Modern organizations are characterized by the use of dynamic technological developments, intensified by the existence of competition and self-enhancing values. Organizations can only retain their competitive edge by changing their operating systems in such a way that they can meet the wants of the business environment (Anderson, 2007).
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Strategies that improve learning and knowledge in an organization should be implemented. Existing cultures and prevailing organizational cultures play a crucial role in ensuring the success of a company (Armstrong, 2009). According to Becker & Baloff (1969), the need to place cultures on a psychological platform establishes both the procedural and declarative knowledge in an organization.
Organizational cultural diversity is evident in various companies as they try to stay away from external competition. An organization’s culture ensures uniqueness from other competitors and this drives organizations towards adopting a strong brand image (Goulding, Mulcahy, & Chambers, 2005).
The culture of an organization affects both its economic performance and continuity. For instance, an organization with a dedicated and strong team built through visionary leaders ends up with more financially successful years on a long-term basis (Barrow & Mosley, 2005). Organizational structures also facilitate the success of new products and encourage innovation as well as change.
Becker & Baloff (1969) explain that managing organizational culture is crucial if the organization is to realize its potential (Borysowich, 2008). Fairfield-Sonn (2001), however, states that culture just gives direction to staff members on what they believe, what should be done and how it should be done.
This paper will discuss in detail the need to support organizational cultures that relate to the goals and objective of an organization, in this case, Diamond bank Plc. This will be in comparison to other companies that have incorporated the framework and will be able to determine a successful business terrain. The paper will give a detailed view of Diamond bank Plc.
A critical study will assess the extent to which ‘culture’ can make a significant contribution to the company’s strategies and success. This will involve the use of relevant theories and examples to support the arguments made. The paper will finally discuss the advantages that accrue to the bank as a result of deploying a change in culture.
Overview Of Diamond Bank Plc
Diamond bank Plc embraces a result-oriented culture to ensure that customers receive a range of products and services with international standards. The bank deploys a team of experienced professionals who offer banking solutions and make key business solutions (DiamondBank, 2012). The fact that Diamond bank Plc has a well developed cultural web makes it a perfect sample to analyze especially in terms of organizational culture.
The bank started operating on March 21, 1991, when Dr. Pascal Gabriel Dozie along with his wife Chinyere envisioned the bank as a financial institution that would bring competence in Nigeria, the rest of Africa and the world as a whole (Becker & Baloff, 1969). Diamond bank Plc provides Retail Banking, Corporate banking, and Public sector to its customers.
The bank offers loans to the community through corporate social responsibility to ensure continued support. The management structure is hierarchical, the board members at the top and the rest falling under them (Benedict, 2005).
This means that the culture adopted in its communication flaws down the leadership line. Dealing with other companies is inevitable since these calls for interaction with other institutions (Belch, 2008).
Introduction To The Cultural Web
Corporate culture is a strategic investment that ensures highly driven business activities. Diamond bank Plc needs to develop success in its economy and this comes with an extensive corporate change. Approaching a change requires putting into consideration the relevant cultural themes that ensure communication in an organization without ignorance (Benedict, 2005).
The cultural web is a tool designed to help managers with the challenge that comes with cultural change. Developed by Gerry Johnson (2002), the tool is applied by many companies including KPMG, Shell and Castrol. Cultural change is a process that should be undertaken slowly to ensure that all the salient aspects are checked, and appropriate information provided before bringing the new change.
The webs design matches the spider’s web where the centre is the paradigm or the main idea for the organization, acting as a centrifugal force aimed at weaving cultural themes together. Information in the middle is crucial and holds the external information in terms of priority levels. The web brings about the concept of change as most employees feel comfortable with normal occurrences (Yukl, 2000).
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Expressions can be considered cultural to an organization after cultural artifacts have been performed. Selecting a process includes incorporating the aspects that require change.
It is necessary to facilitate a clear understanding of the analytical process with which members of the organization can relate to once the culture has been incorporated. The cultural web is a device that ensures a practical aspect of the themes with essential elements being placed on anthropology. This can be well understood with a diagram of the cultural web as shown below.
