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Seven Dimensions of Culture at the Workplace Report (Assessment)

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Updated: Jul 6th, 2021

Introduction

I am working in a private company that concerns itself with the selling and distribution of automobiles within the UAE. It is a rather large company with a multinational staff, which deals with both domestic and international clients that resell the merchandise in other countries. I belong to the company’s IT department, performing duties as an IT help desk executive. The purpose of this paper is to analyze my workplace using Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner’s 7 dimensions of culture.

Rules versus Relationships

My helpdesk, as well as the company, in general, strives to apply a universalist relationship to everyone. It is rationalized that since we have many customers processed through the official sales channels and the help desk, it would not be ethical to treat some better than others. On the one hand, such an approach ensures we treat everyone fairly and allows for higher levels of accountability and transparency. At the same time, I do not feel universalism is the right cultural notion for the company, as striving to build relationships with customers and bending the rules to solve problems would save plenty of nerves and time.

Individualism vs. Communitarianism

Our corporate culture is highly individualistic. While there is a framework of rules everyone has to obey, every individual seller and IT employee has implicit permission to conduct business the way they perceive would benefit the company. Such an approach allows for greater freedom and allows individual employees to be more flexible. At the same time, it often comes into conflict with the overarching rules, in which the rules take priority. I feel as though something needs to change, to improve efficiency.

Specific vs. Diffuse

Due to the company’s individualistic culture, people tend to separate their work and life. We rarely have any meetings outside of the workplace, as we give our best and do not wish to be bothered off-hours. In addition, we rarely have any collective projects, as most of the time, people have their own individual tasks to work on. Although it is nice to have a good work-life separation, I feel having a more diffuse culture would help the overall mood in the company.

Neutral vs. Emotional

Our corporate culture is affected by its multinational features. Some individuals, especially from the UAE and other Arabic states, are often spontaneous and emotional about their work. People from Europe and Asia are stoic and reserved. Personally, I think different emotions are useful for different means. Emotion is useful for getting the customer to like you, which is why our car sellers are predominantly locals. A lack of emotion and a strong emphasis on self-control is better in IT.

Achievement vs. Ascription

The company’s culture values achievement. Whoever sells more in a quartile is the best. The same goes for IT – employees with higher satisfaction points are rewarded more. Personally, I think this is how things should be – we are a for-profit company, not a community service. There are no participation trophies in our business, and your primary value comes from you being able to provide results.

Sequential Time vs. Synchronous Time

Due to the nature of my work, I have to operate using a sequential time framework. I cannot start helping another customer without finishing helping the one before them first. The sales department is different, on the other hand. They offer services to many customers and have to balance priorities in order to improve sales. In their position, synchronous time is a must.

Internal Direction vs. Outer Direction

It is hard to identify if the company I work at is directed internally or externally. I suppose that due to the individualistic nature of our work, the internal direction is key to achieving results. At the same time, we do have an overarching system of rules and regulations to frame our actions. So, I would say that we have a mixed system. Its main weakness lies in the fact that outer and internal directions often contradict each other.

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"Seven Dimensions of Culture at the Workplace." IvyPanda, 6 July 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/seven-dimensions-of-culture-at-the-workplace/.

1. IvyPanda. "Seven Dimensions of Culture at the Workplace." July 6, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/seven-dimensions-of-culture-at-the-workplace/.


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IvyPanda. "Seven Dimensions of Culture at the Workplace." July 6, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/seven-dimensions-of-culture-at-the-workplace/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Seven Dimensions of Culture at the Workplace." July 6, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/seven-dimensions-of-culture-at-the-workplace/.

References

IvyPanda. (2021) 'Seven Dimensions of Culture at the Workplace'. 6 July.

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