Organizational Culture

One of the organizational concepts that have been widely examined as a major analytical tool in the evaluation of the quality of an organization’s performance and welfare is the organizational culture. Organizational culture essentially refers to the shared values, beliefs and procedures that govern an organization’s actions and operations in an effort to achieve the set goals and objectives of the organization. There are various aspects that make up an organization’s culture which are instrumental in facilitating the integration of people and their general approach to their work. Some of the most instrumental aspects include the planning function and employee motivation. This paper will be analyzing these aspects and their relevance in the welfare of an organization. It will also carry some analysis based on the existing literature review to establish the chances of changing an organizational culture as well as the impacts and viability of the same.

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One of the biggest challenges of businesses has been the impact that the external environment of the organization has on the progress and the development of the organization. There main aspects that make up the external environment include the competitors; the changing international economic structure; the financial arrangement and structure; the legal or the political system and last but not the least, the impact on the environment (William, 1992). The growing complexity in the external environment has threatened to incapacitate the strategic and long term planning of organizations to be obsolete and extremely challenging for the growing organizations.

One of the main challenges that compromise on the strategic planning of organizations is the uncertainty that the changes in external environment. The rapid expansion of e-commerce has had a great tumult on the organizations in the current world which is in turn affecting the long term decision making of the organizations. A good example of an organization that has experienced the real impact of the changing external environment is the, one of the leading businesses in dominating the book industry in the world. The was fast to adopt the on-line book sales, which has really been a real boost in the command of the market demand. This was unlike their close competitors, Barnes & Noble whose managers were not able to efficiently plan for the transforming e-commerce trading (Michael, 2005). The company managers accepted the fact that their company was not fast enough to make up viable strategic planning so that they could take up e-commerce as the Amazon did, a factor that has cost them a lot and consequently led to loss of market command and lower sales.

The other strategic sector of the external environment that has impacted on the organizational planning and decision making is the rate at which the international business relations are expanding given the vast development in the technological and the communication sector of the economy. Practices such as merging and take overs has been common with organizations all over the world which in capacitates the management of the organizations to carry out proper planning of the prospects and the development of the organization (William, 1982). This is due to the fact that these businesses are uncertain about the future events of the market. As such, managers opt not to undertake long term goals and stick to their small scale production rate so that they remain safe just in case such an event as mergers and takeovers come into play.

The other external factor that is really out to make strategic planning of organizations obsolete is the differences among the political and monetary systems. In the recent times, there has been a political hick up between different rival nations which have led to the establishment of trade sanctions by some countries against their rival nations. Such practices limits the market scope of organizations hence limiting the range of operations inhibiting the organizations to expand their operations all over the world. As such, managers have bared the greatest challenges to carry out strategic planning of their organization since they are uncertain about the future welfare of the status of their country worth other trading partners in other outside countries. This way, long term planning of organizations has continued to be compromised which consequently limits the scale of operations of the respective organizations.

Due to the above challenges, organizations have been forced to be more careful and thorough in applying various policies and strategy tools so as to critically analyze the external environment to allow viable strategic planning of their organizations. One of the most significant techniques that have been applied by organizations over the world to analyze the factors that affect viable and efficient long term planning is the SWOT analysis. These initials represents for the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and external threats of the organization. According to this technique, the management of the organization has a responsibility to critically analyze the treats and weaknesses of their organizations and march them against the opportunities and strengths o their organizations in order to formulate the most efficient planning and decision making of their organizations (Michael, 2005). With these analysis, the organization is at a better place to establish their main competitors as well as spot the most viable opportunity that march the strength or the resources of the organization so that practical and strategic planning and decision making of the organization takes place.

The second strategy that organizations have applied in order to analyze the external environment to facilitate viable strategic planning of their organization’s prospects and operations is the EPISTEL model strategy. These initials represent the Environment, political, informative, social, technological Economic and finally Legal factors (Michael, 2005). The compilation of these analyses helps the business to know exactly where it stands in terms of its facilities, resources and its relationship with the political and social atmosphere. As such, it’s at a better place to determine where it’s headed in terms of the future opportunities and so effectively plot the long term direction and formulate relevant plans and policies that would see the organization succeed in its projects and future goals.

One of the questions that most organizations are struggling to respond and adjust to is the issue on whether an organizational culture can be changed. Organizational culture is a strategic field in management used to describe the collection of beliefs, attitudes, values as well as experiences that are shared by different people and organizational groups (John, 1994). An efficient organizational culture is very instrumental in the development an growth of an organization in that it controls the way employees within an organization relate and interact with each other and with the outside associates of the organization such as the clients and stakeholders so that the organization grows into a respectable and expansive to the global market levels.