Source: Johnson & Scholes, 2002
Analysis Of Diamond Bank Plc Using The Cultural Web
Diamond bank Plc uses a result-oriented culture aimed at providing its employees with factors that they can make sense of both internally and externally. It is indispensable for the company since it makes complex situations understandable and creates a basis on the success of the company through providing a competitive advantage since ones culture is difficult to imitate (Wilson, 2005).
It is also difficult for the company as new ideas may disrupt with the success of the organization. The aim of the cultural web is to have a clear corporate strategy for the bank which makes it possible for it to reach and surpass its goals (Winkler, 2010).
Mapping the culture into the organization comes as an advantage in bringing out the factors taken for granted can be an essential approach for the bank to determine the rarely questioned aspects. If the bank discovers that no one shows interest in the aspects taken for granted, then changing this might just be difficult (Haviland, Prins, McBride, & Walrath, 2010).
Mapping cultural aspects enables the bank to see where barriers to change exist and how it will affect their overall strategy. A map in place ensures basic examinations on the changes that need to occur to deliver a strategy and how the management can manage the ideas to development. Diamond uses the cultural web with the aim to generate managers’ perceptions.
The setting varies but the approach is done in groups, usually of managers from different departments. The groups go ahead to determine the strategic issues facing the bank. It is vital for the participants to understand the significance of cultural web as well as how it will aid in implementation of the identified strategies. The sessions start with reviewing the concepts and how they will link with strategies of the organization.
The bank then goes to details to explain elements of the cultural web, which are stories, symbols, rituals and routines, paradigm, power structures, control systems and organizational structures. A paradigm in the cultural web refers to assumptions about the organization taken for granted. Routine is the day-to-day running of the organization in the line of conducting business and the way they do things.
Rituals in relation to the organization refer to programs that have to be undertaken such as training, promotion and assessment or evaluation. Stories include information told to each other as members, new employees and even outsiders. Symbolic aspects include logos, titles, offices and cars.
This may also involve the language used in the organization. Control systems refer to the principal activities that bring recognition such as the reward systems and measurements. Power structure will outline the managerial approach of the company and its relevance in maintaining strong culture. In the meantime, members are asked to note down the examples of each aspect, relevant in their organization.
This comes as easy as they can easily identify situations relating to symbols, routines, and stories. Paradigm for the bank is a difficult concept to grasp as it is an assumption and not considered a problem. Group work applies for the bank as it brings out individual views where managers summarize. A discussion is made to the degree to which this information is relevant to the objective changes.
Similarities will be seen, meaning that managers may be using the same method to ensure the running of information in their departments. The main aim in this segregation is usually to come up with aspects of the organization that are paramount and not impress everyone. As managers of Diamond bank Plc, the aim is to have what is necessary considered first in coming up with solutions.
Diamond bank Plc is well informed that paradigm is a difficult task and ensures that managers do not substitute any notion of strategy for paradigm. It is normal for managers to discuss what the organization should take for granted. Managers discuss what it should not rather than giving an analysis of what is taken for granted.
It is pertinent to note that understanding the difference between these elements is extremely beneficial. Listing values rather than the assumptions often occurs. The management of Diamond bank Plc takes note that what is taken for granted may be sincere and straightforward. For instance, the bank tends to take for granted the importance of professional, business service provision, and this is not a surprise.
The main point is that the management may be much embedded, and they should be as it is extremely difficult to apply the change. Hence, it is essential for the management to look for the obvious information that would rarely touch their eyes. Dealing with the issue of paradigm involves constructing a catalogue of constructs. This is helpful as the catalogue may reveal remarkably few constructions that are taken for granted.
The important aspect of the cultural web as used in the bank in the analysis is during the interpretation. On consideration of various views achieved, the individual groups or departments exchange their findings and discuss their significance.
The facilitator ensures that the discussion remains between the managers as they have a better view of the organization compared to him/her. The concepts discussed are then incorporated into the web element with each placed in order of priority.
Importance of the cultural web to Diamond bank Plc
The web brings to light the analysis of the organization as a whole. It will give an analysis of how the organization links to heritage, uniformity and for how long this has been in perspective. This information is likely to be linked to the results in the form of revenue generated.
