Organizational culture is the personality of the organization. Culture is comprised of the assumptions, values, norms and tangible signs of the organization members and their behaviors. Members of an organization will than come to sense the particular culture of an organization. Culture is sometimes difficult to express distinctly, but everyone knows it when they sense it. An executive of a large company was once asked what he thought ???organizational culture??? meant. He gave essentially the same answer that a Supreme Court Justice once gave in attempting to define pornography: ???I can??™t define it, but I know it when I see it.???(Organizational Culture p.572) For example, the culture of a large, for-profit corporation is quite different than that of a hospital which is quite different than that of a university administration worker. You can tell the culture of an organization by looking at the arrangement of furniture, what they brag about, what members wear, etc. similar to what you can use to get a feeling about someones personality. I will address the established methods of control, describe which management practices, and explain how the new structure could affect the organizations future.
Concept of Culture
The concept of culture is particularly important when attempting to manage organization wide change. Practitioners are coming to realize that, despite the best laid plans, organizational change must include not only changing structures and processes, but also changing the corporate culture as well Theres been a great deal of literature generated over the past decade about the concept of organizational culture particularly in regard to learning how to change organizational culture. Organizational change efforts are rumored to fail the vast majority of the time. Usually, this failure is credited to lack of understanding about the strong role of culture and the role it plays in organizations. Thats one of the reasons that many strategic planners now place as much emphasis on identifying strategic values as they do mission and vision. There are different types of culture just like there are different types of personality. Researcher Jeffrey Sonnenfeld identified the following four types of cultures. Academy, baseball, club, and fortness culture. Academy Culture is defined as Employees that are highly skilled and tend to stay in the organization, while working their way up the ranks. The organization provides a stable environment in which employees can development and exercise their skills. Examples are universities, hospitals, large corporations, etc. Baseball culture is defined as Employees are “free agents” who have highly prized skills. They are in high demand and can rather easily get jobs elsewhere. This type of culture exists in fast-paced, high-risk organizations, such as investment banking, advertising, etc. Club culture is defined as the most important requirement for employees in this culture is to fit into the group. Usually employees start at the bottom and stay with the organization. The organization promotes from within and highly values seniority. Examples are the military, some law firms, etc. Fortness culture is defined as Employees dont know if theyll be laid off or not. These organizations often undergo massive reorganization. There are many opportunities for those with timely, specialized skills. Examples are savings and loans, large car companies, etc. (Defining Cultures importance p.28)
Verizon Culture Organization
The company I work for is a Fortness culture. I currently work for Verizon Business Corporation. At Verizon I am currently a sales consultant I sell Verizon home services telephone, television, and internet. My company is a private company where job security is a major issue within our company. Our job performance is highly watched by our mangers and supervisors, we as sales rep??™s receive bonuses for the number of sales we close per day, per week, and per month. The power that the company uses to excite the sales rep to sale is reward power. Reward Power is defined as the target person complies in order to obtain rewards controlled by the agent. (French and Raven power taxonomy p6) At the end of the day the person in the office who holds the greatest number of sales has the opportunity to win anything from gift cards, cell phones, will gaming systems, etc. at the end of the month the five rep??™s who has the highest number of sales can win flat screen TV??™s, Dyson vacuum cleaners, gift cards etc. The three sale reps that holds the greatest number of sales at the end of the year wins a trip for two for five days to Hawaii. The bonuses and perks of the position are great but the company is lacking job security. Upon hiring we must sign a waiver agreeing that the company can fire us for anytime or any reason. So a lot of the older sales rep who won the trip to Hawaii just works to keep their position at the company and not what the company is looking for in revenue each month. Within our company I would change a lot of the policies and the producers. I know change isn??™t an easy task within an organization but it will make the benefit the organization, individuals, groups, teams, and the organization future.
Understanding Culture Change
Changing a organizational culture can be one of the toughest task a person will ever attempt to take on. A organizational culture was formed over years of interaction between the participants in the organization. An individual attempting to change the accepted organizational culture will seem as a uphill battle. Organizational cultures form for a reason. Perhaps the current organizational culture matches the style and comfort zone of the company founder. Culture frequently echoes the prevailing management style. Since managers tend to hire people just like themselves, the established organizational culture is reinforced by new hires. (Understanding Cultures p.45) Organizational culture grows over time. People are comfortable with the current organizational culture. For individuals to consider culture change, usually uneasy events must occur. An event that makes them uneasy such as facing bankruptcy, a significant loss of sales and customers, or losing millions dollars, might get the employees attention. Even then, to recognize that the organizational culture is the culprit and to take steps to change it is a tough journey. In no way do I mean to trivialize the difficulty of the experience of organizational culture change by summarizing it, here are some good ideas about culture change that can help organizations grow and transform. When people in an organization realize and recognize that their current organizational culture needs to transform to support the organizations success and progress, change can occur. But change is not pretty and change is not easy. Individuals must first understand the current culture that there in or working for. At Verizon I understand that the vision of the culture started off great but it was lacking the Reward Power for the senior rep??™s who??™s been there for a few years and won some of the incentives in the past. Once the individuals understand their current organizational culture, the individual in the organization must then , and decide what the organizational culture should look like to support success. What vision does the organization have for its future and how must the culture change to support the accomplishment of that vision. Finally, the individuals in the organization must decide to change their behavior to create the desired organizational culture. This is the hardest step in culture change.
The individual who wants the change within the organization must first plan where it wants to go before trying to make any changes in the organizational culture. With a clear picture of where the organization is currently, the organization can plan where it wants to be next. A good approach for taking these steps and change are to look at the Mission, vision, and values. One must provide a framework for the assessment and evaluation of the current organizational culture, what the organization needs to develop a picture of its desired future. What does the organization want to create for the future Mission, vision, and values should be examined for both the strategic and the value based components of the organization. The individual management team needs to first answer questions such as: What are the five most important values you would like to see represented in your organizational culture Are these values compatible with your current organizational culture Do they exist now If not, why not If they are so important, why are you not attaining these values (Understanding culture change p.45-49)
In conclusion organizational culture is the personality of the organization. Culture is comprised of the assumptions, values, norms and tangible signs of the organization members and their behaviors. Members of an organization will than come to sense the particular culture of an organization. Culture is sometimes difficult to express distinctly, but everyone knows it when they sense it. At my current company Verizon Business the management style of power that is used is Reward Power. Reward Power is very successful for new hires coming into the company because it excites the new hires to sell Verizon home products. Reward Power doesn??™t excite the older reps that has been with the company for five plus years. The excitement of the bonuses seemed to have died down because the seasoned rep??™s have already conquered the highest goal of the company. The restructuring strategy I choose to take to change the organization structure is to look at the company??™s mission, vision, and values as well as the older employees who have lost sparked for the organization. The new structure would affect the company in a positive way. New hires would be excited to sale and the older employees can come up with different bonuses they would like to reach and earn while there at the company. The change in the organization will be getting the employees feedback on different prizes they would like to see in the future and in turn it would offer job security because the older reps wouldn??™t be doing just what needs to be done in order to keep they job.