rendered to the customers. All these would ensure that there is a consistent and efficient employee performance.
Changes required in BSG Ltd
BSG Ltd., which is a large manufacturing organization, has been experiencing down falls as its profits have fallen short of the projections for the last two years due to the aggressive competition and the declining economy. Of greater concern is the state of the culture or employee attitude that was recorded to be the major cause.
There has been lack of cohesion amongst the workers, there have been low levels of job satisfaction and the employees’ commitment to the organization is lacking. Low levels of trust between the management and the employees and the lack of teamwork has led to the belief that there is little opportunity for advancement.
Some cases of pilfering and increased staff turnover have been recorded. Since the external factors have had an impact on the profits of the organization and the external factors cannot be manipulated, then the only best solution is to manipulate the internal environment in the work place by developing a strong cohesive culture.
Various interventions can be introduced to develop an organizational culture and to maintain it. This can be done through joint efforts from the management team and the employees. One of the things that the organization can practice is the acceptance and appreciation for diversity in the work place.
This would ensure that people would be recruited into the organization without discrimination of any sort. People from all walks of life would be recruited and this would include people from various races and ages. When there is diversity in the work place, there would be exchange of ideas among the employees and this would make working more efficient.
Strong cohesive culture could also be developed and maintained by regarding fair treatment for each and every employee in the organization. The contributions made towards the organization by each employee should also be respected. This would make the employees feel appreciated and would increase their morale and efficiency within the work place.
All these would also ensure that there is employee pride and enthusiasm for the organization and the work performed. When an employee feels proud to be associated with a certain organization, then every action that he would make would be done towards ensuring that the company or organization achieves its highest goals.
Management should also ensure that each employee has equal opportunities. This would make every employee to realize their full potential within the organization. Providing equal opportunities would make each employee feel equally appreciated and this would ensure that they have good attitudes towards management and the work at hand.
Another aspect that is important in ensuring strong cohesive culture is communication. Strong communication should be developed within the work place and the policies and other company issues should be communicated to all employees.
Strong cohesive culture is also shaped by the presence of strong leaders within the organization. BSG Ltd requires strong company leaders who have a strong sense of direction and purpose. The company also needs to be able to compete in industry innovation and provide proper services to the customers.
The company should also be competitive in their prices. A strong cohesive culture would be realized when a lower than average turnover rates is realized in BSG Ltd. The BSG Ltd. Company needs to invest in learning and training the employees to increase their knowledge in their relevant fields.
This would ensure that they remain relevant in the ever changing work environment and even get promotions in their current place of work. Such motivational skills are required in BSG Ltd. Company to ensure that the employees experience job satisfaction and are motivated to give their best to the company.
BSG Ltd. Company does not posses a healthy culture and therefore requires an organizational culture change of some sort. Culture change is usually necessary when a company is looking to reducing employee turnover, influencing their behavior and making the necessary adjustments. Culture change is also important to consider when refocusing the organization’s objectives and rescaling the organization.
This would lead to provision of better customer service and finally achieving the specific company goals. Culture change is influenced by a variety of elements that include the external environment and the competitors. Culture change is also influenced by the conditions in the organization and may be affected by such things as technological advancements and other external and internal factors.
Leadership has been identified as the key determinant of organizational culture (Burman and Evans, 2008). They also advised that when one is considering changing an aspect of culture in the organization one should understand that it is a long time project and cannot be done overnight.
Corporate culture in is not something that can be easily changed and employees require ample time to get used to the new system. Burman and Evans also stated that if an organization has a strong and specific culture that governs the behavior of the employees and management, it would be very difficult to change it.
As far as the CEO of BSG Ltd., James Waters, is concerned, the company has had difficulty competing with the external factors that impact on their profits and market share. The CEO is certain that the strong culture in the organization is the cause of the downfall of the organization and has sounded the alarm on the need to commit the resources to create change within the organization as a matter of urgent priority.
Before the BSG Ltd. Company can adopt the culture change initiative, it would need to conduct an assessment to determine the position of the current organizational culture. This can be achieved through various ways and may include the use of surveys to collect relevant data.
The use of questionnaires may be appropriate to get views from the employees. The use of focus groups could also be efficient when collecting data from a group of employees working in the same organization. The BSG Ltd. organization will then need to assess and identify a better and desired culture in which to adopt. They would then need to design a change process.
Cummings and Worley (2005) came up with six guidelines for organizational cultural change. They provided the eight distinct stages and the areas in the organization that need change. I would recommend the BSG Ltd. Company to adopt the outlined changes and this would place them in a better position in realizing profits and competing in the current market.
First, the BSG Ltd. Organization should formulate a clear and realistic strategic vision. The other thing is that the top management will need to display their commitment on the cause.
This is the case since it is important to know and understand that for culture change to be effective, it is up to the top management that includes the CEO and managers of an organization to act as role models and show their willingness to change (Trice and Beyer, 1993). This is an indicator of success in the change. The people at the top need to show an interest in embracing change before the whole organization’s workforce can attempt to bring culture change.
Another way is to shape the change to be made part and parcel of the day to day activities of the top management staff. This would show the interest of the leaders in bringing effective change in the organization. Their behavior must therefore show the kind of values and behavior that should be adopted by the employees. Since change is realized in the long run and not instantly, management must show that the current culture is just as strong and that it does not require radical change but a sequenced adjustment (Parker, 2000).
Organizational change should also be realized for organizational change and a cohesive culture to be developed within the company. This would involve the identification that policies, rules and procedures require to be changed for the desired culture to be effective.
The areas that may need to be looked at and considered for change include compensation, rewards, recruitment and retention procedures and such areas. When all the areas have been identified, a clear message should be sent to the employees that the old system would no longer be effective in the organization (Brewer, 1993).
Another area of intervention would be in the current and future workforce. The management should select and recruit new employees and terminate those that are defiant. Those who are fit with the new culture get to keep their jobs and those that are not are not required in the organization (Trice and Beyer, 1993). This is a way of implementing the culture by connecting it to the organizational membership.
Motivation to the employees is also vital since that is the only way one would maintain them in the organization and make them have positive attitudes towards the organization. Since the employees need new knowledge to understand the new system, management will need to provide training to all the employees for them to understand the new system and its expectations (Miller, 1978).
Another stage in the realization of culture change in the BSG Ltd. Company is the development of ethical and legal sensitivity. It is important to be aware of the tensions that might result between organizational and individual interests and this might lead to ethical and legal issues to those who practice it. It is also important to introduce an evaluation process that should be conducted periodically to assess the success or failures of the change process and identify areas that might require improvement (Cummings and Worley, 2005).
Other researchers have also observed that as branded office environments become more popular and the structures of firms continue to evolve, the use of branded office environments as a tool for regaining the firm’s identity and stabilize the cohesive nature of the organizational culture, is becoming more achievable.
It is important to initiate culture change for organizations that have realized some weakness within the organization due to poor organizational culture. Culture innovations may be required since it involves the introduction of new stuff that might be completely different from the prevailing culture.
Employees usually have a tendency to resist any king of change within the work place. Management is however responsible for passing information about the benefits that would be enjoyed. The top management should also act as role models and display those behaviors and cultures that need to be adopted by the employees. This would lead to appreciation of the new culture and success shall be realized in all aspects of the organization.
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