The bank quickly tells if their culture affects the generated incomes with respect to the way of running the business. This information is generated from a diverse platform. The use of the Internet and surveying lists could reveal information that may be used as supporting data. This is, however, applicable especially if the information is from a viable source.
Diamond bank Plc uses the Diamond bank cultural web to discover compatible strategies. The culture in place will likely to manage the strategy instead of the managers. Developing and holding a culture that tends to run the strategies may become a hindrance for the organization, as it may not give information on the proper needs or resources that the company requires as a successful.
It is necessary for Diamond bank Plc to find out if the culture they hold is departmental and functional. This may mean that functionalism is not preserved and legitimized by professional, ethical ways protected by departmental heads.
It is logical that the same departmental groups that were involved in making sure that the move is maintained end up revealing or providing information that is not relevant to the study of the culture (Yukl, 2000).
Culture tends according to the organization’s web are to be preserved meaning that previous employees in the organization are likely to hold on to ways of doing business. It becomes difficult for the new staff to be incorporated to the new culture if their mentors act differently. The web ensures that the changes that the bank approves are incorporated to the latter.
It may prove to be a difficult task for the bank to change culture kept by the organization for long periods. The most common reason is that the changes are usually taken for granted. Change in culture is not one of the things that people question. A change in salary or downsizing brings about many questions compared to the change of culture (Marshall, 2010). This is because it might not affect them.
To ensure that this is not present in the bank, the management makes sure that any circumstances revealed that show reluctance in adhering to the culture placed is dealt with immediately. Just to ensure that the culture does not seem like a rule that they have to follow, the whole organization comes up with this on a consensus basis (Canton, 2007).
Individuals and groups tend to be associated with organizations with functional, organizational structures. This is because they are likely to preserve their base. Diamond bank Plc knows this well and ensures that it accomplishes it perfectly. The bank depends on individuals and groups for the running of their business. To this respect, the bank ensures that these groups find trust in them as a strong and stable organization.
Dominant routines and persistent trends with clear, hierarchical or authority and similar stories ensure that the bank brings out the best management for the success of everyone. Surveying of departmental structures and determining the influence bestowed on individual employees is beneficial as it brings out the need to create viable and strong communication lines.
Formal committees for decision making and control over sized budgets come with the need for the company to use the cultural web. It helps in sourcing for information as earlier stated and makes sure that only the vital appears in the top of the list (Parsons, 2008).
It is common for senior personnel to get privileges in certain areas such as through getting parking places and other minor services. The junior personnel get fewer privileges. To deal with this misconception Diamond bank Plc ensures that importance and focus are kept on the achieving their responsibilities (Altshuller & Altov, 2000). It is also notable that the cultural web incorporated the immediate and relevant external environment.
Local and international government authorities affect the decisions of the company and are an important element to the bank. The web incorporates them as they are likely to impose terms of conducting business that may affect the culture held by the bank. This move is to ensure that they work with the conditions placed by the regulating factors (Haviland, Prins, McBride, & Walrath, 2010).
In many organizations, aspects of the cultural web are associated with power. In Diamond bank Plc, departmental heads solve this problem by ensuring that the standing terms are done in professional networks. This is essential in ensuring that the laid daily strategies are met. The web is likely to prompt decisions regarding the nature of the organization.
This will be in terms of its everyday reality and how that reality changes. Changing the culture will become an indispensable move, in changing the overall strategy formulation in the company. “Coping with daily routines comes as an important move as it gives valuable envisage in a strategy compared to the focusing of local needs and co-operation with other departments” (Haviland, Prins, McBride, & Walrath, 2010).
All these issues are respected, and its discussion plays a pivotal role by helping the managers to sensitize on the recognition of cultural aspects of the organization (Singh, 2004). The cultural web can be essential in a more organized environment of the bank.
Specific way of problems, and changing techniques that can be applied to ensure that the move does not only bring sudden change are analyzed, but is well embedded into the operations of the bank. Diamond bank Plc has a larger number of employees to go around and ensure that they are at par with the culture being placed.
