Introduction of the Project
This project looked to study the organizational behaviour in a select company in lieu of three aspects namely; the role of personal values and organizational values in employees’ job satisfaction, the types of business communication in organizations and barriers/ problems to communication and the leadership (managerial) styles and issues related with leadership at workplace
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. The project involved selecting an organization of choice and investigating its organizational behaviour with the aim of understanding the organization’s dynamics.
Being a group project, various individual members contributed to this project and each brought in their own opinions and suggestions as to what the project should entail. Additionally, the project sought the opinions of scholars and other relevant authorities when particularly discussing the unique aspects of the select organization.
By relevant authorities, we mean people who have had experience with the company such as former employees and managers. All in all, the project was a success based on the information that we collected and its significant input in understanding our select organization’s behaviour.
Introduction of the Company
Our organization of choice was Adidas AG, the German sportswear giant. Our selection of Adidas was informed by the availability of information for our research. The company is the parent of the globally renowned sports apparel maker, Adidas Group.
The Group is made up of Adidas AG, Reebok Sportswear Company, the Taylormade Golf company, Ashworth and Rockport company. It is a global manufacturer of footwear, bags, watches, eyewear, shirts and other products related to sports and is only second to Nike.
The company was formed in 1948 after the Second World War as a splinter from Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik. Adolf Dassler headed Adidas while his brother Rudolf founded Puma after the famous split (Smit 9).
The company’s name was coined from the amalgamation of the nickname “Adi” and “Dassler” to form Adidas. However, the company’s name has since been identified with the backronym “All Day I Dream About Sport” whose initials form the word ADIDAS. It is characterized by the popular three parallel stripes which double up as the company’s official logo. The organization has its current headquarters at Herzogenaurach, Germany where it was born.
Since the two German brothers separated, Adidas has grown from strength to strength though it has suffered two financial scares and has had to be rescued. However, Adidas quickly learnt from these near collapses and reinvented itself by outsourcing over 80% of its manufacturing to Asia and focusing on design and marketing instead.
By so doing, the company has been able to weather several financial storms and to shake up the global sports industry. It has also grown phenomenally with the acquisition of brands such as Reebok, Saloman ski and Taylormade Golf that have assisted it to grow its revenues and edge closer to its greatest rival, Nike.
By shedding non-performing brands such as Lecoq Sportif and focusing on marketing rather than production, the management of Adidas has proven to be very competent and exemplary in performance (Smit 43).
Currently, the company through its slogan “Impossible is Nothing” has ensured that it is blazing the trail of sportswear manufacturers. Compared to the rest of the industry, the performance of Adidas in terms of revenue and profit growth is unrivalled.
In 2007 for example, the company had total sales of 10.299 billion euros and a 9% profit growth. By 2010, the total sales had jumped to 11.99 billion euros which is remarkable judging from the fact that the global economy was reeling from the effects of the financial crisis of 2007-2008.
Adidas’s success can only be attributed to good financial planning and marketing. This means that the company’s managers have adopted best practices and have good leadership skills and this is why the company is an example of good organizational behaviour.
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While the company has various branches around the world, the German Adidas AG has provided direction in terms of policy and human resource development. The company’s organization structure is well coordinated with CEOs for Adidas Group, Adidas Brand, Global Operations and Group Finance.
The key to Adidas success in terms of marketing has been the promotion of sportswear to fashion status. Through this strategy, Adidas has come up with new products such as ForMotion, Response and Bounce shoes that are designed to improve athletic performance.
Apart from new technology, Adidas has worked to ensure that its products are readily and conveniently available to customers by establishing many retail outlets and expanding to more markets. Currently, there are over 1,000 Adidas stores globally. The company prefers to open its own outlets and it plans to expand such stores to generate at least 30% of its revenue.
Another key to Adidas’s success has been its sponsorships and endorsements of sports and sportsmen globally which has enabled it maintain its public outlook.
It has also been a great sponsor of the Olympics especially the Beijing Olympics. Through such sponsorships such as the proposed $ 200 million sponsorship of the London Olympic Games, the company shall continue to be a global leader in the sportswear industry.
Definition of the typical terms included in the project
Job satisfaction is the feeling of fulfilment, pride and contentedness that an employee draws from his/her job.
Leadership refers to the process through which an individual influences others in the organization to accomplish common goals (Northouse 3).
Organizational behaviour refers to the actions of individuals in an organization in their capacity and within groups that affect their relationships amongst themselves and with the organization.
Organizational Values are the beliefs and ideals that reflect the acceptable standards of behaviour in an organization.
Personal Values refer to the individual’s own conceptions and beliefs on behaviour.
Detailed explanations of the chosen topics
Topic 1. Role of Personal Values and Organizational Values in employees’ Job Satisfaction
Job satisfaction is a key motivational factor in any organization. According to Gray et al (2), its significance is amplified by its connection to certain organizational outcomes such as organizational goal commitment, intention to leave, absenteeism among others. Studies also show that commitment, loyalty and trust are solely dependent on job satisfaction.