A healthy organizational culture is significant to the success of an organization in a number of ways. Firstly, a staunch organizational culture facilitates the achievement of a competitive edge which is derived from the enormous innovation and efficient customer service. More so, it facilitates consistency as well as efficient employee performance geared by the high employee morale and team cohesiveness (Edgar, 2004).

In analyzing the issue on the possibility and the viability of changing an organizational culture, it’s important to bring out some of the several methods, normally referred to as typologies that have been used to classify organizational culture. One of the most widely used typologies is the power distance typology. This classification method is entirely based on the degree to which the society in which the organization operates expects there to be some significant differences in the levels of power in the organization structure (Alveson, 2007). The other aspect that the society uses to judge on the state or level of an organizational culture is the rate of uncertainty avoidance. This feature reflects the extent to which the society understands and accepts the presence of uncertainty and risk in the organization, and the ability of the organization to avoid the possibility of a given foreseeable risk.

It is the analysis of these typologies and aspects that the society uses to analyze and judge on the organizational culture coupled with other elements that influence an organizational culture such as paradigm, control systems and power structures that determine the possibility and viability of changing an organizational culture (Toyohiro, 1998).

There are four main perspectives or cultural assessment tools that entirely determine the possibility and the viability of an organization changing its organizational culture. These polarities distinguish between the different natures of organizational culture, with each posing its own conditions to the idea of changing the organizational culture. Firstly we have a clan culture. This polarity refers to a culture which is entirely based on the internal focus and flexibility of the organizational structure. This polarity enables a friendly work place within the organization where leaders act like father and mentor figures (Edgar, 2004). In such a culture, it is relatively possible to change the organization Culture due to the nature of the social relationship and the bond that the leaders have established with the employees and also the clients of the organization.

The second polarity or nature of organizational culture is the adhocracy culture. This is based on external focus and flexibility in the organization so that a dynamic work place with leaders that stimulate innovation among the employees is created (Toyohiro, 1998). As with the earlier culture, this culture can be responsive to change due to the flexibility of the organizational structure and the relationship upheld among the management and the employees.

The third assessment tool used to determine the possibility of changing an organizational culture is the market culture. The nature of this form of culture is that which majors on external focus and is controlled by competitive leaders who act as hard drivers of the organizational policies and goals. This organizational culture does not support the changing of an organizational culture in the fact that it is not flexible and responsive to the individual needs of the clients and employees hence quite cumbersome to administer changes thereof.

The last but not the least of the culture polarities that dictate the possibility of changing the organizational culture is the Hierarchy culture. As the word suggests, this culture is one which is structured and controlled to major on the internal focus of the organization. It is similar to the market culture in that it is exemplifies a formalized workplace in which leaders are structured to act like coordinators, as opposed to being friendly and encourage team work as is the case with the clan culture earlier discussed. As such, this nature of organizational culture cannot support the implementation of viable changes in the organizational culture due to lack of flexibility and the bureaucracy involved within the leaders (Alveson, 2007).

The final part of this paper will major on the importance of employee motivation, more specifically on the significance of using the formulated goals of the organization as the main motivation of the employees. We must all accept the fact that motivation is quite a crucial element in ensuring that employees maintain their frequency at work and their production levels in the organization.

However, there are certain aspects and features in the formulation of an organization’s goal that are crucial, and which if not adhered to would discourage employee motivation and output delivery thereof. Firstly, the formulation of organizational goals that are not measurable may lead to discouragement and low morale of employees. This is due to the fact that the employees are not able to gauge the progress of their goals so that they set their own standards to what is left of them to accomplish the set goals (Robert, 2010).

Secondly, goals set need to be attainable, i.e. not too high so that the employees are set under pressure to achieve the goals which would in turn lead to them doing injustices to them. The lack of achieving goals because the employees set them too high lowers the morale of employees and discourages the spirit of motivation.

Last but not the least, employees or organizational managers have the responsibility to set realistic goals in terms of expectations. An unrealistic goal that cannot be realistically achieved lowers the employee motivation so that it’s not effective in the long run. Also, the established goals ought to be timely, i.e. in terms of certain periods of time such as monthly or yearly that are appropriate for the employees so that employees are able to manage their time-line in a realistic manner, otherwise the goals will turn out to be the causes of discouragement and failure thereof (John, 1994).

On conclusion, the leaders and the managers of organizations ought to be more responsive and realistic in carrying out their functions of planning and employee motivation. These are some of the major determinants of employee productivity. They ought to be analyzing the external environment of the organization using some significant models so as to examine the complexity of the environmental factors surrounding the business to enable strategic planning of the organizational affairs. Also, organization managers ought to be more knowledgeable on the organizational cultures that they adopt in their organizations so that enable the changing of their cultures in case a special or critical need arise.

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