It is crucial for them to have a clear analysis of the needs of the employees through their managers and provide relevant but meaningful solutions to problems that may arise as a result of the cultural web (Mckenna, 2010).
The web aids Diamond bank Plc in dealing with the identification of blockages that hinder change. The cultural web is significant for the bank since it comes up with sort exhibits that make it difficult to deliver strategies. The bank is also able to identify some wide blockages as to why this could be the problem.
Preservations of standards by departmental heads are soon embodies in the formality not only by the committees but also to address issued such as the dress code that will be taken up by the staff (Parsons, 2008).
Critical Analysis Of Culture And How It Affects The Strategies Implemented
Cultural themes are central to any organization especially in a busy environment. In institution that deals with large number of individuals and groups, they require a careful check. Johnson (2000) came up with the cultural web to emphasis both authors place on the assumptions and values that organizational leaders and their management teams hold as producing paradigm traps that constrain their expressive capacities.
The paradigm is likely to be traps that are expressed as cultural expressions. As argued by Johnson (2000), paradigms are prominent in an organization hence Diamond bank Plc should understand the need to have interdependency. This is important, as it will define the outcome of the strategies placed at the beginning of each financial year.
Diamond bank Plc should notice that the web is just a cultural, diagnostic tool and that the themes of the company come to explicate the running of the business. It is a useful tool because it is constituted by seven other cultural manifestation of how themes show themselves in various departments and management teams allocated (Khosrowpour, 2000).
The bank can benefit from the web by having and describing an underlying paradigm embedded for the sole reason of organizing its members (Kern, 2001). The bank has a clear analysis on each cultural function of the themes. The analytical question that the bank should have while ensuring that the needs of the employees are meet in terms of the cultural changes that need to take place are as follows.
The cultural manifestations in relation to the organizational structures are described as the formal and informal leadership relationships available in the organization (Benedict, 2005). So, in this case, Diamond bank Plc should ask how structures, formal and informal, are placed. It is also noteworthy, while looking at the control systems, the administrative on the important aspects of the organization.
Under this theme, Diamond bank Plc should look at the closely monitored or controlled issues and why this is so. Rituals and routines are inevitable in the bank as they establish the protocol of carrying out things. For proper summary, the management questions the important beliefs held in the company, and this will portray the organization (Goulding, Mulcahy, & Chambers, 2005).
Stories in reference to information delivered to existing and new members of the organization should provide detailed information on the culture. The management of Diamond bank Plc should be asking for the stories to be told, and how the stories will reflect on the core beliefs of the organization (Anderson, 2007). Symbols defined above will signify the meaning grasped with immediate appearance.
It is to this respect that act to censor and control the behavior of these symbols should be questioned. Power structures are mainly linked to the top management (Campbell, 2009). It is vital for the bank to find out the present assumption related to leadership and the top beliefs related to the culture that the bank holds.
Paradigm, being the most neglected but holding the most valuable information on assumptions of management should be addressed with importance. Diamond bank Plc should ensure that dominant cultural assumptions are underpinned (Borysowich, 2008).
Running a successful banking institution like Diamond bank Plc, it requires competence, experience and understanding that the culture held by the institution is likely to produce an equal or similar output on the company’s image. Customer loyalty highly relies on the culture that an organization holds and portrays.
Research carried out on the banking industry shows that the sector achieves substantial benefits from the customer loyalty. To ensure that all these factors are maintained, the management has a decisive role to play in ensuring that the process of changing the culture does not end up becoming a problem to the external environment.
If bank managers take every aspect in isolation and analyzing its impact on the business, one will realize that the complexity arising from cultural change is minimal. Changing the reasoning of about 500 managers and ensuring that it falls on the same line like that of their subordinates may not be easy.
It is, therefore, clear that the use of the cultural web that incorporates the company’s strategies makes all the company’s processes simple. For instance, the need for Diamond bank Plc to be able to deal with commercial ideologies may be a big task to handle but is made easier through the introduction of the cultural web.
The cultural web is, thus, indispensable since it plays a vital role in ensuring that future cultural changes made are easily achieved in the long run. Deploying and maintaining a culture is a necessary process in making sure that the growth of a company is maintained.
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