There are several factors that are known to affect job satisfaction. Key among these are factors that are considered motivational such as pay, promotion, benefits etc.
However, there are other ancillary factors such as organizational culture, organizational values and personal values that are known to affect job satisfaction.
Values whether organizational or personal bring in a culture of discipline and respect for others and thus promote a conducive working environment that consequently brings about job satisfaction. Where personal values and organizational values are in agreement, the individual is much more likely to feel satisfied in his/her job.
Topic 2. Types of Business Communication in organizations and barriers/ problems to communication
Communication refers to the exchange of information, ideas and information. This can be through spoken word, writing, symbols and actions. In an organization, communication plays a huge role in bringing about the achievement of set goals and targets.
Basically, business communication is any exchange of information that is aimed at promoting an organization, product or sale. Business communication is of two types; internal and external.
Internal communication refers to the exchange of information, instructions or ideas among members of the organization. It can be classified into upward, downward and horizontal/lateral communication.
Upward communication refers to exchange of information from the employees to the administration/management. It provides a mechanism for the exchange of ideas, conflict/dispute resolution, information/feedback gathering and reception of suggestions for improvement.
Downward communication completes upward communication since it is a response from the management/superiors to the employees/juniors/subordinates. Through downward communication, management is able to pass instructions and other vital information to boost morale and job satisfaction.
Both upward and downward communication complement each other and are collectively known as vertical communication. Horizontal or lateral communication involves exchange of ideas and information among persons of the same rank or status. It promotes exchange of ideas, boosting of morale, improving teamwork and efficiency.
External communication involves exchange of information between the organizations and non-members such as customers and vendors. It seeks to improve sales, profits, efficiency, public credibility and corporate image. It can be used to achieve organizational goals and customer satisfaction.
Topic 3. Leadership (managerial) styles and issues related with leadership at workplace
There are various classifications of leadership but the most general is the classification based on decision-making. Where a leader makes all decisions by himself/herself without consultation, this leadership style is known as authoritative/autocratic leadership.
Where the leader encourages participation of other managers and employees in the decision making process, it is known as a democratic/participative style.
Finally, where the leader allows employees or subordinates to make decisions on their own, it is known as a laissez faire style of leadership.
All these leadership styles have their own strengths and weaknesses but the democratic or participative style is much more successful than the other two styles.
Managerial viewpoints on these topics
The viewpoints of managers in these section refers to the opinions of Adidas’s managers on the above three topics. Since, the group did not meet the managers individually; their points of view are inferred from the company’s policies and profile.
Information on Adidas’s managers’ views on the effect of personal and organizational values in promoting job satisfaction is drawn from the company’s policies and response to criticism on social responsibility.
First, Adidas has a corporate Standards of Engagement (SoE) policy through which it engages with its suppliers. The SoE is based on a model code of conduct developed by the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry and it requires all manufacturers to meet the minimum requirements on health, safety, labour and environmental standards.
It has also included that it shall not deal with companies that used child labour or forced labour.
As a global corporation, communication is very important to Adidas. The company engages in both forms of internal and external communication. By studying its organizational chart, it is quite clear that Adidas has established a good communication chain.
The organization has invested in ensuring that the chain of command does not break from the group operations manager to the individual employees at Adidas stores.
Additionally, the company has an efficient external communications mechanism that has always addressed customers concerns and also ensured that the corporate image of Adidas remains in good light. Indeed, the company has set up a separate division to take care of the Adidas brand which shows its commitment to effective communication.
Just like any other company, Adidas also faces some communication problems. The biggest barrier to communication is the cultural or language barrier which has hindered information flow to the ‘sweatshop workers’ in Asia who are a key part of Adidas. Other problems are those associated with indirect communication due to the global nature of the company.
When it comes to leadership style, there is lack of clear information as to the exact leadership style employed by managers of Adidas since evidence of different types of leadership abounds.
However, the most common leadership style is the participative approach which is popular in the research and development divisions of Adidas.
The manufacturing part mainly employs the autocratic style mainly because fewer decisions have to be made by managers owing to the fact that there is an instruction manual on the nature and mode of work. Other divisions seem to embrace both the participative and autocratic styles depending on the decision being made.
The roles played by organizational and personal values in bringing about job satisfaction are very clear. In Adidas, the organization’s commitment to safety, health and the environment has helped in ensuring that it does not lose a critical part of its workforce.
Communication is clearly an important aspect of any organization. Adidas has employed various communication techniques to ensure that both internal and external communication is effective. However, it has faced communication problems just like all global and multicultural corporations.
Leadership styles vary from one organization to another. In Adidas, both the democratic and autocratic styles have been used with varying degrees of success. The leadership style adopted by the company determines its success in meeting set goals and promoting job satisfaction.
Gray, Judy, Iain Densten and James Sarros. A Matter of Size: Does Organizational Culture Predict Job Satisfaction in Small Organizations? Halifax, Nova Scotia: Monash University, 2003. Print
Northouse, Peter. Leadership Theory and Practice (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2007. Print